Undergraduate Students

Frequently Asked Questions Among Applicants

Academic Standing

I will not be in the summer before my final year of undergraduate studies. Am I eligible to participate in the SURP?

No, we only consider applications from students who will be entering the summer before their final year of undergraduate studies, meaning the applicant is graduating in the spring or winter following completion of the SURP.  Our program is tailored for students at this stage of their academic career. No exceptions will be considered.  To learn more about other internships for high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate students offered nationwide, please view this catalog.

I will graduate six months after the Summer Undergraduate Research Program has concluded. Do I meet the eligibility criteria to participate in the program this summer?

Yes, you meet the eligibility criteria to participate in the SURP because you are entering the summer before the FINAL year (or semester or quarter) of undergraduate studies. It is essential that you explain the circumstances of your academic standing in the “Transcript” section of the application.

I will be three credits shy of junior academic standing by the time I apply to participate in SURP, although technically I will be entering the summer before my final year of undergraduate studies. Do I meet the eligibility criteria to participate in the program this summer?

Yes, you meet the eligibility criteria to participate in the SURP because you are entering the summer before the FINAL year (or semester or quarter) of undergraduate studies. It is essential that you explain the circumstances of your academic standing in the “Transcript” section of the application.

I lost a few credits when I transferred from an institution on the quarter system to an institution on the semester system. My transcripts indicate that I am a sophomore; however I am only one semester short of being a rising senior when the SURP begins. I will graduate in the winter following next year's SURP. Am I eligible to apply for the program this year?

No, you are not eligible for the SURP this year.  We encourage you to apply for the program next year, when you will be entering the summer before the FINAL year (or semester or quarter) of undergraduate studies.  In the meantime, we encourage you to constule this catalog of internships in scientific research or medicine for high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate students offered nationwide.

***If you are uncertain whether your academic standing qualifies you to participate in the SURP, we strongly recommend contacting us at: SURP (at) fredhutch.org to confirm your eligibility prior to submitting an application.

U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident

I am not a U.S. citizen or green card holder, but I attend a college or university in the U.S. Am I eligible to participate in the SURP?

Yes, you are eligible to participate in the SURP if you have a student visa.

I am not a U.S. citizen or green card holder and I attend an institution in a country outside the U.S. Am I eligible to participate in the SURP?

No, you are not eligible to participate in the SURP at this time.

My visa status is unique: I have a government-issued permit that enables me to legally work in the United States; however I am not a U.S. citizen, nor do I have a green card. Am I eligible to participate in the SURP?

Internship programs that are funded by the U.S. government have strict eligibility criteria limiting participation to legal U.S. residents.  Examples of government-funded organizations include the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).  To determine whether an internship program is funded by the U.S. government, please visit the organization's website and look for an "About Us" section.  This section should identify whether an internship program is privately or publicly, i.e., government funded.  Privately funded non-profit organizations are often described as 501(c)(3) organizations and may include private or family foundations, community foundations and civic or charitable organizations.  Some privately-owned businesses and corporations also sponsor internship programs.  If an internsthip program is government funded and you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, it is likely that you are ineligible to participate.  The Fred Hutch is a privately funded, 501(c)(3) nonprofit research institution.

***If you are uncertain whether your visa status qualified you to participate in the SURP, we strongly recommend contacting us at: SURP (at) fredhutch.org to confirm your eligibility prior to submitting an application.  Students who are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident are asked to explain their Visa status that entitles them to work in the states within the SURP application.

Can you define the term, "permanent resident"?

"Permanent resident" means the applicant is one of the following: 1) an F-1 visa holder (see the regulations for employment under the F-1 Curricular Practical Training below) or 2) a J-1 visa holder (see the regulations for employment under the J-1 visa holder below). Both types of work authorization are issued and approved by the applicant's University. If there are any specific questions regarding work authorization, the applicant should contact their University for information and required steps.

F-1 Curricular Practical Training
An F-1 student may be authorized by the Designated School Officer (DSO) to participate in a curricular practical training program that is an integral part of an established curriculum.  Curricular practical training is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. Students who have received one year or more of full time curricular practical training are ineligible for post-completion academic training.  Exceptions to the one academic year requirement are provided for students enrolled in graduate studies that require immediate participation in curricular practical training.

A request for authorization for curricular practical training must be made to the DSO. A student may begin curricular practical training only after receiving his or her Form I-20 with the DSO endorsement.

There is not regulatory limit on either the number of times or the length of time a student may engage in either part- or full-time curricular practical training.  This will be governed by the nature of the training and the requirements of the student's program.

F-1 students who engage in an aggregate of 12 months or more of full-time curricular practical training, however, become ineligible for optional practical training (OPT). Optional Practical Training is work authorization for post-completion of degree.

J-1 Student
J-1 Student students may engage in two kinds of employment: (1) academic training related to the course of study, and (2) other employment related to academic funding, on-campus work, or economic necessity.  Each kind of employment has its own criteria and limits.

(1)  Academic training- Academic Training is training related to a student's field of study. Academic training may involve suquential or simultaneous activities, either paid or unpaid, with several employers, provided the application and approval procedures are followed for each employer and activity, and the time limits are not exceeded. A college or university student can participate in academic training as follows:  18-month general limit.  For undergraduate and pre-doctoral training, a student can engage in up to 18 months or the period of the full course of study, whichever is less.

The general procedures for granting academic training are as follows:
        a.  The student must present to the University's J1 Responsible Officer/Alternate                          Responsible Officer a letter from the student's academic deam or adviser;
        b.  The University's J1 Responsible Officer/Alternate Responsible Officer must evaluate               the academic dean/adviser's recommendation, determine to what extent the                           student has previously participated in academic training, and make a determination               of whether academic trainng can be granted;

(2)  Other Employment - J student employment can be authorized by the University's J1 Responsible Officer/Alternate Responsible Officer for the following types of employment:             a.  Employment pursuant to the terms of a scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship; or         b.  Employment that occurs on the premises of the post-secondary accredited                              educational institution the visitor is authorized to attend; or                                                     c.  Employment that occurs off-campus, which is necessary because of serious,                            urgent, and unforeseen economic circumstances that have arisen since acquiring                  exchange visitor status.  (Also see 4.28.3.2 Special Student Relief for J-1 students)

The University's J1 Responsible Officer/Alternate Responsible Officer must authorize the student employment in advance, before the employment begins.  Authorization can be granted in periods of up to 12 months at a time, although sponsors are free to grant authorization for shorter periods.

The University's J1 Responsible Officer/Alternate Responsible Officer must approve of the student employment before it begins.  If the student's DS-2019 was issued by a sponsor other than the school (a sponsoring agency), the sponsoring agency's RO/ARO must provide the required employment authorization. 

The University's J1 Responsible Officer/Alternate Responsible Officer must approve "the specific employment in advance and in writing."

Transcripts

I transferred to the University of XX from XX community college. The application portal only allows me to upload one transcript; which transcripts should I upload?

You should create a combined PDF file of both transcripts and upload it as a single file.

The transcripts from my institution won't be released until after the SURP application deadline. What should I do?

If you know in advance that your transcripts will not be available by the SURP application deadline, consider contacting the Registrar to explain your circumstances and inquire about the possibility of releaseing your transcripts early.  Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.

I am ready to submit my application, but my transcripts are not available yet. I will be out of the country with limited email access when my transcripts become available and won't have regular internet access until after the SURP application deadline. Can I submit my application now and upload my transcripts later?

No, all application materials must be uploaded at the time of submission.  If you are unable to upload your responses and supporting materials by the application deadline, you may want to ask a trusted peer to upload these items on your behalf.

Can I send you an updated version of my transcript?

No, additions to your transcript will not be considered following submission of your application.

Statement of Research Interests and Career Goals

I recently received an academic scholarship that I would like to reference in my statement of research interests and career goals, but I already uploaded my application. May I submit an updated statement?

No, given the number of applications received and in fairness to other applicants, we are unable to accept revised materials.

Program Dates

My finals overlap the first week of the Summer Undergraduate Research Program. Can I still apply to participate in the program?

We require accepted students to commit to the program dates in their entirety; our expectation is that you begin the program on orientation day.  You are welcome to apply to the SURP. If you are accepted to participate, we suggest that you negotiate with your professors to take your finals earlier than scheduled.  It is VERY important that you communicate your intention to reconcile your availability in your statement of research interests and career goals.

Mentor Selection

Is there any way to know if the faculty whose research is of interest to me is willing to host an intern from this program?

All FHCRC faculty members are potential mentors. The process of placing interns in a host lab or research group is a reciprocal effort that is determined once a student has been accepted into the program.

Do you recommend contacting specific faculty in advance of submitting my application?

No, we do not recommend contacting specific faculty about prospective opportunities within their group or lab as part of the application process.  In the 'Research Interests' section of the application is a question that reads, 'Please explain why you would like to work with the faculty member(s) listed above.'  It would be best if you could articulate WHY you are interested in working with the three specific faculty members you identified in response to that question, which will give us a sense for the particular areas of research that are of interest to you at this stage of your academic career.  If you are accepted into the program and the three faculty you list are not able to host an intern, we will approach other faculty members whose research interests match yours about the possibility of hosting you within their lab/research group.

If I am interested in working with a specific faculty mentor, is it acceptable for me to list only that lab/research group in my application?

We cannot guarantee that a specific faculty member will be able to host an intern; therefore we advise you to list more than one faculty member whose research is of interest to you.

When identifying the three faculty members whose research is of interest to me, should they all have the same research focus or can I select faculty with different research interests?

We suggest that you select faculty members whose research is of interest to you.  If you have broad research interests, it would be fine to identify faculty with varied research interests and/or within different divisions of the FHCRC.

Does my selection of faculty whose research is of interest to me have any impact on my chances of being accepted into the program?

