How to Apply

The 2021 SURF Program Application is now closed!

SURF applications are accepted ONLY from Columbia University and Barnard College Undergraduates!

Applications will be accepted until 5pm on February 16th, 2021.

The application will ask you to briefly describe your laboratory experience, career plans, and and a science related finding in the last ten years that inspired you.

  • You should ask two people to write you letters of recommendation addressing your suitability for this fellowship. Specify their names and email addresses on the application form and they will receive instructions via email. All recommendations must be emailed through the application website by February 16th, 2021 at 5pm. Be sure to submit your application with ample time for the people writing your recommendations to email them by February 16th.

  • Please use ONLY your Columbia University or Barnard email address when you apply (e.g. [email protected] or [email protected]);do not apply using any other email address.

  • You will need to upload a PDF copy of your transcript from SSOL or eBear into the application form.

Acceptance into the SURF program requires that you: Work in the designated lab for 10 weeks starting June 7th

  • Check the email you applied to the program with regularly
  • Not attend classes, with the exception of 1 Summer A course or hold another job or volunteer position during this time
  • If applicable, list Summer A course you will be taking
  • Attend the intensive safety instruction lecture(s) at the beginning of the SURF Program
  • Present your research at a weekly meeting
  • Discuss lab results during a weekly lab meeting at least once during the summer
  • Participate in the seminar on scientific communication skills
  • Submit a research article of your findings as an electronic file in pdf form, signed by principal investigator
  • Prepare a poster and participate at the SURF symposium during the spring semester
  • Notify us of any published articles on which your names appears that concern research you performed during SURF (or in the same lab after SURF) even after the SURF program has ended
  • Report any concurrent additional fellowships or funding
  • Have not participated in SURF previously
  • Not have a bachelor's degree

Unfortunately, we receive many more applications than we have SURF fellowships available. If you submit an application but are not accepted into the program, you may submit an application in future years.


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Department of Biological Sciences
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Columbia University
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Academic Office

Department of Biological Sciences
600 Fairchild Center
Mail Code 2402
Columbia University
1212 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027
[email protected]
212 854-4581