Summer Undergraduate Research Institution for the Study of Kidney Disease (SURISKD)

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The Summer Undergraduate Research Institution for the Study of Kidney Disease (SURISKD) Program at UT Southwestern's Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is an intensive summer research training experience for college students who are preparing for Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. careers in biomedical research with a special emphasis on kidney-related research. Partipants spend 10 weeks (beginning in early June and ending mid-August) pursuing individual research projects that range from embryonic development and physiology to kidney cancer and imaging in the laboratories of Graduate School faculty members.

SURISKD participants will gain experience in modern research techniques and plan and execute an experimental strategy to answer a scientific question. The 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 in the field of kidney-related research.

Lectures, journal clubs, and seminars by faculty will supplement the research experience. Participants will present their accomplishments at a summer student research program meeting hosted by the National Institute of Health and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Approximately 15 fellows participate in SURISKD. Participants are assigned to a laboratory and research project according to their previous training and research interests.

Research areas include:

  • Embryonic development
  • Physiology
  • Kidney Disease
  • Cancer
  • Imaging

Eligibility for SURISKD

Applicants must be enrolled in an undergraduate science degree program and have completed their sophomore year. Applicants must also be U.S. citizens.

Selection criteria includes: 

  • Interest in learning about and doing research in the field of kidney disease
  • College grades
  • Relevant experience
  • Letters of recommendation from faculty who can assess the applicant's potential for advanced training and success in biological research
  • Career goals include pursuing Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degree

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

Physical science, mathematics, biomedical engineering, and chemistry majors should consider the Quantitative and Physical Sciences Summer Undergraduate Fellowship (QP-SURF) Program

Stipend

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

How to Apply for SURISKD

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

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, 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 deadline is February 9, 2015.

Housing

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