Quantitative and Physical Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (QP-SURF)

students in lab
QP-SURF fellows at work in a UT Southwestern research lab.

The Quantitative and Physical Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (QP-SURF) Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center's Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is an intensive summer research training experience for college students preparing for Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. careers in biomedical research. Fellows spend 10 weeks (early June through mid-August) pursuing individual research projects in the laboratories of Graduate School faculty members.

Fellows gain experience in modern research techniques and plan and execute an experimental strategy to answer a scientific question. The QP-SURF Program introduces students to the kinds of projects encountered during postgraduate research training and fosters an understanding of the planning, discipline, and teamwork involved in the pursuit of answers to current questions at the interface of quantitative science and basic biomedical research. At the end of QP-SURF, fellows present their research in a poster session. 

In addition to laboratory research, fellows attend weekly seminars given by UT Southwestern faculty members. Informal discussions about careers in science and graduate training are also scheduled.

Approximately 10 fellows participate in the summer research program. Fellows are assigned to a laboratory and research project according to their previous training and research interests.

Research areas:

  • Biomedical Engineering 
  • Biophysics 
  • Computational Biology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Systems Biology

Natural and biological sciences majors who do not have an interest in kidney disease should apply to the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program.

Natural and biological sciences majors who have an interest in kidney disease should apply to the Summer Undergraduate Research Institution for the Study of Kidney Disease (SURISKD) Program.

Program Eligibility

Applicants must be enrolled in a physics, computer science, mathematics, biomedical engineering, or chemistry degree program at the undergraduate level and have completed their sophomore year. Applicants must also be U.S. citizens or currently possess an F1 Visa. 

Criteria used in the selection of fellowship recipients include:

  • College grades
  • Relevant experience
  • Letters of recommendation from faculty who can assess the applicant's potential for advanced training and success in research that integrates quantitative and biomedical sciences
  • Career goals that include pursuing a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degree

Stipend

The stipend for the 10-week program is $4,000. This support is taxable. Details on local living accommodations will be provided when fellows are notified of their acceptance. If a fellow requires housing, then the costs will be covered by QP-SURF; however, fellows are responsible for paying for their own travel expenses.

How to Apply

To apply for 2015 QP-SURF, please complete the online QP-SURF 2015 application. Within the application, you will need to upload your transcripts (official or unofficial) from each college you have attended.

Also, please contact your recommenders and have them email the letters of recommendation to Vanessa A. Powell at vanessa.powell@utsouthwestern.edu.

We also require two letters of recommendation, which can come from mentors, teachers, employers, or advisors. Letters should discuss the applicant's scientific and intellectual abilities, previous training and experience, and potential for a career in research.

Our preferred method of submission of letters of recommendation is for the recommenders to email the letters directly to vanessa.powell@utsouthwestern.edu.

If an electronic submission is not possible, the letters may be mailed from the recommender to:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
ATTN: Vanessa A. Powell,
QP-SURF Administrator
5323 Harry Hines Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75390-9004

IMPORTANT: You must request the letter of recommendation from your recommenders and provide them the information on how to send their respective letter. The QP-SURF Program will not contact your recommenders. 

The deadline is February 9, 2015.

Housing

Housing needs for QP-SURF students are coordinated through the SURF office. QP-SURF students requiring housing will stay in a local hotel and be transported to and from the UT Southwestern campus daily. QP-SURF participants with family or friends in the Dallas/Fort Worth area should plan to stay with them.