Mentors 2015
     Annenberg Memorial
     Finding UG Research
     Other Internships
     Amgen Scholars Program
     Amgen Grant Renewal

  Current Program

     Schedule 2015
     Participants 2015
     Sand SURF Program
     Rodent Training
     Research Article
     Research Article (concise)
     Discussion Groups
     SURF Symposium (pdf)
     Poster Preparation
     Jobs @ CU or NYC
     Events in NYC
     Personal Statement
     Graduate School Resources

  Previous SURF

     Schedule 2014
     Participants 2014
     Participants 2013
     Participants 2012
     Participants 2011
     Bio Dept

SURF Schedule 2015TBA

SURF Schedule 2014

May 1st Student submits email from mentor with 5 references to administration to ensure that the student is familiar with the lab's area of research
May 27th
Safety Training 501 Schermerhorn
May 27th
Lunch 800 Fairchild
May 30th
Columbia & Barnard proposals submitted to section head
June 6th

Lecture: Martin Chalfie
GFP: How Science ctually gets done
Columbia University

501 Schermerhorn
June 6th
Deadline for proposal approval  
Week 4 Weekly meetings begin; Peer introductions; Journal club introduction
Week 5 Journal Club; Parts of article; cartooning demo
Week 6 Introductions due; good and bad slides discussion
Week 7 Bad and good oral presentations; Elevator pitch; Cartoon due
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 15th until July 31st. 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 12 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 on 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.