Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)


The College of Pharmacy at UIC invites undergraduate students to apply for the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program. The objective of this program is to introduce undergraduate students to biomedical research in order to heighten interest in science as a career and increase the number of young scientists entering the biomedical research disciplines.


The SURF program is located on UIC’s West Campus, in the center of the Illinois Medical District–one of the largest concentrations of advanced health care facilities in the nation– and just minutes from downtown Chicago. Our location gives us convenient access to a diverse range of cutting-edge research, collaborators and patient populations.

The SURF Program is funded by an institutional award from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET).

Program Dates

The SURF program runs for 10 weeks, starting on Monday, June 1, 2020 and ending on Friday, August 7, 2020.

SURF Program Description

ASPET-sponsored SURF program is for undergraduate students interested in biomedical research.  Students will work on independent research projects in the laboratories of their faculty mentors.  Before beginning work, students will attend relevant laboratory safety training.  In addition to individual mentoring, the program offers number of enrichment activities:  research seminars, advanced research instrumentation workshops, career day at a local pharmaceutical company, instructions on how to prepare a scientific presentation, practice talks and  a mini-symposium where all the participants present their research projects in front of the College audience.  SURF participants will receive compensation of $3,000 for the 10 week period. New in 2020: the SURF program will pay for travel to/from UIC at the beginning/end of the summer. Details will be discussed with fellows once they are accepted into the program.


The 2020 Application Cycle is now open!   Please submit all application materials, including having references sent, by Monday, January 27, 2020.

Participating in research through the College of Pharmacy was an excellent method for exposing me to different research techniques and applications of organic chemistry. It was wonderful to learn first-hand about different chemical processes commonly employed in medicinal chemistry research, and I am excited to bring my newly acquired knowledge back to my home institution and help train other students I work with.

2017 SURF Fellow

I wish I would be working on the same project for the fall semester! I am planning on coming back to apply to graduate school. I had such a good experience here.

2018 SURF Fellow

As of the end of the 2019 SURF program...

  • >80% of UIC SURF fellows who have graduated have gone onto either graduate or professional school

  • Applicants have come from 26 states and Puerto Rico

  • 3.73 was the average GPA of SURF fellows


Are you a former UIC SURF fellow with news to share?  Contact us and we’ll highlight your accomplishments!

Former SURF Fellows win at 2019 ABRCMS Meeting

Rocio & Joe at the 20190 ABRCMS Meeting


Two former SURF fellows won 2019 ABRCMS Physiology and Pharmacology Presentation Awards. Congrats to Rocío Rivera Rodríguez and Joe Bernal for their award winning poster presentations!

Rocío (center left, with award, and far right, at poster) presented her work from the Burdette lab: “Baicalein: a pure compound from Scutellaria baicalensis with phytoprogestin and phytocorticoid activity”.

Joe (center right, with award, and far left, at poster) presented his work from the Hanakahi lab:  “Effects of 4-hydroxy-nonenal on topoisomerase 1-containing yeast”.