Summer Student Program

image of Dr. Marciano in her lab with 2 summer students discussing research results

Students will be recruited, each to a lab of their choosing, through three currently existing UT Southwestern summer research programs: (1) SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship) (2) UT-SUMR (UT Southwestern Undergraduate Medical Research Fellows Program) and (3) UT Southwestern summer research rotations.

The SURF program at UT Southwestern is an intensive research training program designed for college students who are preparing for careers in biological research. They spend 10 weeks (June through August), living on campus while pursuing individual research projects in the laboratories of UT Southwestern Graduate School faculty members. Fellows gain experience in modern research techniques, learn to plan and execute experimental strategies to answer scientific questions.

image of 2018 SURF student Benjamin Trammell presenting poster
2018 SURF Student, Benjamin Trammell presents his research at SURF poster session.

The program introduces students to projects typically encountered during postgraduate research training and leads to an understanding of the planning, discipline, and teamwork involved in the pursuit of biological sciences. At the end of the summer, fellows present their research in a poster session. In addition to research, fellows attend weekly seminars given by UT Southwestern faculty members. Informal discussions about careers in science and graduate training are also scheduled.

The UT-SUMR Fellows Program identifies and develop promising student researchers who intend to pursue careers in medical research, but who do not wish to pursue formal graduate education at the moment (i.e. will not pursue Ph.D. doctoral training).

To qualify, students must:

  • be Texas residents,
  • have a strong interest in research,
  • have no plans to pursue graduate education, and
  • be currently enrolled in an accredited undergraduate institution.

Students are placed in a participating lab of their choice and perform research under the supervision of the mentor or fellows within the mentoring lab. The course extends for eight weeks and the students attend weekly luncheon seminars where faculty discuss the fundamentals of basic and clinical research.

Collectively, the two undergraduate summer student programs at UT Southwestern have been extremely successful. Each year we receive over 2,000 applications for about 200 available positions. A significant percentage of these fellows have continued onto careers in biomedical research.