SURF | Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the program? How many students do you accept each summer?
The intent of this program is to offer you a singular experience in a medical research lab under the supervision of a principal investigator in a funded research project. You will receive first hand experience in what a career in biomedical research will be like.
All told, we bring in about 175 undergrads from all over the U.S. each summer.
Who should apply?
Undergraduate students (attending any college or university) who are U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents of the U.S. are eligible to apply. An undergraduate student is one who is enrolled in a degree program (part-time or full-time) leading to a baccalaureate or associates degree. High school students who have not yet enrolled in college, and students who have received their bachelor's degrees and are no longer enrolled as undergraduates or postbaccalaureates, are not eligible.
Sophomores and Juniors who are majoring in the sciences (e.g.: Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Neuroscience, Biomedical Engineering, Physics, etc.) are preferred for summer fellowships in the College of Medicine. Previous research experience is beneficial; it makes you more competitive for a spot in a lab and it helps us know where to place you. While Freshman and Seniors are eligible, Sophomores and Juniors are typically preferred. Seniors are only eligible if they a) will not graduate until at least one semester after the summer session or, b) are planning to do at least one semester of postbaccalaureate study after the summer session and prior to entering graduate or medical school.
In order to be competitive, students should have completed a year each in Biology and Chemistry. Completion of upper level science courses (e.g., Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Microbiology) is a big plus. If you have done any research (laboratory or clinical), be sure to list it in your application. Also, be as specific as possible about your research interests and how you plan to use research in your future career.
Are postbaccs and postgrads allowed to apply?
Seniors who are about to graduate but intend to take a year off afterwards to prepare for graduate or medical school are eligible to apply to the SURF programs. Please be sure to explain these plans in your application.
How do I apply?
Please fill out the application on our website. Along with the completed application, please provide contact information for two contacts, one of whom must submit a letter of recommendation by February 25. The best person to provide your recommendation is any professor or investigator who can evaluate your potential for biomedical research. If you have previous research experience, please ask your research mentor for a letter of recommendation. Please upload your resume and a current grade report from your college (you do not need to send official transcripts). You may also upload other documentation you feel would support your application. For example, if you have done research, you may submit scientific papers, research papers or other publications you have written. When completing the essays, please be as specific as possible regarding your area of research interest.
Is there an application deadline?
Applications for summer research programs will be accepted until February 15 at 5:00 pm (EST). Please see the application instructions for information regarding submission of required documents. Due to the number and quality of applications we receive each year for a limited number of fellowship awards, we strongly encourage you to apply before the February 15 deadline for greatest consideration as many programs will begin filling positions as applications begin to arrive.
How much is the stipend?
Summer stipends vary by program and by method of payment. If paid as a stipend, the full amount is usually paid at week 5. If paid as a salary, it is usually paid biweekly and payroll deductions would apply. For more information about stipend and payroll, please contact your program coordinator.
RGE, NEURO and ASPET SURF students will receive $4,000 (or $400 per week) for participating in the 10-week Summer 2013 program.
MSTP SURF students will receive $2500 and paid housing for participating in the 10-week Summer 2013 program. Students will be placed in the Stratford Heights Residence Complex for Summer 2013.
CCHMC SURF students will receive $350 per week for participating in the 9 or 10-week Summer 2013 program.
When do I start my internship?
All SURF internships have specific start dates. For specific dates, please contact your program of interest. You will be expected to participate in laboratory work (or other program related activities) about 8 hours a day, five days a week during your summer program session.
- RGE and NEURO SURF offer two 10-week options: Tue, May 28 - Fri, Aug 2 or Monday, Jun 3 - Fri, Aug 9, 2013.
- CCHMC SURF offers two options: a 10-week program that runs from Tue, May 28 to Aug 2, and a 9-week program that runs from Mon, June 10 to Fri, Aug 9, 2013.
- MSTP SURF offers a 10-week program that runs from Tue, May 28 to Aug 2, 2013.
- ASPET SURF offers a 10-week program that runs from Jun 3 to Aug 2, 2013.
Is housing available for SURF students?
UC Housing has extended special pricing for all SURF students (RGE, NEURO, CCHMC, MSTP and ASPET) who wish to live in UC Housing, including Stratford Heights Residence Complex. MSTP SURF covers the cost of housing for their SURF students and will be placing them at Stratford Heights Residence Complex. Students who are residents of the Cincinnati area are not required to stay in the dorms. For assistance with reserving a space near other SURF students, please contact the SURF Program Coordinator, Sharon Weber, at email@example.com or (513) 558-5625.
Apartments close to campus in Clifton usually run about $300-400/month for a one bedroom. You can find a summer apartment to share or sublet at: ApartmentList.com or at: classifiedads.cincinnati.com/ which lists all the Cincinnati Enquirer's classified housing ads every day.
What kinds of research opportunities are available at UC College of Medicine?
UC COM and Cincinnati Children's Hospital offer a wide range of world class research expertise from which to choose. You can look at UC COM Department or Graduate Program web sites to see what kind of research the faculty in each department/graduate program are doing. As highly ranked research institutions, UC College of Medicine and Cincinnati Children's are equipped to place you in almost any area of biomedical research you could wish.
What if I am not accepted?
If you are not accepted into a fellowship program, we encourage you to contact any department or individual faculty member independently, to inquire about available student work/study positions, or a volunteer position in the lab for the summer. If you are here this summer, please let us know so that we can arrange for you to participate in some of our SURF activities.
Is there a list of past participating Mentors, and should we apply to a specific one, or just state my interests in the application?
Please describe your research interests and list at least one faculty member at UC COM/Cincinnati Children's with whom you would like to be placed. Different SURF programs have different ways of placing students, so your program coordinator can explain what will be expected of you when you are accepted. Contacting your potential mentor is a good way to establish your interest and lead to your placement in that lab. Please visit our website to read about Searching for a Research Mentor.
Is there a specific form for the advisor/professor recommendation?
When you start your application, an email will be sent to you with directions on how to review and revise your application prior to your "Final Submit." In this email, you will be directed to click on a link that will send an email to your recommenders, that will provide directions on how to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. They will be directed to a website that will describe three ways for them to submit their letter (snail mail, online form or upload of .doc or .pdf file).
Is it possible to apply to more than one program?
There are many Summer Undergraduate Research Programs at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. It is possible to apply to more than one of these programs, but it is preferable to determine which program is best suited to your needs and apply only to that one program.