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Weis Center for Research Summer Undergraduate Research Program

From left to right: Back Row: Tooraj Mirshahi, PhD (Staff Scientist WCR), Nishikanta Elangbam (University of Wisconsin - Madison), Michael Bedrin (George Washington University), Jordan Sukys (Bucknell University), Matthew DeLong (York College of Pennsylvania), Amy Sudol (Cornell University), Katie Bredbenner (University of Rochester), Darrin Doran(Bloomsburg University) Front Row: Chelsea Mandell (LaFayette College), Emily Arner (Connecticut College), Robert Moyer (University of Pittsburgh), Kelsey Stayer (University of Pittsburgh), Amanda Pulsifer (Bloomsburg University), Elizabeth Stahl (University of Pittsburgh), Janet Robishaw, PhD (Senior Scientist WCR) and Gerda Breitwieser (Senior Scientist WCR).

Our Program:
The Weis Center for Research Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) provides an exceptional opportunity for undergraduate students to conduct laboratory research under the mentorship of our nationally and internationally recognized scientists. This program is designed for undergraduates with a strong background in the sciences who are considering a career in biomedical research. Participants experience the joy of scientific discovery as well as the challenges inherent in scientific research while investigating the molecular and genetic basis of human disease. Specifically, participants develop skills in scientific reasoning, laboratory methods and scientific communication through interaction with our scientific staff.

The WCR-SURP is competitive, with acceptance based on grades, test scores, recommendations and stated career goals. You may apply if you are currently a sophomore or junior in a four year college or university. No previous research experience is required; however, applicants should have taken laboratory based biology and chemistry course work prior to application. The 2014 program will begin May 27th and end on August 5th. During this period, students work full-time (approx. 40 h/week) on an independent project under the guidance of a staff or senior scientist. Once a week, students meet to review pertinent journal articles, learn about ongoing research or discuss their own project. In addition, students may attend workshops addressing ethical issues in scientific research and professional development topics. Participants are required to write an abstract and present their findings orally to their peers and the WCR scientific staff.

Program Features:

  • College sophomores and juniors are eligible for this 10-week program that begins May 27 and ends Aug. 5.
  • To the degree possible, students are matched with laboratories according to their stated interest and work on projects under the direct supervision of our staff or senior scientists.
  • Students are selected from diverse academic backgrounds. Past participants represent more than 46 colleges and universities in 10 states.
  • Students are provided opportunities to develop critical thinking skills through participation in a weekly journal club.
  • Students participate in workshops on ethical issues in research
  • SURP participants have the option of attending workshops facilitated by the Geisinger Internship Office covering such topics as preparing a resume or CV, interviewing, and social network etiquette.

Program Participation:

  • SURP students are paid $3,600 for the 10-week period.
  • Selection is based on academic performance, standardized tests scores, letters of recommendation and stated career goals.
  • Applications are accepted until Feb. 21, 2014
  • For additional information, contact

To apply: Complete the SURP application and provide all requested documents to by Feb. 21, 2014.

Additional Links:
WCR SURP Mentors
About the Weis Center for Research, Geisinger Clinic
Participants and Topics 2011
Participants and Topics 2010
Participants and Topics 2009
Participants and Topics 2008
Participants and Topics 2007
Participants and Topics 2006