Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program – Pharmacology

University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA.
Type Basic Science Research, Test Preparation


This program is designed for motivated undergraduate students from groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to be underrepresented in health sciences on a national basis and who are interested in seeking future training in a combined MD/PhD program or an academically oriented career in medicine.

Please see the NSF Guidelines:


  • Principal focus is an 8-week research project conducted in the laboratory of a faculty member in the biomedical sciences
  • Weekly seminars
  • A physician-scientist clinical shadowing experience
  • Career development seminars
  • Presentation of your work at the UCSD Summer Research Conference


  • Stipend for the eight-week period – $1600/month
  • Includes room (not board)
  • $500 Travel allowance for transportation to and from San Diego


Eligible Applicants Must Meet ALL Criteria Listed in Group A and at least ONE of the Criteria Listed in Group B.


1. Citizenship / Immigration Status: Students appointed to this program must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., in possession of a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551 or some other legal verification of such status). Non-citizen nationals are generally persons born in possessions of the United States (i.e., American Samoaand Swains Island). Individuals on temporary or student visas and individuals holding PhD, MD, DVM or equivalent doctoral degrees in the health sciences are not eligible.

2. Undergraduate students must: (1) have successfully completed at least one undergraduate year at an accredited school or university (including baccalaureate schools of nursing); or (2) be attending community or junior colleges provided they are enrolled in at least three courses per academic term and have completed at least six courses.


1. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see NIH Guidelines).  In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting, and individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be convincingly demonstrated to be underrepresented are eligible for support under this program.  Please note: We are happy to accept all applications, however, gender alone is unlikely to qualify an applicant.

2. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

3. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who are defined as:

a.  Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size; published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index; and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels. For individuals from low income backgrounds, candidates must be able to demonstrate that they have qualified for Federal disadvantaged assistance or they have received any of the following student loans: Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL), Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program, or they have received scholarships from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Scholarship for Individuals with Exceptional Financial Need.

b. Come from a social, cultural, or educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that have demonstrably and recently directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.