- I am
planning to graduate this spring. Am I eligible?
Yes. In fact, you are highly encouraged to apply. If you are
thinking that research in graduate school may be the right career path
for you, a summer experience in research and the mentoring that our
program Director, Dr. Sun, and your research supervisor can give you,
can help you decide. On the other hand, if you are a senior who is
solely interested in entering medical school to become a physician, your
application will not receive a high priority.
- I am in a masters program, am
No. If you are interested in research, you should either apply
to our graduate program or write to specific faculty to find out if
they have opportunities in their labs, independent of the SURF
- I am an international student
residing outside of the United States. Am I eligible?
No. Due to the visa issues and time and
likely delays to process such applications, we do not consider
applicants for SURF from international students who are not already
in the United States.
- What is the start and end
date of the
The research training supported by this fellowship must be done
during the four month period between May 1 and August 31. The main
requirement is that the student commit to the equivalent of 12 weeks
of full-time research training. The exact start and end dates are
determined in consultation with the student’s mentor. Many students
begin around May 15 and finish up around August 7. Generally,
participating students present their summer’s research (or interim
progress report) in a SURF symposium around the first or second week
- Should I ask my references to
write letters of recommendation?
No. We ask only for the names of references. We will follow up
with requests for recommendations only for the highest ranked
applications. Our evaluation process usually involves talking first
with the applicant to confirm interest and form our own independent
impression. Recommendations and transcripts will be needed only if
the application moves to the next stage of consideration. This
procedure also enables us to ask specific questions to your
references about intellectual capability and research experience.
- Can I take classes during the
If you are already a Wayne State student it might be possible to
take a class if approved by your mentor. Non-Wayne State students
who are awarded the fellowship are not permitted to register for
classes at Wayne. Fellowship recipients are assumed to do full time
research training for 12 weeks. If taking a class reduces the
amount of research training accomplished per week, then, according
to what you agree with your mentor, you may be expected to extend
the research training period so that you get a full 12 weeks in the
- Are there other activities
for SURF students during the summer besides research?
Generally, the 4 – 10 summer fellows meet with the program
director or other faculty members on a biweekly basis, to provide
social interaction, lunch, and additional information about graduate
life. These gatherings may include meeting with current grad
students, admissions officers, hearing about other faculty members’
research, visiting the Art Institute or other Detroit institutions,
an annual picnic, student symposium, etc. Some years it includes an
outing to a Tigers game. We try to make all aspects of the summer a
fun and enjoyable experience for the student.
- Are housing or travel
allowances provided by the fellowship program?
No. However, summer housing in on-campus dormitories is
available at a reasonable cost. Alternatively, some students have
teamed up with one another to rent a house or apartment together.
If we call to discuss your application and housing is a concern,
raise the issue then. Some mentors have provided additional funding
for out-of-state students if housing assistance were needed.
However, this is possible only by special arrangement with specific
mentors. No travel allowances are provided.
- I am a foreign student. Am I
eligible to apply for the SURF fellowship?
Depends. If you are currently a student in the United States and
meet other program criteria, you are encouraged to apply. However,
if you are a foreign national living outside the United States and
do not have a “green card,” you are not eligible. This policy is
only for the SURF fellowship. Applications to our graduate program
can come from either foreign or American students.