Summer Undergraduate Research Program

The MUSC Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) is a 10-week research and educational based program run by the College of Graduate Studies on the campus of the Medical University of South Carolina. The purpose of the SURP is to promote access to graduate education and to enhance specific skills that are required for success in a subsequent M.S., Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences. MUSC offers this valuable opportunity to academically talented and motivated students who confirm a strong interest in graduate and/or doctoral studies.

Important Features

Trainees accepted to the MUSC SURP are matched with a graduate faculty mentor whose research focus is as close to the trainees’ interests as possible. However, our primary goal is to provide you with a research experience in an area of the biomedical sciences that will not only give you a broad view into the world of a researcher, but also enhance your scientific perspective and provide you with important “hands on” experience beyond what you receive in your undergraduate curriculum. In addition to working with a faculty mentor, our trainees are supported by a research team. This team may consist of graduate students, post docs, medical students, research scientists and other undergraduate or high school students.

As an MUSC SURP trainee you are enrolled in the course CGS 761 “Laboratory Observation and Apprenticeship” and will receive 15 credit hours on an MUSC transcript after successfully completing the SURP program. Students returning for a second summer receive 10 credit hours.

Professional Development

After several weeks of getting acclimated to the laboratory’s routine and equipment, SURP trainees are guided toward development of an independent research project. Additionally, the SURP trainee will participate in a variety of professional development activities such as:

  • Responsible Conduct of Research - a 1-week course in Research Ethics
  • Select group of Core and Specialized lectures
  • Journey Club meetings and seminars that may be encouraged by their labs
  • The Big Brother/Sister program – Each SURP is paired with a graduate student who will provide first-hand information about MUSC’s Graduate Programs
  • Scientific Writing – Trainees prepare a report about their projects written in the form of a scientific journal article.
  • SURP Colloquia – a one-day conference during which student trainees present their final projects to their peers, mentors, and research team.

Social Events & Sense of Community

SURP participants are encouraged to build both social and academic networks with one another and with members of the university community. Participants are encouraged to organize and coordinate activities with their peers during off-hours, and the College of Graduate Studies will offer planned activities and events for all SURP participants. One of the social events is a cruise around the Charleston Harbor.

Financial Support & Housing

  • SURP participants will receive a living allowance of $400/week for a total of $4000 to help pay for expenses while participating in the SURP. (Please note: this living allowance is not tax-free and taxes will be deducted if required.)
  • Students accepted into the program that reside outside of the greater Charleston Area, convenient housing will be offered at 930 North Morrison St. You can review this housing at:

    http://live930nomo.com

    Floor plans offered to our SURP program are 4 bedroom suites. Each student has their own bedroom and the common areas are shared by their suitemates.
     

The estimated housing costs are approximately $2,500 for the 10 weeks; many students taking advantage of this housing will receive a housing allowance of $1,000.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be:

  • Enrolled full time and in good standing in an accredited baccalaureate program at the time of application
  • Must be able to complete the entire 10 weeks of the program. (May 24, 2021 – July 30, 2021)
  • Prior research experience and a GPA of 3.2 or higher are preferred (minimum GPA of 3.0 is required)
  • Priority is given to rising juniors and seniors with a strong interest in pursuing graduate studies

Research Interests

The core of the summer experience is an individual investigative research project conducted in the laboratory of a faculty member. Applicants will be asked to choose three areas of particular interest from the list below; every effort will be made to match SURP participants with a laboratory whose work is focused in one of the priority areas.

  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Biostatistics & Epidemiology
  • Cancer Biology
  • Cardiovascular Biology
  • Cell & Molecular Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
  • Cell Regulation and Signal Transduction
  • Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences
  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Microbiology & Immunology
  • Neuroscience and Addiction Research
  • Oral Health Sciences
  • Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
  • Regenerative Medicine & Cell Biology

How to Apply

SURP applications are being accepted October 30, 2020 through January 18, 2021

  1. Click on this application link to start your 2021 SURP application.

  2. Choose the top 3 areas that best suit your research interests and efforts will be made to match you with a research mentor whose research aligns with your interests.

  3. For the application you will need:
    a. An unofficial college transcript
    b. At least a 500-word personal statement to include:
    i. Why are you applying to MUSC Summer Undergraduate Research Program?
    ii. Define your career goals.
    iii. Discuss your research experience if applicable.
    iv. What is motivating you to gain more exposure to biomedical science and, in  particular, to research in your areas of interest ? 
    v. Explain to us why you should be selected for the program.  
    c. Two academic letters of recommendation from faculty at your current school who are familiar with your science coursework or research skills - or from a scientist at another institution who has mentored you in a research experience.  The letters are required to be written on letterhead and signed by the faculty recommender.  A link will be sent to the recommender’s email address which you provided on your application.   

    Official Transcripts will be required if you accept our offer in the 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Program.

        

Application Link