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Summer Undergraduate Research Program


Chalane Records (’15) was a 2015 SURP fellow with Dr. Terhorst on Expanding and Testing a Fragment-Based Library for Pharmaceutical Design.

SURP is Vanguard University’s implementation of formal summer undergraduate research. Last year, there were 46 applications for SURP. Based on application quality, GPA, lab experience, and recommendations from lab professors, ~18 students will be selected to receive a SURP Fellowship. STEM students register for 2 to 4 units of CHEM 485 or BIOL 485. All other majors register for the applied research course as designated by their departments.

Applications for the 2017 SURP program are now being accepted! SURP 2017 runs from May 15 to July 14, 2017 and applications are due April 1st, 2017 by 5:00pm. Drs. Sirvent and Lorance are the chemistry faculty sponsors for the UGR opportunities this summer; Drs. Fung, Ochoa and Calleja-Macias are participating from Biology. Dr. Hanna is the faculty mentor for Psychology, Dr. Park is the mentor from sociology, and Dr. Lin is the faculty mentor from liberal studies. For more information on the projects available, please see the project descriptions or contact the SURP Coordinator, Dr. Sirvent.

Kyle Stansifer (’09), a 2007 SURP fellow, cloned putative PKS fragments from St. John’s wort with his faculty member, Dr. Sirvent. Now a physician, Dr. Stansifer graduated from Temple University in 2012 and practices Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT Specialist) in Omaha, NE.

Acceptance into SURP is a privilege and, as such, students will be awarded a stipend/scholarship and be called SURP fellows. The Ancillary Program for SURP is robust and provides several benefits for the fellows. Students will attend relevant safety and training sessions (4 hr) in late May. The fellows will participate in a library training session to learn how to research and obtain scientific information. This will include a field trip to the UCI library to become familiar with the resources that are available to the public through the UCI library.


Leah Casimiro (’09) was a 2007 SURP fellow researching metal accumulation in St. John’s wort. She joined Speciality Laboratories after graduation!

The department of chemistry will sponsor a series of collaborative summer research group meetings. The lab group meetings occur every week and are to be attended by our fellows. Each project takes a turn presenting either current results that their project has generated or a current paper from the literature.

An initial breakfast mixer is planned for fellows to become acquainted with each other and with the faculty. At the end of the summer a BBQ is held to celebrate the research that was conducted. Finally, there will be a seminar describing the availability of careers in the scientific disciplines. Hopefully, we will be able to have a few guest speakers from industry and academia to provide some insights in the form of a guest discussion panel.

The culmination of SURP is a research symposium where students will present their research results in the form of a poster session. The tentative date is July 21, 2017. This year’s SURP is partially funded by the Department of Education’s Title V – Award #P031S150199.

For more information, click here for project descriptions.

To apply now, click here!

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