Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our ability to host an in-person experience of SURP 2021 will be contingent upon the guidance and policies of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, as well as city and state requirements. We will continue to keep our program applicants informed of any changes.

If you are an aspiring biomedical or physician scientist in need of acquiring valuable skills and hands-on research experience in preparation for a competitive PhD and MD/PhD program, the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) is the right program for you.

Spanning 10 weeks, SURP at ISMMS offers undergraduate students with a strong background in science the opportunity to conduct intensive research across a variety of disciplines, in a vibrant, diverse, and nurturing environment. Consistent with the GSBS mission to support the innovative graduate education of tomorrow’s future leaders in biomedical sciences in a diverse, inclusive, equitable, and multidisciplinary learning environment, and in partnership with the Office for Diversity and Inclusion at the Mount Sinai Health System, we are committed to encouraging the participation of students from groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences.

SURP at ISMMS is unique in that, at the culmination of the program, students are evaluated for admission into the FlexGrad Program, our early admission pathways into PhD and MD/PhD programs at ISMMS, based on criteria that include - but are not limited to - acquired research skills, as well as oral and poster presentations.

COVID-19 Statement: While we hope to bring students safely to campus for summer 2021, we are also planning an all-remote program, should health and safety considerations require it.

Program Overview

SURP runs for ten weeks from June to August and is a non-degree, non-credit undergraduate experience for juniors or seniors who are interested in pursuing careers as research scientists (future PhD and MD/PhD graduate students only).

Accepted students are matched with a mentor from among the 350+ GSBS training faculty, with a laboratory of interest in students’ desired areas of research.

The program provides:

  1. Intensive research training in a cutting-edge biomedical laboratory, giving our students an insider’s perspective into academic life and close mentoring by our faculty members.
  2. Assistance and guidance on the PhD application process, including a series of information sessions and professional development workshops on how to prepare a competitive PhD or MD/PhD application, a one-on-one advisement session, and mock interviews with our PhD training faculty.
  3. Full access to seminar series, journal clubs, and work-in-progress meetings to enhance students’ scientific knowledge on distinct research fields and novel cutting edge-technologies and to introduce students to research-intensive career options and role models for career pathways
  4. Full access to the School’s recreation office, networking opportunities with current students, faculty members, and school administration through social events.
  5. The opportunity to meet with directors of our graduate programs (e.g., PhD and MD/PhD) to discuss and answer questions about their programs.
  6. An opportunity to present the SURP research project at a poster session.
  7. An opportunity to apply for the FlexGrad Program, our early admissions pathway into the PhD and MD/PhD programs at ISMMS. Benefits of this program include an expedited interview process and early acceptance into graduate school.

Housing and Financing

SURP students will receive a $5,000 payment, and either free housing in Mount Sinai’s student residence or housing allowances, depending on availability. Payments are subject to all federal, state, and local taxes.

Program Eligibility

Applicants need to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be an undergraduate student currently enrolled in sophomore or junior year at a college or university located within the United States
  • Have a strong background in science and a passion for research and a desire to pursue it professionally, possibly through graduate education in biomedical sciences, in a PhD or MD/PhD program.

How to Apply

We begin accepting applications in mid-August for enrollment the following year. To apply to SURP, please complete the online application, and submit the following:

  • Official high school transcript
  • Official college transcript
  • SAT or ACT Scores
  • 3 letters of recommendation. We strongly recommend that at least two letters of recommendation are from someone who knows you very well and can attest to your passion and commitment to research and science. If you do have previous research experience, it is advisable to have the people writing your recommendation comment specifically about your experience in their letters.

All applications and recommendation letters are due by January 15, 2021. Applicants will be notified about their application status by mid-February.

Seminar Series

SURP’s scientific environment is further enriched by our Summer Seminar Series, which brings students together each week, exposing them to other research projects.

Areas of Research

Based on the interests that applicants have expressed in their applications, they will be matched with specific research mentors who are carefully chosen from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences faculty. You will spend your summer in the laboratory, engaged in supervised research, and will participate in cutting-edge projects in one of our PhD multidisciplinary training areas:


Meet the SURP Director

Hala Harony-Nicolas, PhD
Director SURP
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry