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SURF 2015 student Keely O'Keefe interviews examined diets of women and children in Madagascar.

About the Program

The Fralin SURF program is a 10-week training program designed to give motivated Virginia Tech undergraduates the opportunity to engage in full time (approx. 40 hrs/wk) research and related professional development activities that mirror graduate training. The goal is to offer students experiences that will help them determine if they want to pursue a career in research while they develop skills for graduate school. The program includes weekly research and professional development seminars, periodic social events, and a final symposium during which students will present their research. Students selected to participate in this training program will receive a $4,000 stipend.

Though all Virginia Tech undergraduates considering a career in life science research are encouraged to apply, preference will be given to rising second and third year undergraduates, students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and students who have yet to engage in a full-time summer research experiences.

Because SURF fellows must commit at least 40 hrs/wk to the training program, fellows are not permitted to enroll in summer classes, participate in MCAT prep courses, engage in activities for pay, or engage in other activities that may interfere with program activities.

Students must identify a faculty mentor working in the life sciences at Virginia Tech before applying to the program. Some faculty member research areas can be found on the Fralin research site; however, the faculty member does not have to be affiliated with Fralin.

SURF in the News

2016

Fralin Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow investigates false pregnancy in black bears

Fralin Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow digs deep to investigate optimal plant production

Fralin Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow aims to help moms with children with autism

2015

Fralin Fellow investigates how environmental stress could promote tumor cell growth

Fralin Fellow examines diets of women and children in Madagascar

2014

Fralin Fellows investigate origin of Lou Gehrig's disease

Fralin Fellow advances collaborative research methods

Undergraduate studies how rhododendrons invade and conquer by disturbing nitrogen cycle

Fralin fellow examines health impacts of Community Supported Agriculture

2013

Students to study invasive fungal infection

Digging for clues to save declining bird populations

Women who steer engineering program

Student wins prestigious fellowship from American Society of Microbiology

Student investigates a less invasive way to analyze the brain that may benefit future veterans research

Student investigates matters close to the heart

Students develop skills and build relationships through summer undergraduate research programs

Student selected to present research to political leaders at the Council on Undergraduate Research's Posters on the Hill event

Six students to present at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research

Four Goldwater nominees announced

Seven undergraduate students awarded 2012-13 ACC Creativity and Innovation Fellowships

2012

Student researcher explored genomic medicine in summer fellowship

Student researchers take a walk on the 'wild' side

Undergraduate researcher examines ways to prevent obesity and reverse effects of metabolic syndrome

Undergraduate student researches methods to regenerate damaged tissue in people and horses

2011

Fralin summer fellowship transforms students into research scientists

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Fralin SURF 2018

Program dates: May 21-July 27, 2018

Deadline to apply: February 21, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. for students; February 25, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. for faculy endorsements

Apply now

Faculty support link

For more information, students can visit the OUR webpage or contact Keri Swaby at kswaby@vt.edu

"SURF was a huge stepping stone in my development as a scientist.  The program may have only been 10 weeks, but the lessons and friendships I gained from participating in SURF will last a lifetime."

-- Nick Lord, Crop & Soil Environmental Science, 2017

"The Fralin SURF Fellowship allows one to partake in societal changing research and the preparation for the summer research symposium was one of the most transformative experience during my preparation for medical school."

-- Michael Corbin II, Biochemistry, 2017

"SURF was one of the greatest experiences of my life.  Through the many hours spent in the laboratory of Dr. Daniel Slade, and the various seminars offered throughout the program, my aspirations of continuing to pursue research as a career was absolutely affirmed."

-- Hans Smith, Biochemistry, 2017