Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program

Group of students standing outside

Pictured left to right: Laura Lin, Kennede McLeroy-Charles, Bryce Griffin, Chris Godwin, and Daniel Stuckey.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) offers intensive summer research training to undergraduate students who might be interested in graduate school and a career in biomedical research. The program is jointly funded by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) and by an institutional match from UAMS. The program has been continuously funded since 2000 and has provided training opportunities for approximately 100 students.

Students selected for the SURF Program will have the opportunity to experience what it is like to work in a research laboratory and perform biomedical research in pharmacology or toxicology. Fellows spend 10 weeks (beginning in early June and ending mid-August) pursuing individual research projects in the laboratories of faculty members within the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at UAMS, and participating in various other research-related programs on campus. SURF 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 biological sciences. At the end of the SURF Program, fellows present their research during a symposium to each other and to the department.

This is a paid fellowship, with students earning a $3,000 stipend for their 10 week commitment. After the summer program has ended, students may also apply for a travel award through ASPET to attend the annual Experimental Biology meeting to present their research in poster format. Experimental Biology is the annual meeting of five major scientific societies (comprised of anatomy, biochemistry and molecular biology, investigative pathology, pharmacology, and physiology), as well as 25 guest societies. Attendees represent scientists from academic institutions, government agencies, non-profit organizations and industry. Undergraduates attending the meeting can take advantage of specific programming geared toward their interests in graduate school and career development, as well as an undergraduate Best Poster Competition. The UAMS program has had very good luck with past students receiving the travel award and winning the poster competitions in their ASPET divisions.

The SURF program here at UAMS is increasing in its reach and has attracted students from around the United States. The home states of our recent students are depicted on the map below.