KGI student listening in classroom 6

Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Program Underway

Twenty-eight students are currently participating in the 10 week long Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program, which is designed for undergraduate students from institutions with limited or no research opportunities. This year over 600 inquiries and 180 applications were received for the program’s 28 spots.

The program exposes students to research, helps to prepare students for careers in the life sciences as well as to be more competitive for acceptance into graduate programs and medical schools. In speaking about the program’s benefits, Anastasia Levitin, SURE Program Director said, “This experience enables undergraduate students to increase their competitiveness to enroll in graduate education or to secure positions in the life science industries through offering cross-functional applied research, and by developing presentation and scientific writing skills.”

Students enrolled in the program conduct applied biomedical research under close mentorship from KGI’s multidisciplinary Henry E. Riggs School of Applied Life Sciences and School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences faculty. This summer research program also enables students to fulfill their graduation requirements.

In the past students have had positive responses to the program. On reflecting on their experience once the program was over, one former student said, “I achieved a really great experience at KGI thanks to the SURE program. I was able to learn about research and really understand everything that is involved and be trusted to do experiments and connect with people I never would have imaged meeting in 100 years. It has inspired me to pursue research and to really focus on my future. Over time my impression changed from being shy and star struck to being confident and active. I’m very glad to have done this program.”

Current SURE program student Barrie Sue Sugarman echoed similar sentiments. “I’ve really enjoyed my time in the SURE program so far! It is extremely exciting and rewarding to know that the findings of my project will have a meaningful impact on future state investment in stem cell research. I’ve also developed a strong sense of ownership and agency towards my research, and have acquired strong analytical skills that enable me to ask the right types of questions when approaching my data.”

Other components of the SURE program include scientific presentation training, writing workshops, three student presentations and submission of a final report in the form of a scientific paper. The program also includes additional curriculum enhancements such as resume preparation, overview of medical school entrance requirements, medical school visits, research organization and time management, overview of careers in sciences and industry as well as job search workshops.

The program is supported by a generous grant from the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation. Learn more about the SURE program.