Washington University students apply to the BioSURF program for support of biologically-oriented research under the direction of members of the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences or other Wash U faculty in the natural sciences. Support is available for research in laboratories on the Danforth Campus and the Medical School (and some other local institutions). BioSURF recipients are expected to work in their lab full-time for a minimum of ten weeks during the summer.
BioSURF funding is intended for basic biological and biomedical research; clinical studies are not eligible for this support. Disease-related research is often eligible, but patient outcome research is generally not. If you are unsure about whether your project is eligible for support, please inquire before submitting an application.
Official announcement of program deadlines occurs in January, with applications due prior to Spring Break. Awards are announced in early April.
All continuing Washington University undergraduate students with prior research experience, as well as those who are new to research, are eligilble for a BioSURF. Fellows will be selected on the basis of their interest in and aptitude for research in the biological/biomedical sciences. An important goal of this program is to provide research opportunities and encourage research careers for women and students from groups underrepresented in biomedical research (including Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Alaskans, Native Pacific Islanders, persons with disabilities, or first-generation college students). All interested students, regardless of gender and ethnic origin, are encouraged to apply.
All BioSURF mentors must hold a faculty appointment at Washington University. (Bench mentors may be graduate students or post-docs, but the recommendation and ultimate supervision must come from a professor.)
BioSURF Application Review Criteria
Applications will be judged on:
- perceived merit of the proposed research, the preparation of the proposal, and the enthusiasm for working on the project, and,
- letters of recommendation and prior work.
The application for BioSURF is a two step process; the DEADLINE TO APPLY IS FEBRUARY 15. Before you go to the application website, you should have:
1) Names, phone numbers, and email addresses of the two people writing letters of recommendation. One letter MUST be from your mentor (i.e. your bench mentor or the lab PI) who must be a professor at Washington University. The second letter cannot be from someone else in your lab; it does not have to come from someone at Washington U. A request for letters will be automatically generated and sent to your mentor and second recommender when you apply online so make certain the email addresses you enter are correct!
Letters of recommendation will be due on March 1, at 5:00 p.m. This information will be sent out in the email request. Make sure you have discussed your intent to apply for BioSURF with each of your recommendation letter writers BEFORE you submit your application.
2) Current and prior research experience information (if applicable), including PI’s name and department, and the research area of your prior work.
3) A preliminary title for your project.
In order to complete your BioSURF application, you must upload your research proposal by March 1. (Guidelines for writing your proposal)
Upon submission of Step One of the BioSURF application, you will receive an email containing a link which you will use to upload your proposal. Additionally, both of your recommenders will also receive an email with instructions on how to submit their letters. MAKE SURE THAT ALL EMAIL ADDRESSES YOU ENTER ARE CORRECT! Uploading your research proposal and the receipt of letters of recommendation complete Step Two of the application.