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Summer 2021 program dates: May 24 - July 20, 2021
Application Deadline: January 31, 2021

Summer Undergraduate Research Program Goals

The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) hosts four Summer Undergraduate Research Programs (SURP) aimed at preparing and encouraging undergraduate students to pursue careers in biomedical research or health related sciences. The programs are OK-INBRE, SURE, CURE and NARCH.  OUHSC SURPs introduce outstanding undergraduate students to the rigorous academic preparation required to achieve these goals through participation in intensive, hands-on research experiences in the laboratories of biomedical faculty mentors.  Students spend their summer in an experienced biomedical research lab and work with other students and faculty to pursue their own projects over the course of an eight-week period.  On the final day, students show off their progress at a poster session to the campus community. A Celebration Luncheon follows where student accomplishments are acknowledged by their advisors, awards are presented, and a former summer student returns to campus to present a Keynote Address.  Students participating in our intensive programs receive generous stipends to allow pursuit of their research activities full-time (40 hours/week) without distraction.  To find out more about all SURP programs offered by OUHSC, visit the OUHSC SURP page.

A complete application will include:

  • Completion of an online application
  • Personal Statement
  • University/College Transcript
  • Two Letters of Recommendation

Before you apply:

  • Write your Personal Statement (you will upload the text of your personal statement into a text box within the application)
  • Save your transcript(s) as a PDF(s) (unofficial transcripts accepted)
  • Have the contact information for your recommenders to submit their letters of recommendation. Your references will receive an email requesting a letter of recommendation. You will receive an email once the letters have been submitted.

If you have any questions regarding your application or the program, please do not hesitate to contact us at 

OK-INBRE SURP Qualifications

Applicants must be a student at one of the following institutions in Oklahoma during the spring 2021 semester: Cameron University, East Central University, Langston University, Northeastern State University, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Rogers State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, University of Central Oklahoma, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Community College, Redlands Community College, Tulsa Community College or College of the Muscogee Nation.

Applicants must have completed two years of undergraduate study and exhibit a record of high academic achievement in science coursework including laboratories if applicable.

Applicants must be enrolled in at least six credit hours at one of the eligible colleges during the spring 2021 semester.

Students who graduate in spring 2021 are eligible to apply for a summer 2021 research experience.

Students may only participate in OK-INBRE SURP two times.

Accepted students must complete documentation of eligibility to be employed in the United States. This will include a background check, IRS form I-9 and any required supporting documentation, and IRS form W4.

Accepted students must attend a mandatory orientation meeting in May.

Students accepted to a graduate or professional school by the application deadline are not eligible to apply. An applicant who is accepted into the OK-INBRE SURP and is subsequently admitted to a graduate or professional school is still eligible to participate.


Students will be selected on a competitive basis to be placed in a laboratory at the University at the Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, the University of Oklahoma Norman campus, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, the University of Tulsa, a biotech industry lab, or any of the eleven Oklahoma primarily undergraduate universities including Cameron University, East Central University, Langston University, Northeastern State University, Northwestern State University, Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Rogers State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, the University of Central Oklahoma, and the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. You may specify your lab preference on the application. Be advised that while the selection committee will do its best to accommodate your preference, locations are limited to where the mentors have their labs.

Pre-employment Training

Community college students will participate in a biotech “boot camp” during the first week of the program. The boot camp will be held at Oklahoma City Community College. Skills taught include equipment instruction in balances, pipetting devices, volumetrics, autoclaves, electrophoresis apparatus, centrifuges, pH meters, and UV/vis spectrophotometers, plus practice in calculating molarity, percent, dilutions and in making solutions, media and buffers. The program content of the boot camp may change depending on the backgrounds of the students accepted into the program. Students will earn two hours of college credit for participation in the boot camp.

Summer Employment

Summer employment for selected students will consist of conducting research in a university lab. Each selected student will be provided a description of their research project and mentor. Mentors, graduate students, and laboratory technicians work very closely with the undergraduate student, teaching science as well as methods and techniques while allowing the student to assume responsibility for the project. The program concludes with a poster presentation of the research project.

The program provides $7,200 per student during the summer term. This consists of a $5,000 summer salary for the student and $2,200 for laboratory supplies to be allocated to the faculty mentor where the research is being performed. The student is responsible for all living expenses, parking fees, travel to the mentor lab, etc. Assistance with coordinating housing will be provided if needed.

The scheduled work hours will be determined by the mentor, but typically will be from 8am – 5pm, depending on the type of work being performed in the lab. Because this is full-time employment, it is also expected that any other employment will not interfere with the scheduled work time in the lab. The same is applicable to any courses being taken during the summer.

The Admissions Committee will be reviewing applications and making decisions in late February or early March.   You will receive updates and information about decisions being made in regards to your application via the e-mail address you provide for yourself on your application.  

Research Areas

Students engage in basic laboratory research immersed in the intellectual environment of the laboratory, including lab meetings. Mentors, graduate students, post-docs and laboratory personnel work closely with students to share methods and techniques that will enable students to assume responsibility for their own research projects if practicable. Attempts are made to match the interests of each participant to a mentoring research professor with related interests with the overarching goal of exposing students to dynamic, cutting edge research training projects that have been successful in the biomedical arena.  Because the OK-INBRE program is funded by the National Institutes of Health, research projects submitted by mentors are biomedical in nature.  

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Cell Biology

Microbiology & Immunology



Pharmaceutical Sciences


Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation


For those students placed in labs at OUHSC or OMRF, weekly educational enrichment meetings are held to discuss research-related skills, to familiarize students with the areas of research at the OU Health Sciences Center and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation beyond their assigned laboratory, and to promote networking. Topics also include career opportunities for PhDs in biomedical sciences, preparation for graduate school, financial aid advising, etc. Students have opportunities to learn about all graduate programs at OUHSC and to visit laboratories in participating departments.  Optional social activities are also scheduled.