Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR)

The Office of Undergraduate Research is pleased to facilitate the following Bioscience Summer Undergraduate Research Programs in 2017:

  • Undergraduate Research Access for Minorities Program (URAMP)
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)
  • Utah Summer Undergraduate Research Program (USURP)

Starting in 2018, these programs will collectively be referred to as the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR). SPUR will serve students and mentors from all colleges and schools at the University of Utah.

Congratulations to our Summer 2017 Participants!

URAMP/SURP/USURP 2017 Program Description

The purpose of the program is to provide undergraduate students an intensive 10-week research experience under the mentorship of a University of Utah faculty member. The program provides opportunities to gain research experience in a variety of biological fields, including biochemistry, cell and developmental biology, ecology, genetics, immunology, molecular biology, and neurobiology.

The program runs May 31, 2017 to August 4, 2017.

The program emphasizes a collaborative research experience under the supervision of a University of Utah faculty member. At the time of application, students indicate their research interests, and selected students are assigned to projects/mentors based on shared interests and student experience. Details regarding expectations and/or requirements of the research are negotiated between the student and the faculty mentor, following program guidelines.

Throughout the program, students will have access to Office of Undergraduate Research staff, including our undergraduate research advisor and peer mentors. Students will additionally receive University of Utah student ID cards, providing for the ability to check out books from University Libraries, use computers on campus, receive student discounts, etc.

The program also emphasizes a cohort experience via welcome and closing receptions, peer advising, weekly education events, bi-weekly program meetings, and optional on-campus housing.


Applicants must be full-time undergraduate students who are eligible to work in the United States. No previous research experience is required. We particularly encourage applications from students who belong to an ethnic or racial group that is considered by the National Institutes of Health to be underrepresented in the biomedical sciences (African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Native Alaskan, Native Pacific Islander). Admission to the program is competitive and preference will be given to students who are currently sophomores or juniors.


A stipend of $3,500 will be paid to the student in four installments over the course of the program.

Travel & Housing

      • Participants may be eligible to receive up to $500 total in travel reimbursement for roundtrip travel to/from Salt Lake City.
      • All participants have the option of using on-campus housing (participants pay $250; the rest of the on-campus housing expense is covered by the program). Students may check-in beginning May 31 and must check out of on-campus housing by 10 am Friday, August 4, 2017.

Program Expectations

      • Time Commitment: This is a full-time program requiring a minimum of 35 hours per week spent conducting research under the supervision of the assigned faculty mentor and at other program-related meetings and events.
      • Bi-weekly Updates: Student participants are expected to present bi-weekly updates on their work.
      • Journal Submission: Student participants are required to submit a one-page summary of their experience to the University of Utah Undergraduate Research Journal upon completion of the program.
      • Undergraduate Research Education Series: Student participants are required to attend weekly research and professional development events.
      • Final Presentation: Student participants are required to present their work (poster format) at the Office of Undergraduate Research Summer Symposium held on Thursday, August 3, 2017.
      • UROP Proposal (optional): If eligible, University of Utah student participants are encouraged to prepare UROP proposals to allow them to continue their research in the Fall (or other future) semester. Support for UROP proposal preparation will be provided.


The 2017 application is now closed. The 2018 application will be available in late fall 2017.

Acceptance is highly competitive and applicants must complete the application process by the deadline to be considered for the upcoming summer’s program.

The application deadline is January 25, 2017.

Students will be selected based on the following criteria:

      • Strong interest in science
      • Must have completed one year of college
      • College transcript
      • Two letters of recommendation
      • Personal statement

Application Procedures

      1. Completed online application form
      2. Personal statement (max 500 words), describing your background, relevant experience, and reason for interest in the program (submitted via application form).
      3. Unofficial or official transcripts for all college work (uploaded via the online application; must have university name/insignia).
      4. Letters of recommendation will be uploaded by faculty members to the application.  Preferably, letters of recommendation are written by faculty members who can attest to the student’s suitability for research, motivation, and classroom performance.
      5. Applicants will receive notification of the Selection Committee’s decision via email in early March.

The application process is now closed. Acceptance notifications have been sent to our first round of accepted and waitlisted applicants.

Questions about the program? Email Megan Shannahan.


picture1 Malaina Gaddis, a 2009 summer student, presenting her research with Dr. Mario Capecchi, 2007 Nobel Laureate