The MUSC Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) is a 10-week research and educational based program run by the College of Graduate Studies on the campus of the Medical University of South Carolina. The purpose of the SURP is to promote access to graduate education and to enhance specific skills that are required for success in a subsequent M.S., Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences. MUSC offers this valuable opportunity to academically talented and motivated students who confirm a strong interest in graduate and/or doctoral studies.
Trainees accepted to the MUSC SURP are matched with a graduate faculty mentor whose research focus is as close to the trainees’ interests as possible. However, our primary goal is to provide you with a research experience in an area of the biomedical sciences that will not only give you a broad view into the world of a researcher, but also enhance your scientific perspective and provide you with important “hands on” experience beyond what you receive in your undergraduate curriculum. In addition to working with a faculty mentor, our trainees are supported by a research team. This team may consist of graduate students, post docs, medical students, research scientists and other undergraduate or high school students.
As an MUSC SURP trainee you are enrolled in the course CGS 761 “Laboratory Observation and Apprenticeship” and will receive 15 credit hours on an MUSC transcript after successfully completing the SURP program. Students returning for a second summer receive 10 credit hours.
After several weeks of getting acclimated to the laboratory’s routine and equipment, SURP trainees are guided toward development of an independent research project. Additionally, the SURP trainee will participate in a variety of professional development activities such as:
- Responsible Conduct of Research - a 1-week course in Research Ethics
- Select group of Core and Specialized lectures
- Journey Club meetings and seminars that may be encouraged by their labs
- The Big Brother/Sister program – Each SURP is paired with a graduate student who will provide first-hand information about MUSC’s Graduate Programs
- Scientific Writing – Trainees prepare a report about their projects written in the form of a scientific journal article.
- SURP Colloquia – a one-day conference during which student trainees present their final projects to their peers, mentors, and research team.
SURP participants are encouraged to build both social and academic networks with one another and with members of the university community. Participants are encouraged to organize and coordinate activities with their peers during off-hours, and the College of Graduate Studies will offer planned activities and events for all SURP participants. One of the social events is a cruise around the Charleston Harbor.