FAQs

FAQs Among Applicants

Academic Standing

I'm confused by the SURP academic eligibility requirement. What year, i.e. junior (3rd year) or senior (4th year) is required to be eligible to participate in the SURP?

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The SURP eligibility requirements intentionally avoid the term "junior (or 3rd year)" or "rising senior (or 4th year)" because there are so many factors that impact students' credit accumulation and thus, academic standing. Students who are eligible to participate in the SURP have one year (or quarter or semester) of undergraduate studies remaining before they graduate. This academic standing allows SURP staff to capitalize on the timeframe in which students are actively thinking about and preparing applications for graduate, medical, dual degree or DO programs and/or contemplating gap year options.

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

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No, we only consider applications from students who will be entering the summer BEFORE their final year (or semester or quarter) of undergraduate studies, meaning the applicant is graduating in the spring or winter following participation in the SURP. The SURP curriculum is tailored for students at this stage of their academic career. No exceptions will be considered. To learn more about other biomedical research internships for high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate, and first-year medical 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?

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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 within the 'Supporting Documents' text entry box of the SURP application that reads, "If your transcript(s) reflect anything other than entering the summer BEFORE the final year (or semester or quarter) of undergraduate studies, please explain this discrepancy..."

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?

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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 within the 'Supporting Documents' text entry box of the SURP application that reads, "If your transcript(s) reflect anything other than entering the summer BEFORE the final year (or semester or quarter) of undergraduate studies, please explain this discrepancy..."

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 will technically be a rising senior (given the number of years I have been enrolled in college) 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?

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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 consult this catalog of biomedical research internships for high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate, and first-year medical students offered nationwide.

If you are uncertain whether your academic standing qualifies you to participate in the SURP, we strongly recommend contacting us to confirm your eligibility prior to submitting an application.

I am a U.S. citizen attending a university in the UK, which offers a 3-year undergraduate program. My transcripts indicate that I have completed two years of undergraduate coursework. Where on the application can I explain that I am applying from the UK and have one year of undergraduate studies remaining?

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Please insert an explanation regarding your enrollment at a university in the UK and academic standing within the 'Supporting Documents' text entry box of the SURP application that reads, "If your transcript(s) reflect anything other than entering the summer BEFORE the final year (or semester or quarter) of undergraduate studies, please explain this discrepancy..."

U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident

I am a U.S. citizen attending a university in London. Am I eligible to participate in the SURP?

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Yes, you are eligible to participate in the SURP if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (assuming you meet the remaining two eligibility requirements):

  • 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.
     

I am not a U.S. citizen or green card holder, but I am an F-1 visa holder attending a college in the U.S. Am I eligible to participate in the SURP?

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Yes, you are eligible to participate in the SURP if you are a F-1 VISA holder who has received Curricular Practical Training work authorization from your F-1 sponsoring University. To confirm your eligibility to apply to the SURP, please request written confirmation of your CPT eligibility from your DSO and submit that documentation via email to SURP, along with your application code (your application code will be generated upon submitting your application). If you are accepted to participate in the SURP, you must receive and present your Form I-20 with Curricular Practical Training off-campus work authorization from the DSO at your sponsoring University before the program begins. Documents that establish both identity and employment eligibility are required at the start of the SURP.

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?

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Yes, you are eligible to participate in the SURP if you are a F-1 VISA holder who has received Curricular Practical Training work authorization from your F-1 sponsoring University. To confirm your eligibility to apply to the SURP, please request written confirmation of your CPT eligibility from your DSO and submit that documentation via email to SURP, along with your application code (your application code will be generated upon submitting your application). If you are accepted to participate in the SURP, you must receive and present your Form I-20 with Curricular Practical Training off-campus work authorization from the DSO at your sponsoring University before the program begins. Documents that establish both identity and employment eligibility are required at the start of the SURP.

I am a J-1 VISA Student holder. Am I eligible to participate in the SURP?

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Yes, you are eligible to participate in the SURP if you are a J-1 VISA Student holder who has received Academic Training work authorization from your J-1 program sponsor. If you are accepted to participate in the SURP, the J-1 Responsible Officer/Alternate Responsible Officer at your home institution must approve your Academic Training work authorization in order to participate in the SURP before the program begins. If you are accepted to participate in the SURP, you must receive and present your DS-2019 Form with Academic Training work authorization from your J-1 program sponsor before the program begins. Documents that establish both identity and employment eligibility (DS-2019) are required at the start of the SURP.

My visa status is unique: I am a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient. DACA recipients receive a social security number and an employment authorization card; however DACA recipients are not granted citizenship or lawful permanent resident status. Am I eligible to participate in the SURP?

