Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program

SURF Alumni 2013 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.


"This program not only provided me with a great opportunity to work on an individual project, but also allowed me to be involved in a wonderful and amiable scientific atmosphere." -SURF Alumnus

Each year, students are chosen from a wide variety of applicants with diverse scientific backgrounds and training. Annually, more than 500 students apply for admission into the SURF Program and approximately 18 are accepted.

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.


"I learned how to think, ask and approach questions like a scientist." -SURF Alumnus

SURF students receive a stipend of $4,000.00. 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. New York City has an infinite number of attractions and students should experience as many of them as possible. 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.