Summer Research (SURPH)


A Summer Fellowship for Undergraduate Students

Due to continued uncertainties about the occupancy of laboratories and regional travel restrictions, we regret to announce the SURPH Program will not accept applications for summer 2021.

Student 1 in lab Student 2 in lab Student 3 in lab Student 4 in lab

General Information

This ten-week summer research experience focuses on learning how scientific discovery at the bench can be translated to treatment of disease. Students will train with a faculty mentor and carry out an independent research project in Duke’s Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology. The purpose of the fellowship is to: 1) immerse students in areas of biomedical science such as pharmacology that are not readily accessible on undergraduate campuses, 2) expose students to the connection between biomedical research and drug discovery, and 3) create networking opportunities for students to pursue graduate study in biomedical science.

In addition to a rich scientific program, SURPH@Duke will feature visits to unique Duke destinations and excursions in Durham and the nearby Research Triangle Park. The fellows are encouraged to explore this unique rapidly, developing part of the nation.

The SURPH@Duke is a 10-week full time fellowship, thus, students may not be involved in any other concurrent program or take simultaneous summer classes. The 2020 dates are May 17-July 25, 2020. The first week of SURPH will be conducted offsite for orientation and background reading. Arrival at Duke will be on Sunday, May 24.


Lab member working

Eligible applicants are those who are sophomores or juniors at US colleges and universities (graduation year of 2021 or 2022). We encourage those who feel disadvantaged in educational advancement and those of minority groups to apply. Selection criteria are based on the following: academic record (including extracurricular activities), personal statement, short answer responses, and letters of recommendation. Applicants must be a US citizen or permanent resident.

Online Application

The SURPH@Duke application must be filled out online HERE.

It is strongly recommended that the applicant preview the application prior to submitting it online. Students should complete the short answers in a Word processing program and then copy and paste them into the online application.  Once the online application is started, it must be completed in one sitting.

Some of the items that students will be asked to provide include:2017 SURPH Program students

  • Students will be asked to choose 3 faculty mentors for the summer research based on their interests. Please review the participating faculties’ interests here.
  • Students will provide the names of 3 academic references for a written recommendation. The form may be downloaded here surph_ref 2020. Letters submitted on letterhead are also accepted. Applicants are responsible for sharing the form with their academic references.
  • Students will email or mail a copy of their official transcript.

The application deadline will be February 10, 2020 and notifications will be sent around March 1, 2020.

Stipend and Housing

Students will receive a summer stipend and food points. On-campus housing is required and will be covered by the SURPH@Duke Fellowship.


Students hanging out on bridge in Duke Gardens

Program Contact:
Jamie Baize-Smith
SURPH@Duke Fellowship Program Administrator