OK-INBRE Summer Undergraduate Research Program

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, CRISP, DiCR 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 research 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.  Each program has its own application. Students will be selected on a competitive basis and will be placed in a research laboratory at either their home institution, other four-year institution or a research-intensive institution in Oklahoma (OUHSC, OU Norman, OSU, OSU CHS, or The University of Tulsa).  Students may specify a faculty mentor preference on the application. Mentors are allowed to host a maximum of two OK-INBRE summer students per year.

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 okinbre@ouhsc.edu  

OK-INBRE SURP Qualifications

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

Applicants must have completed at least 30 hours/2 years of undergraduate study by the time of the summer term and exhibit a record of high academic achievement in science coursework including laboratories if applicable.

Students who graduate in the spring are eligible to apply for a summer research experience.  Students who graduate in December prior to the summer term are not eligible to participate.

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.

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 may only participate in OK-INBRE SURP two times.

The Admissions Committee will review applications and make selection decisions in late February or early March.   Applicants will receive updates and information via the e-mail address provided on their application.  

Pre-employment Training

Community college students will participate in a biotech “boot camp” during the first week of the program hosted by Oklahoma City Community College. Skills taught include lab safety and etiquette, notebook keeping, pipetting, media nd solution prep, aseptic technique, electrophoresis, plasmid prep and manipulation, PCR, basic mammalian cell culture, protein purification, ELISA. 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. Weekly educational enrichment meetings are held to discuss research-related skills, career opportunities, preparation for graduate school, research poster design and other topics.  The program concludes with a poster presentation of the research project.  

The program provides $5,000 summer salary for the student and $2,200 for laboratory supplies, which will be allocated directly to the faculty mentor where the research is being performed. The student will be hired as a temporary employee of OUHSC.  The student is responsible for all living expenses, parking fees, travel to the mentor lab, etc. 

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.

Research Areas

Students engage in basic laboratory research immersed in the intellectual environment of the laboratory. 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.  Possible research areas include Aging, Autoimmunity/Immunology, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, Cancer/Cell Cycle Biology, Diabetes/Metabolism, Microbiology/Bacteriology, and Neuroscience.