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Individuals who possess an employment authorization card are eligible to be employed at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; however, 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 internship program is government funded and you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, it is likely that you are ineligible to participate. Although the Fred Hutch is a privately funded, 501(c)(3) nonprofit research institution, the SURP is supported by a variety of private and public funding sources (*in 2016); therefore, DACA recipients are eligible to participate in the SURP and receive compensation from our public funding sources. DACA recipients should identify their status within the 'Personal Information' section of the SURP application.

Please note that SURP funding sources are subject to change on an annual basis; therefore DACA recipients should inquire about their eligibility to participate in the program by contacting SURP before submitting an application. Upon receiving confirmation of eligibility, be sure to respond to the question within the 'Personal Information' section of the SURP application that asks non-U.S. citizens or permanent residents to explain their visa status that entitles them to work in the United States.

If you are uncertain whether your visa status qualifies you to participate in the SURP, we strongly recommend contacting SURP 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"?

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“Permanent resident” means any person not a citizen of the United States who is residing in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant. Also known as "Permanent Resident Alien", "Lawful Permanent Resident," "Resident Alien Permit Holder," and "Green Card Holder.

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 no 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 the 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 sequential 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 dean 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 training can be granted


(2) Other Employment: J-1 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."

I am an international student on an I-20 VISA. Am I eligible to apply to the SURP and if so, is there any particular permit or permission I need to apply?

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If you possess an I-20 visa, you are considered to be an F-1 visa holder. You are eligible to participate in the SURP if you are a F-1 VISA holder who has received Curricular Practical Training work authorization from your F-1 sponsoring University. To confirm your eligibility to apply to the SURP, please request written confirmation of your CPT eligibility from your DSO and submit that documentation via email to SURP, along with your application code (your application code will be generated upon submitting your application). If you are accepted to participate in the SURP, you must receive and present your Form I-20 with Curricular Practical Training off-campus work authorization from the DSO at your sponsoring University before the program begins. Documents that establish both identity and employment eligibility are required at the start of the SURP.

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?

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You can 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?

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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 releasing 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?

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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.

I studied abroad last quarter and my transcripts won’t be available until after the SURP application deadline. What should I do?

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We recommend that applicants:

  1. Upload the most current version of their transcripts (unofficial versions are acceptable); AND 
  2. Self-report the courses (by name and number) and the grade earned per course in the study abroad program within the 'Supporting Documents' text entry box of the SURP application that reads, "If your transcript(s) reflect anything other than…..” Although your transcripts correctly reflect your academic standing, this is an appropriate place to note any other discrepancies within your transcripts.
     

Can I send you an updated version of my transcript?

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

There is an error on my transcript that won't be resolved until after the SURP application deadline. Where can I make note of this discrepancy on the SURP application?

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Please insert an explanation regarding the error in your transcripts within the 'Supporting Documents' text entry box of the SURP application that reads, "If your transcript(s) reflect anything other than entering the summer BEFORE the final year (or semester or quarter) or undergraduate studies, please explain this discrepancy..." Although your transcripts correctly reflect your academic standing, this is an appropriate place to note any other discrepancies within your transcripts.

The unofficial transcripts produced at my university do not include my name or ID number. Will this present a problem when reviewing my transcripts? Can I submit my official transcripts by mail?

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Unofficial transcripts that do not feature the applicant's name are acceptable. All application materials must be uploaded at the time of submission. We are unable to accept application materials via mail.

I will only have two years of undergraduate coursework reflected on my transcripts by the SURP application, even though I have completed three years of coursework and have one year of undergraduate studies remaining. What should I do?

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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 releasing your transcripts early. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable. In the event that you cannot secure unofficial transcripts reflecting the completion of three years of undergraduate coursework, please insert an explanation within the 'Supporting Documents' text entry box of the SURP application that reads, "If your transcript(s) reflect anything other than entering the summer BEFORE the final year (or semester or quarter) of undergraduate studies, please explain this discrepancy..."

GPA

How much weight is given to GPA when evaluating applications to the SURP?

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We take a holistic approach when evaluating applications to the SURP. While GPA is taken into consideration, several other factors are important, such as prior research experience, quality of the statement of research interests and career goals, and caliber of recommendation letters. Having one area of weakness, such as a low GPA or no prior research experience, does not render an applicant ineligible to participate in the SURP. Please visit the How to Apply section of the Pathways Undergraduate Researchers page to reference guidance on preparing a compelling statement of research interests and career goals and/or important considerations when requesting recommendation letters.

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?

