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SURE (Summer Undergraduate Research Experience)

Program Description | Highlights | History and Assessment | Summer Archives

Program Description

Summer Undergraduate Research Program at Emory (SURE) allows undergraduate students to conduct supervised research with a faculty mentor. Students receive training in the research methods applicable to their research plan, analyze their data and create written and oral presentations of their results. At the end of the summer, students participate in a formal research symposium.

Panels of faculty and graduate students help explore mentoring issues, and make recommendations on how to choose a graduate program and how to balance work and family responsibilities. Speakers address their own involvement in science careers and the requirements for success in their fields. Weekly ethics discussions allow students to explore the ethical aspects of research careers. Awards for scientific posters are made at the end of the program. Approved posters and essays will be published through our program web site.

Funding for SURE is provided through support and contributions from the following partners. 

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Atlanta Center for Translational Research in Endometriosis (ACTRE)

Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI)

Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (GDBBS)

Concerned Parents for AIDS Research (CPFA)

Center for Chemical Evolution (CCE)

Center for Stereoselective C-H Functionalization (CCHF)

Emory Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Training Grant (NIH)

Emory's Space Radiation Research grant (NASA)

Endocrine Society Minority Access Program (ES MAP)

NASA Specialized Center of Research (NSCOR)

Pediatric Engineering Research Summer Experience (PERSE)

Summer Undergraduate Program in Emory Renal Research (SUPERR)

 individual research faculty mentors

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SURE Program Highlights

Program Information for Applicants and Mentors
External applicants submit an essay explaining why they wish to participate and indicate potential mentors and areas of research they would like to pursue. Emory applicants submit a research proposal they develop with a faculty mentor. All applicants submit application forms, transcripts, and a letter of recommendation. See links to the right for additional information.


Mentor Listing

Applicants should identify potential mentors via department and program pages:

||  Emory University Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (GDBBS)  ||  Anthropology ||  Biology  ||  Chemistry ||  Environmental Studies  || Math/Computer Sciences  ||  Physics  || Psychology ||  NBB ||  Human Health  ||

Finding a Research Mentor
Emory students need to identify a research mentor and submit a mentor-approved proposal as part of their SURE application. This document offers general guidelines and may be particularly useful to students who are seeking their first research position.


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SURE History and Assessment

More than 1400 students (57% from Emory) and 400 faculty mentors have participated in the SURE program.  Using follow-up survey data and academic transcripts, we gauged SURE’s impact on levels of interest in, preparedness for, and actual pursuit of graduate study and professional careers in the sciences for the program’s first 15 summer cohorts (1990-2004). Our follow-up survey indicated significant increases in all research preparedness skills considered, notably in ability to give a poster research presentation, to discuss research at a graduate school interview, and to apply research ethics principles. About a third of SURE graduates went on to complete a graduate degree over 90% considered SURE as important or very important in their academic development. Respondents reported significant pre/post increases in the level of interest in academic and research careers, and reported high levels of employment in science careers and job satisfaction.

SURE depends upon HHMI and other grants for its support as well as the generous investment of faculty mentors. The SURE program inspired and catalyzed other Emory investments in undergraduate research leading to the Scholarly Inquiry and Research at Emory (SIRE) and INSPIRE programs. SIRE and INSPIRE are funded by Emory College. Many institutions have endowed summer research programs. This is a high priority.

A recent publication summarizes the impact that SURE participation has on its alumni:

Promoting Undergraduate Interest, Preparedness, and Professional Pursuit in the Sciences: An Outcomes Evaluation of the SURE Program at Emory University
Junge, B., C. Quiñones, J. Kakietek, and P. Marsteller. CBE—Life Sciences EducationVol. 9, 119 –132, Summer 2010

...Respondents reported postprogram increases in the level of interest in academic and research careers, and reported high levels of employment in science careers and job satisfaction. Regression analyses of Emory SURE participant transcripts revealed that participants take significantly more science courses as seniors and earn higher grades in those courses than nonparticipants. This trend held after correcting for indicators of prior interest (first-year course work, GPA, and math SAT scores), gender, and minority status.

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