Mentors 2017
     Annenberg Memorial
     Finding UG Research
     Other Internships
     Amgen Grant Renewal
     P&S SURF Program
     Amgen Scholars Program

  Current Program

     Schedule 2017
     Participants 2017
     Rodent Training
     Research Article
     Research Article (concise)
     Discussion Groups
     SURF Symposium (pdf)
     Poster Preparation
     Events in NYC
     Personal Statement
     Graduate School Resources

  Previous SURF

     Schedule 2016
     Participants 2016
     Participants 2015
     Participants 2014
     Participants 2013
     Bio Dept

SURF Schedule 2017 TBA

SURF Schedule 2016

April 29th Student submits email from mentor with 5 references
May 31st 9:30- 10am

Vertebrate Training-if applicable

501 Northwest Corner Building
May 31st 10am-12pm Safety Training 501 Northwest Corner Building
May 31st 12pm-1pm Lunch 800 Fairchild
June 1st 6pm Picnic Dodge Plaza
June 3rd 5pm Columbia & Barnard proposals submitted to section head  
June 9th 12-2pm

Martin Chalfie
GFP: Lighting Up Life
Columbia University
Networking Lecture and Lunch

601 Fairchild
June 10th 5pm Deadline for proposal approval  
Week 3 Weekly meetings begin: Peer and Journal club introductions
Week 4 No Weekly Meetings
Week 5 Journal Club; Parts of article; cartooning demo
June 27th 12pm-1:30pm

Carol Prives
p53, Warden of Cancer
Columbia University
Networking Lecture and Lunch

Week 6 Oral presentation exercise; Cartoon
Week 7 Elevator pitch
Week 8 Oral presentations
Week 9 Oral presentations
Week 10 Oral presentations
August 29th
Submit final signed
PDF article

Weekly Meetings

All students in the SURF Program will meet weekly in small discussion groups for the scientific comunications seminar, beginning June 13th until August 5th. There will be no weekly meetings the week of June 20th.The purpose of these groups is to provide a structured setting in which students can discuss their work with their peers, learn about others' work, and develop their scientific communication and evaluation skills.

During the course of the summer, each student will prepare a research paper written in the format of a journal article and present a 15 minute talk about his or her research. Toward the beginning of the summer, weekly discussion groups will cover topics including critical evaluation of data, critical reading of research papers, and the protocols of professional research communication. As the summer progresses, the focus will shift toward writing and peer-evaluating drafts of student research papers, and research presentations.

Attendance in discussion groups is mandatory. This is an integral part of your training, and you are expected to attend every week. If you must miss a session you may make it up by attending the other session in the same week. However, you may not substitute a session from another week. If for some reason you cannot attend either section in a given week, notify your instructor in advance and schedule a one-on-one meeting with the instructor instead.

In-class participation is expected. Anticipate the deadlines for your work; discuss them with your mentor and set up pre-deadlines when you can review the work with your mentor, allowing time for her or him to give you feedback.

If you have a legitimate reason to move a deadline, and you communicate this reason to your mentor and instructor in a timely manner, then deadlines can be adjusted.

Recommended text (not required):

Victoria E. McMillan, Writing Papers in the Biological Sciences, 3rd ed.1997


SURF Stipend = $4000, paid in two installments of $2,000 each.
Payment of the first $2,000, will be paid in July. Payment of the second $2,000 is contingent upon submitting your research article as a pdf file by the deadline (the last working day in August). Stipend will be paid in September/beginning of October.

In addition to submitting a pdf file, all articles must be signed by the Principal Investigator (Faculty Member). An electronic signature will be accepted. Please print your PI's name next to where they should sign.

Pdf files should be emailed to If you have any questions beyond confirmation of receipt of the article, please contact Chanda Springer at

Stipend checks can be picked up at the Bursar's Office in Kent Hall. You will need to bring your ID (State ID, passport) in order to pick up your check.