What is the start and end date of the fellowship?

We understand that not all undergraduate institutions follow the same schedule, therefore, the date is somewhat flexible.  The research training supported by this fellowship must be done during the four-month period between May 1 and August 31. The program will have numerous activities for training and social interaction that occur primarily in June and July.

The main requirement is that the student commit to the equivalent of 10-12 weeks of full-time research training. The exact start and end dates are determined in consultation with the student's mentor.

Please also remember that participants in the SURF program are required to present their summer research, generally at an Undergraduate Research Symposia, typically held in early August.

Can I take classes during the fellowship?

Maybe.  Fellowship recipients are assumed to do full time research training for 10-12 weeks.  

If you are already a Wayne State student it might be possible to take a class if approved by your mentor. If taking a class reduces the amount of research training accomplished per week, then, according to what you agree with your mentor, you may be expected to extend the research training period so that you get a full 10-12 weeks in the lab.

Non-Wayne State students who are awarded the fellowship are not permitted to register for classes at Wayne.

Are there other activities for SURF students during the summer besides research?

Each year, the SURF Fellows will be provided with several development and social opportunities. 

Research Development programs are typically focused on engaging and informing students about research related pathways.  These may include learning presentation skills, meeting with current graduate students, and meeting individuals who use research in their academic, medical, or industry-related careers.

Social programs include meeting with fellow students and learning more about Detroit.  These may include visits to the Detroit Institute of Arts and an outing to Detroit Tiger's game at Comerica Park.

Most events will occur between June and July to ensure that all Fellows may participate, except for the Undergraduate Research Symposium which is held in early August.

Are housing or travel allowances provided by the fellowship program?

We are currently investigating this option, but cannot guarantee housing.  Please contact the program director (Dr. Chung) with questions or interest. 

Prior participants have: jointly rented housing, used on-campus (on-campus dormitories, is typically available at a reasonable cost). Others have utilized current graduate students and Alumni networks to find low-cost housing.  If you are offered admission to the program and unsure about housing, please discuss your concerns with us immediately.


Whom should I ask to be my references?

As the focus of this program is for research, we encourage you to ask science instructors or research mentors that you have already had.

What should be included in a Personal Statement?

We are looking for opportunities to support students who are interested in developing a research-based career.  Let us know why you are interested in research.  We also highly encourage you to let us know of one (or more) particular faculty member with whom you would like to work.  Be sure to include a description of why you want to work with them.

Still at a loss? Consider the guidelines we give our Graduate Student applicants: https://physiology.med.wayne.edu/pdfs/howtosop.pdf

Should I ask my references to write letters of recommendation?

Not yet. We ask only for the names of references. Mentors who are available and interested in hosting a SURF Applicant will follow up with requests for recommendations.


I am not currently enrolled at Wayne State or another undergraduate institution, but I am planning to enroll as a freshman in Spring, Summer or Fall of this year, am I eligible?

No. The SURF program is directed undergraduates already enrolled at an undergraduate institution.

I am a freshman in college, am I eligible?

Yes!  We are excited to support students who are interested in getting involved in research early in their undergraduate experience. 

I am planning to graduate this spring. Am I eligible?

Maybe. If you are thinking that research in graduate school may be the right career path for you, a summer experience in research may be possible.  However, if you will earn your undergraduate degree before joining the SURF program, we encourage you to apply instead for a Master's or PhD program.  Further, if you are looking for a "gap year" experience before beginning professional school (such as medical school), your application is not likely to be accepted.

I am accepted into a Masters, PhD, or Professional program am I eligible?

No. If you are already accepted (or applying into) a research program for the Fall, you should not apply for the SURF program.  More information about our graduate programs can be found here: https://physiology.med.wayne.edu/grad-program 

I am an international student currently residing within the United States, Am I eligible?

Depends. If you are currently a student in the United States and meet other program criteria, you are encouraged to apply. However, if you are a foreign national living outside the United States and do not have a "green card," you are not eligible. This policy is only for the SURF fellowship. Applications to our graduate program can come from either foreign or American students

I am an international student residing outside of the United States. Am I eligible?

Unfortunately, no. Due to the visa issues and time and likely delays to process such applications, applicants for the SURF Program must already be in the United States.

I participated in the Physiology SURF program last year, can I apply again?

You may apply again, but you’re encouraged to reach out to your prior mentor to see if alternative support is possible.  New applicants may be prioritized over returning applicants.

I was not offered a spot last year, may I apply again?

Yes, you are encouraged to try again.  However, if you were given a reason that you were not chosen, please make sure that you’ve addressed that.  For example, if we couldn’t match you with a mentor, consider listing a new possible mentor this year.