No, the availability of the faculty members you are interested in working with will not increase or decrease your probability of being accepted into the program.

Letter(s) of Recommendation

Do you recommend both letters of recommendation come from professors or academic advisors, or is that up to the applicant to decide?

We recommend that your letters of recommendation come from a research supervisor and/or academic professor, but ultimately the decision is yours.  Please visit Tips for Submitting a Quality Application to reference some important considerations when requesting a letter of recommendation.

One of my references will be on vacation and therefore not able to submit my letter of recommendation before the deadline. Can my reference email my recommendation letter to you directly?

No, all letters must be submitted via the online application system.  Given the number of applications received and in fairness to other applicants, the program is unable to accept late recommendation letters.  Likewise, we are unable to accept letters of recommendation submitted via email to: SURP (at) fredhutch.org. 

Who should my reference address his/her recommendation letter to? What are the options for submitting the letter?

References can address their recommendation letter to "The Fred Hutch SURP," "The SURP review committee," or some conbination thereof.  Your applicant code will be generated upon submitting your application.  Your references will then receive an automated email with your applicant code and instructions for submitting their recommendation letter to the online application portal.  Letters of recommendation are due one week following the application deadline; however we recommend that you give your references plenty of advance notice prior to sumitting your application.

One of my references is no longer able to submit a recommendation letter on my behalf. I have identified someone else to submit a recommendation letter for me. Do I need to notify the program of this change?

No, you do not need to notify SURP staff if one of your references has changed.  Simply provide your new reference with the following URL: https://is-ext.fredhutch.org/open/surp/rec.php, along with your applicant code.  This URL and your applicant code can be referenced in the confirmation email you received following submission of your application.

One of my references is no longer able to write a recommendation letter on my behalf. What should I do?

Applications are considered complete upon receipt of one recommendation letter and will be given full review.

Language Preference

I studied abroad last semester and would like to ask my advisor to submit a recommendation letter for me. Can my reference submit his/her recommendation letter in a language other than English?

No, all application materials must be submitted in English.

Generating an Applicant Code

I want to send my applicant code to my references, but I don't have the code yet.

You will receive an applicant code once your complete application is submitted.  Your references will then receive an automated email with your applicant code and instructions for submitting their recommendation letter.  Letters of recommendation are due one week following the application deadline; however we recommend that you give your references plenty of advance notice prior to submitting your application.

Additional Materials

Can I send you additional information for my application, like a resume?

No, to ensure a fair review of all applications, we only consider the materials specifically requested via the online application system.

Technical Issues

I received an error message after hitting the 'submit' button, but I have no idea what the error was. What should I do?

There are two reasons why the system sends an error message.  First, the system will error if required fields (designated with a "*" symbol) are left empty, in which case, you will see red text instructing you to insert a response within the text box.  The second reason the system will error is if you upload your Statement of Research Interests and Careers Goals and/or your Transcript in a file format other than PDF.  Make sure both of these documents are in a PDF file format and no larger than 2 MB.  If your application still errors, please send an email to: SURP (at) fredhutch.org.

I've attempted to submit my application on three different occasions, but each time, the upload stalls. What should I do?

The delay in upload may be due to the strength of your internet connection.  Check your Wi-Fi connection to ensure high quality signal strength.  If you fail to receive an email confirming your receipt of your application, please send an email to: SURP (at) fredhutch.org. 

One of my recommenders did not receive the automated message with instructions to submit the letter of recommendation. What should I do?

In the event that your references did not receive an automated request for a letter of recommendation on your behalf, you can provide the following URL: https://is-ext.fredhutch.org/open/surp/rec.php to them, along with your applicant code.  This URL and your applicant code can be referenced in the confirmation email you received following submission of your application.

The Application Process

I want to send my applicant code to my references, but I don't have the code yet.

You will receive your applicant code once your complete application is submitted.  Your references will then receive an automated email with your applicant code and instructions for submitting their recommendation letter. Letters of recommendation are due one week following the application deadline; however we recommend that you give your references plenty of advance notice prior to submitting your application."

One of my references will be on vacation and therefore not able to submit my letter of recommendation before the deadline. Can I have my reference email you a letter of recommendation directly?

No, all letters must be submitted via the online application system.

Can I send you an updated version of my transcript?

No, additions to your transcript will not be considered following submission of your application.

Can I send you additional information for my application, like a resume?

No, to ensure a fair review of all applications, we only consider the materials specifically requested within the application.

I just learned about the SURP at the FHCRC, but the deadline has passed. Can I still apply?

No, we only review applications that are received by the deadline.  To learn about other internships for high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate students offered nationwide, please view this catalog.

When can I expect to hear about the status of my application?

All applicants will receive notification of their application status via email by mid- to late-February.

Other Internship Opportunities at the FHCRC

I am not eligible for the SURP, but would like to learn more about other internship opportunities at the Fred Hutch.

To learn about other internship programs, partnerships, and opportunities at the Fred Hutch, please visit our Internship Opportunities page.