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

How much detail should I offer regarding my prior research experiences? Specifically, is it preferable to cite discipline-specific terminology and techniques or should I provide a more basic explanation?

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The SURP review committee is comprised of members who represent diverse scientific backgrounds. We advise applicants to avoid complex, discipline-specific terminology in favor of general explanations to ensure that the research experience described is understood among a broad audience.

Should my response to the one–page Statement of Research Interests and Career Goals be double or single spaced?

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Given that applicants are asked to respond to four prompts within a single page, we recommend single spacing to ensure you have responded to each of the following four prompts:

  1. Please describe your research interests and career goals
    2. If you have had prior research experience, please describe the nature and duration of that work. Be sure to include where and with whom that research was conducted and if possible, obtain a letter of recommendation from your research supervisor
    3. If you don't have prior research experience, please describe a position of responsibility that would lend itself well to this program
    4. Describe why you are applying to Fred Hutch's Summer Undergraduate Research Program and how this opportunity will further your academic and career goals

Prior Research Experience

I am a collegiate athlete majoring in Biology. I haven't had an opportunity to gain research experience outside of coursework given my practice and game schedule. Would I be considered for SURP given my lack of prior research experience?

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The goal of the SURP is to provide mentored research experience so that students can make an informed decision about pursuing biomedical research careers. Having little to no prior research experience does not render an applicant ineligible to participate in the SURP. As noted in the FAQs Among Applicants specific to GPA, we take a holistic approach when evaluating applicants to the SURP. While prior research experience is taken into consideration, several other factors are important, such as GPA, quality of the statement of research interests and career goals, and caliber of recommendation letters. Please visit the Tips for Submitting a Quality Application on the SURP landing page to reference guidance on preparing a compelling statement of research interests and career goals and/or important considerations when requesting a letter of recommendation.

I reviewed the ‘Tips for Submitting a Quality Application’ and have a question about the suggestion to request a recommendation letter from an individual in a field similar to the one I want to pursue. I work in a biology lab during the school year; however I am interested in diversifying my research experience. Is it worthwhile to apply to the SURP if I want to gain experience in a different realm of scientific research than what I am currently engaged in?

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The SURP offers a great opportunity for students to explore varied scientific disciplines. All applicants are asked to identify the top three Fred Hutch faculty members who they would like to work with, followed by explaining WHY they are interested in working with those individuals in the Research Interests section of the SURP application. We recommend that you address your interest in broadening your research experience outside of your particular scientific discipline and explain WHY you are interested in exploring another discipline, either: 1) within the text box that reads, “Please explain why you would like to work with the faculty member(s) listed above”; OR 2) within your Statement of Research Interests and Career Goals. We also encourage you to ask one or both of your references to cite your interest in gaining experience outside of a particular scientific discipline and HOW this exposure will benefit your academic and career goals.

Program Dates

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

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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.

My professor asked if I could present a poster at a national conference this summer. The conference takes place from July 19–26, so I would miss four days of the program. Could I make up these dates by staying a few more days beyond the conclusion of the program?

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We understand opportunities to attend a national conference can and do occur; however, we clearly stipulate that participation over the entire 9-week period of the SURP is a requirement for acceptance into the program. The offer to stay a few days post-program to make up for this absence is not feasible from an administrative perspective.

My brother is getting married on Friday, August 3. Can I attend his wedding?

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We understand personal circumstances arise; however SURP staff are not in a position to approve intern absences on behalf of their host lab/research group. If you are accepted into the program, we suggest that you contact your faculty mentor well in advance to request permission for this absence.

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?

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All Fred Hutch faculty 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?

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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?

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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?

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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 Fred Hutch.

Is there a character limit for the textbox in the ‘Research Interests’ section where applicants are asked to explain why they would like to work with the three faculty members they list?

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Yes, the character limit is 2,100 characters with spaces. The application does not notify you when you have exceeded the limit, so we recommend that you type your response in a word document first to ensure that it is under 2,100 characters.

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

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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.

Fred Hutch has over 215 faculty members. How do you recommend applicants streamline the process of identifying three faculty members they are interested in working with?

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We recognize that identifying three faculty whose research is of interest to you out of over 215 candidates is daunting. We suggest prospective applicants review the Current and Prior Interns page, which identifies intern placement in various labs/research groups by research division. This could serve as a starting point to identify faculty whose research is of interest to you, understanding that all Fred Hutch faculty are potential mentors.

Alternatively, if you have a general sense for the type of research that interests you, i.e. Basic Science versus Clinical Research or Public Health versus Infectious Disease, go to the Labs/Projects page to explore faculty who are conducting research within your scientific area of interest (you can search on this page by Labs).

