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Preprofessional Opportunities

Rockefeller University - Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship


Category: Summer
Type: Research
Location: New York New York
Deadline: Early February


Office of Graduate Studies
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue, Box 177
New York, NY 10065


College sophomores and juniors are eligible to spend 10 weeks during the summer in a Rockefeller University laboratory. Required Documentation: - A two-page summary statement describing the applicant’s academic background, scientific interests, research experience (if any) and career goals. Applicants should discuss how they would benefit from the SURF Program. - An official transcript (uploaded as part of the online application). - Two letters of recommendation preferably from professors or mentors who can evaluate the applicant based on performance in current or completed research projects. (These letters are critical for our selection process). Letters of recommendation should be submitted online. If letters of recommendation are not submitted online, they must be mailed in separate sealed envelopes, signed across the seal, to the address below.


The Rockefeller University Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program provides a unique opportunity for undergraduates to conduct laboratory research. SURF students work with leading scientists in a broad range of areas including biochemistry; structural biology and chemistry; molecular, cell and developmental biology; immunology; virology and microbiology; neuroscience; physics; and mathematical biology.

College sophomores and juniors are eligible to spend 10 weeks during the summer in a Rockefeller University laboratory. The program begins in early June and ends in mid-August. Placement in laboratories is centralized through the Dean’s Office. Students are matched with laboratories according to their stated research interests, and work on projects under the direct supervision of faculty, postdoctoral fellows and/or senior graduate students.

Each year, students are chosen from a wide variety of applicants with diverse scientific backgrounds and training. Annually, more than 700 students apply for admission into the SURF Program and approximately 25 are accepted. International students are eligible to apply.

In order to fully experience the world of scientific research, SURF students are required to present and discuss scientific publications at weekly Journal Club meetings. This exposure allows participants to familiarize themselves with speaking to a scientific audience. SURF students also attend a special lecture series where Rockefeller faculty discuss their research and the evolution of their scientific interests. At the end of the program, SURF students will present their research results to fellow students and mentors at a poster session.

SURF students receive a stipend of $6,000.00. Free housing will be provided for students who cannot commute. Campus facilities include a tennis court, a recently renovated gym and adjacent east west esplanade for jogging, running, walking, or roller blading. SURF students are encouraged to attend social and cultural events occurring both on and off campus. Organized outings for SURF students have included trips to see a Broadway show and professional baseball game.

The Rockefeller University’s campus, located on New York City’s Upper East Side, is set among beautifully kept gardens and trees on a 15-acre campus overlooking the East River. A diversity of restaurants, shops and entertainment adds to this culturally enriched area of Manhattan. The rest of New York City is conveniently accessible by train, bus or taxicab.