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Summer Undergraduate Research Program


Six graduate programs in the Pitt School of Medicine sponsor SURP - an annual Summer Undergraduate Research Program.   SURP participants engage in an intensive 9-week program designed to provide hands-on experience in biomedical research, together with guidance on how to plan for a research-related career. SURP-2021 will run from June 1, 2021 - July 30, 2021.


Through SURP, aspiring biomedical scientists gain significant experience to help decide whether a life in research is “right” for them.  SURP serves as a stepping-stone from undergraduate studies to advanced PhD training in the biological and biomedical sciences.

Goals and Structure

  • To provide undergraduates with outstanding opportunities for research training in a diverse and inclusive university environment at a leading academic medical center.
  • To engage highly motivated undergraduates by immersing them in cutting-edge, hypothesis-driven laboratory environments.  Each SURP trainee works with a professor who shares similar research interests.  In addition to conducting approximately 400 hours of laboratory research, trainees receive individualized mentoring and participate in weekly seminars and lab meetings.  
  • To train participants in valuable technical skills relevant to research in a multiplicity of biomedical disciplines from fundamental biological discovery to mechanisms of disease.
  • To provide trainees with insight into the structure of graduate education and the steps leading to a successful career related to biomedical research.
  • Mentors and projects will be assigned by the SURP committee.
  • SURP includes three field trips that explore Pittsburgh, a most livable city, while also facilitating peer-to-peer collegial interactions.
  • At the conclusion of SURP, all trainees write abstracts of their work and give short presentations on their projects at a final symposium.  

SURP is administered through the Office of Graduate Studies in the Pitt School of Medicine.  Our campus is situated in a friendly, safe urban environment located in the historic Oakland section of Pittsburgh.  SURP mentors are amongst >200 training faculty in six PhD training programs.

Cell Biology and Physiology
Cellular and Molecular Pathology
Molecular Genetics and Developmental Biology
Molecular Pharmacology
Microbiology and Immunology
Molecular Biophysics and Structural Biology