Undergraduate Students

Summer Undergraduate Research Program

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) is an intensive, nine-week internship designed to provide research experience and mentorship for undergraduate students who are interested in biomedical research. Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, interns will complete an independent research project and present their findings at a competitive poster session. 

The program runs from Monday, June 13 through Friday, August 12, 2016. Students must be able to commit to this entire period in order to participate.

Areas of Research

Interns will be paired with a faculty mentor after selecting one of the following areas of interest:

  • Basic Science: Conducts structural, genetic, molecular, cellular, developmental and evolutionary biology;
  • Human Biology: Interdisciplinary research; conducts lab-based and computational research at the interface of basic, clinical and population sciences;
  • Public Health: Uses large populations as a "laboratory" to look for links between cancer and its possible triggers, from diet and lifestyle to environmental and genetic factors. Conducts statistical, epidemiological and prevention studies around the world;
  • Clinical Research: Works to develop and analyze new treatments for cancers and other Diseases; and
  • Vaccine and Infectious Disease: Integrates computational, laboratory and clinical research method to advance the understanding of microbial pathogenesis and infectious disease processes.

To learn more about the specific research interests of Fred Hutch faculty, please visit the Labs / Projects page.

Program Components

In addition to completing a mentored research project, interns will participate in professional development workshops designed to facilitate the preparation of competitive applications for graduate/medical school.  Workshops include:

  • Preparing a personal statement, resume, and abstract;
  • How to successfully apply to graduate or medical school; and
  • Preparing and presenting a scientific poster.

Interns will also attend weekly research seminars regarding a broad array of scientific topics. The program culminates with a competitive poster session.

The program also sponsors a number of social activities to foster interaction among interns and their mentors. Activities may include:

  • Attending a Seattle Mariner's MLB game OR a Seattle Sounders FC match;
  • Riding the Seattle Great Wheel OR touring the Theo Chocolate Factory;
  • Taking a ferry to scenic Bainbridge Island; and
  • Hiking the trails on Mount Rainier.

Photo by Nylkhalid Jungmayer

Eligibility Requirements

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident currently enrolled in a U.S. university or college;
  • Entering the summer before the FINAL year (or semester or quarter) of undergraduate studies; and
  • Strong background in the sciences or related area of interest.

    * Please carefully review the FAQ's Among Applicants to ensure your academic standing and/or U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status qualifies you to participate in the SURP. If you remain uncertain about your eligibility upon reviewing the FAQ's, please contact us at:
    SURP (at) fredhutch.org prior to submitting an application.


Interns will receive $4,794 (minus taxes) for their participation in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program.


Roundtrip travel costs (up to $450) are provided. Travel arrangements will be coordinated by program staff unless otherwise requested. If the cost of airfare is less than $450, interns may request reimbursement for the cost of luggage fees and/or ground transportation to and from the airport.  A receipt denoting the cost of these items is required for reimbursement. Interns who drive to Seattle may receive mileage reimbursement (up to $450).


Interns are responsible for their housing, meals, and transportation. Housing is available at the University of Washington's Stevens Court for approximately $2,000 for the duration of the program. Housing applications for Stevens Court will be sent to students who are selected to participate in the program in early March. For more information about the amenities offered at Stevens Court, please visit UW Student Housing. Interns are welcome to make their own housing arrangements.

Local Transportation

Interns are eligible to purchase a subsidized transportation pass for $45. There is a free shuttle between the FHCRC and University of Washington campus that departs every 15 minutes.

Photo by Clayton Hibbert

How to Apply

We are now accepting applications for the 2016 Summer Undergraduate Research Program (see the 'Apply Online' hyperlink below).  The application deadline is midnight Pacific Standard Time (PST) on Friday, January 15, 2016.  Letters of recommendation for up to two references are due by midnight Pacific Standard Time (PST) on Friday, January 22, 2016.  Notification of acceptance will occur in mid- to late-February. 

*Students are strongly encouraged to submit their application before midnight Pacific Standard Time (PST) on the date of the application deadline to prevent inundating the application portal, which may result in a failure to upload.  The application and recommender portals close promptly at midnight Pacific Standard Time (PST).  Given the number of applications received and in fairness to other applicants, the program is unable to accept late materials.

» Apply Online

Contact Us

If you have any additional questions about the Summer Undergraduate Research Program that are not addressed in Frequently Asked Questions, please send an email to: SURP (at) fredhutch.org.

**Please note: SURP staff are unable to facilitate research internships for students outside of the 9-week summer program and will not accept unsolicited or late applications.  To learn more about other internship programs, partnerships, and opportunities at the Fred Hutch, please visit our Internship Opportunities page.

About the Fred Hutch

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world-renowned nonprofit research institution working to improve the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer, HIV, and many other diseases.  To learn more about the Fred Hutch, visit our About Us page.

To view the story of professional baseball coach and player Fred Hutch and his brother Bill, a medical doctor and cancer researcher who founded the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, click here.

Other Cancer Research Internship Opportunities

To learn about other internships for high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate students offered nationwide, please view this catalog.

In addition, Pathways to Science hosts a website that enables users to search for undergraduate summer research opportunities, graduate fellowships, and postdoctoral positions. 

Guide to Life Science Careers

The Guide to Life Science Careers helps you to explore and choose what career is best for you. Starting with an assessment of who you are and how you work best, this guide takes you on a journey that extends from a survey of possible careers through the steps necessary to get there. Interviews with professionals about how they chose their career paths are included so you can learn how others became successful and understand the positive and negative aspects of various career choices. Strategies for networking, overcoming shyness, and building your résumé are also discussed to help you lay the groundwork for success and present the best you to potential employers. This guide is a must read for anyone embarking on a career in the life sciences.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program is supported in part by the Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) CURE Supplement: 3 P30 CA015704-0S2, U54 CA132381 (FHCRC) and U54 CA132383 (NMSU).