Mentors 2020
    Annenberg Memorial
    Finding UG Research
    UG Research Opportunities
    Amgen Grant Renewal
    Amgen Scholars Program

  Current Program

     Schedule 2020
     Participants 2020
     Rodent Training
     Research Article
     Discussion Groups
     SURF Symposium (pdf)
     Cancer Symposium (pdf)
     Poster Preparation
     Events in NYC
     Personal Statement
     Graduate School Resources

  Previous SURF

     Schedule 2019
     Participants 2019
     Participants 2018
     Participants 2017
     Participants 2016
     Bio Dept

SURF Schedule 2019

April 26th Student submits email from mentor with 5 references
May 28th 9-10am

Rodent Training-if applicable

501 Schermerhorn
May 28th 10am-12pm Safety Training 501 Schermerhorn
May 28th 12pm-1pm Lunch 800 Fairchild
May 29th 6pm Picnic 800 Fairchild
May 31st 5pm Columbia & Barnard proposals submitted to section head  
June 4th 9:30-11:30am

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

700 Fairchild
Week 4 - 7 Weekly Science Communications Seminar
July 10th 3:45-5pm

Dr. Eric Kandel
Bone Hormone Improves Memory In Old Mice
Columbia University
Networking Lecture

Jerome L. Greene Bldg. (3227 Broadway, 9th Fl)
Week 8 Oral presentations
Week 9 Oral presentations
Week 10 Oral presentations & Submit Article Draft
July 30th 1:30-5:30pm Undergraduate Cancer Research Symposium Irving Cancer Research Center Bldg. Auditorium 1130 St. Nicholas (bet. 166th &167th)
August 16th   Submit revised article to PI w/section head, direct mentor & Chanda CCed  
August 28th 4pm 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 17th until August 2nd. 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 = $5000, paid in two installments.
Payment of the first stipend, $3,000, will be paid in June. Payment of the second stipend, $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.