Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Contact: Dr. Qinglian Liu

SURPApplication [MS Word]


To recruit academically excellent undergraduate students to engage in research projects on a full-time basis in the summer, and to enrich the candidate pools for the PhD and MD/PhD programs in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at VCU.


The duration of SURP in Physiology and Biophysics is 10 weeks, from early June to mid August. Students are expected to work full-time in the host lab. 

At the outset, each student with his/her mentor will produce: 1) a list of goals for the summer research training that are specific, realistic and scientifically/intellectually interesting, and 2) an outline of the experimental plan.

During the summer, in addition to work in the host lab, students will interact with faculty members and graduate students in the department to acquaint themselves with various research opportunities, facilities and the general environment of the department. Mechanisms to encourage these interactions include: 1) a breakfast gathering once per week with scientific presentations from members of the Department or to present progress reports in the projects at the midpoint and end of the program and 2) social events for the students led by current PhD and MD/PhD candidates.

At the conclusion of the program, each student will give a poster presentation summarizing his/her results at the SURP in Physiology and Biophysics Poster Symposium.

Expected Outcomes

  • Learn basic experimental techniques used in host labs.
  • Learn general concepts in the research field in host labs.
  • Obtain experience in public speaking and data presentation in the Department.

Depending on the extent of contribution to the research project students will have made, they can potentially be coauthors on the paper(s) resulting from the project(s) they participated in.

Student eligibility requirement

Undergraduate students at all levels are welcome to apply.

Preference will be given to those applicants who have the strongest background in the following subject areas Biology; Chemistry; Physics; Calculus.

How to apply

Complete the application form and include:

  1. A brief description of why interested in the SURP in Physiology and Biophysics (word limit: 500)
  2. A list of previous work/research experience
  3. List of undergraduate courses taken and grades
  4. Three references (name, title, affiliation, phone/fax number and e-mail address)

Where to send the application

Send the above by March 1st in a single package or as e-mail attachment to:

Qinglian Liu, Ph.D.
Director of SURP in Physiology and Biophysics
Department of Physiology and Biophysics
Virginia Commonwealth University
1101 E. Marshall Street
PO Box 980551
Richmond, VA 23298
FAX: 804-828-7382

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