SRF Summer Scholars Program

The SRF Summer Scholars Program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct biomedical research to combat diseases of aging, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s Disease. Under the guidance of a scientific mentor, each Summer Scholar is responsible for his or her own research project in such areas as genetic engineering and stem cell research. The Summer Scholars Program emphasizes development of both laboratory and communication skills to develop well-rounded future scientists, healthcare professionals, and policy makers. Students participating in the program will hone their writing skills via periodic reports, which are designed to emulate text scientists commonly must produce. At the end of the summer, students will have the opportunity to put all of their newly developed communication skills into practice at a student symposium.

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Summer Scholars Program Training Goals

SRF Education undergraduate programs primarily are designed to address two pressing needs in STEM education: the availability of novel, inquiry-based research opportunities and scientific communication skills. Whether a student plans to pursue postgraduate studies or apply for a research position at a pharmaceutical company, practical experience is key. However, research opportunities are limited at some colleges, and specific fields of research, such as tissue engineering, may be completely absent.

SRF Education sets itself apart from many other training programs with its focus on the development of scientific communication skills in addition to enhancing laboratory and critical thinking skills. Over the course of its educational programs, participants are guided through practical writing assignments that simulate documents scientists are often asked to produce, such as grant proposals. The communication training culminates in a formal presentation at a symposium where participants present the results of their work to their peers and mentors.

Program Learning Objectives Include:

  • Planning and executing an independent research project
  • Learning new technical skills
  • Explaining scientific concepts to a non-scientific audience
  • Submitting a simple grant proposal
  • Summarizing project results in a formal presentation

Qualifications

  1. Applicants should have some biologically-related prior research experience.
  2. Although GPA will be a consideration, there are no formal GPA requirements.
  3. There are no specific major requirements. Students of any major may apply, provided they can demonstrate experience relevant to the project in question.
  4. As noted in the Eligibility Requirements section, you must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate student to be eligible for the program. Dual undergrad/grad programs are acceptable, but students who already possess an undergraduate degree are not eligible to participate in the program. The only exception to this rule are students who have graduated during the fall, winter, or spring terms of the 2022-2023 academic year.
  5. There are no restrictions to class standing. Freshman, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and fifth year seniors are all eligible to apply.

Important Dates

  1. The online application will be available on this website on October 15, 2022.
  2. Complete applications must be received no later than 5pm PT, February 1. Be sure to ask for your letter of recommendation well in advance to provide sufficient time for it to be submitted.
  3. Finalists will be contacted by Spring 2023.

Start Date and Duration

  1. Most host institutions can accommodate any start date in May or June to accommodate both semester- and quarter-system students.
  2. The internship lasts between 10 and 12 weeks, depending on host institution.

Compensation

  1. Stipend rates will be based upon levels used by government agencies, such as the NIH and NSF.
  2. A single stipend will be provided to cover room and board costs.
  3. Summer Scholars are not eligible for benefits.

Housing

  1. Students participating in the program need to locate their own housing. Advice can be provided by SRF and the host lab.

Review the following to confirm your eligibility to participate in the program:

  1. This program is designed for undergraduate students. Only students who are currently pursuing an undergraduate degree or students who receive their undergraduate degree the during the fall, winter, or spring terms of the 2022-2023 academic year are eligible for the 2023 SRF Summer Scholars Program.
  2. Students currently enrolled in a master’s, doctoral, medical, or similar postgraduate degree granting program are ineligible to apply. Similarly, any applicant who has already earned a postgraduate degree is ineligible to apply.
  3. Students enrolled in a dual undergrad/grad program are eligible provided no degree has been earned by the start of the internship.
  4. The applicant must be enrolled at a university in the United States. Special circumstances, such as established exchange programs, will be considered on a case-by-case basis. U.S. citizens studying abroad are also eligible to apply.
  5. Applicants must be eligible to receive a stipend. Students who are studying abroad in the U.S. will need to participate in the Summer Scholars Program through a Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for off-campus employment. Unfortunately, due to the length of time required for approval, we will no longer be able to accept Optional Practical Training (OPT) for off-campus employment. We recommend checking with your department to determine if CPT approval is an option and what forms you need to complete prior to applying to SRF Summer Scholars Program. Verification of your eligibility will be required before a position can be confirmed. You can learn more about CPT requirements here. It will be incumbent upon the student to provide the necessary documentation to participate, not SRF or the host institution.

If you have any questions regarding your eligibility for the program, you may contact SRF Director of Academic Affairs, Dr. Lilli Fishman.

– The 2021 SRF Summer Scholars Program application period is now closed. –

The 2022 SRF Summer Scholars Program application period is now closed.

Application Deadline: Extended to February 1st at 5 PM Pacific Time.
Please be sure to download the recommendation instructions and give your recommender(s) ample time to submit your letter of recommendation by the deadline.

Other SRF Education Opportunities

SRF Postbacc Fellowship Program

Offering recent graduates the opportunity to conduct biomedical research to combat diseases of aging under the guidance of a scientific mentor, with the goal of preparing participants for a career in regenerative medicine research.

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