It is helpful to be specific about WHY that faculty member's research is of interest to you, whether because you would like to learn more about the topic in general or because you are motivated to learn a particular methodology or technique used within that lab/research group. When investigating faculty whose research interests align with yours, you may want to consider reviewing their publications in PubMed which will offer great insight into their current and specific research endeavors.

What is the percentage of accepted interns who get matched with with one of the three faculty members they identified wanting to work with in the SURP application? Likewise, what is the percentage of accepted interns who are placed within the scientific division that is of interest to them?

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While we cannot guarantee that a specific faculty member will be able to host an intern, we make a concerted effort to place students with one of the three faculty members who they expressed interest in working with via the SURP application. In instances where none of the three faculty are able to host an intern, SURP staff attempt to place the intern with a faculty member pursuing similar or related research endeavors. The SURP is able to place 100% of accepted interns within the scientific division that is of interest to them.

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?

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The SURP application requests up to two (2) recommendation letters. We recommend that one of the two recommendation letters come from a research supervisor and/or academic professor, but ultimately the decision is yours, keeping in mind that the references you identify should be in a position to speak to your prior research endeavors, academic accomplishments, and offer perspective on how participating in the SURP will impact your career goals. 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?

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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.

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

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References can address their recommendation letter to "The Fred Hutch SURP," "The SURP review committee," or some combination 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 submitting 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?

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No, you do not need to notify SURP staff if one of your references has changed. Simply provide your new reference with the URL to the Letter of Recommendation portal, 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.

May I request a letter of recommendation from someone who I did NOT initially identify as a reference when I submitted my application?

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You are welcome to ask someone other than who you identified as a reference on the SURP application to submit a recommendation letter on your behalf. There are two steps you need to follow in order to make this change:

  1. Email your preferred reference the URL to the Letter of Recommendation portal, along with your applicant code (this URL and your applicant code can be referenced in the confirmation email you received following the submission of your application); and
  2. Inform the individual who you had originally identified as a reference on the SURP application that they no longer need to submit a recommendation letter on your behalf.
     

One of my references is no longer able to write a recommendation letter on my behalf and it's too late to identify someone else. What should I do?

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

There was an error in the email address that I listed for one of my references when I uploaded my application. What should I do?

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The SURP applicant portal sends an automated email to your references following the submission of your application. SURP staff don't have the ability to manually send this automated email, so you will need to email your reference the following URL to the Letter of Recommendation portal, 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).

Are applicants notified following submission of their respective references’ recommendation letters?

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Yes, applicants will receive an automated email following the submission of each recommendation letter.

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?

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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 contact us.

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

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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 contact us.

I am attempting to access the SURP application; however, the hyperlink isn't connecting me to the portal. What should I do?

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Try refreshing your browser or opening up a new browser to access the application. If that doesn't work, please contact us.

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

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In the event that your references did not receive an automated request for a letter of recommendation on your behalf, you can provide the URL to the Letter of Recommendation portal 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.

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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?

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

Can I send you an updated version of my transcript?

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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?

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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 Fred Hutch, but the deadline has passed. Can I still apply?

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No, we only review applications that are received by the deadline. To learn about other biomedical research internships for high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate, and first-year medical students offered nationwide, please view the Internships Catalog.

SURP Curriculum

Does the SURP offer clinical shadowing and/or patient interaction opportunities?

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The SURP does not include clinical exposure as part of its curriculum; however, many SURP interns have secured clinical shadowing hours directly through their faculty or staff mentor. SURP staff are unable to facilitate this effort because those opportunities depend on whether the assigned faculty member is an M.D. or M.D./Ph.D.; whether the faculty member is on the rounds during the nine weeks of the SURP; and whether the institution the faculty mentor is affiliated with allows undergraduate students to participate in shadowing.

The points noted above are not intended to discourage accepted interns from seeking shadowing experience, but rather to outline the circumstances to be aware of when seeking clinical shadowing experience; clarify that accepted interns will need to proactively seek clinical shadowing/patient interaction opportunities independent of the SURP; and underscore that any supplemental clinical experiences should not take precedence over full-time participation in the SURP.

Does the SURP have a program to prepare students for Medical Scientist Training Programs (MSTPs)?

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The SURP curriculum is broad in order to accommodate interns' diverse research interests; however, this is not a one-size-fits-all program. SURP staff endeavor to meet interns' individual academic, scientific, and career aspirations and provide tailored guidance to help students prepare for the respective degree(s) sought post-SURP. The SURP has been highly successful helping interns prepare competitive applications for graduate, medical, dual degree or DO programs. You can see the institutions where SURP alumni are enrolled by degree on our SURP Alumni page.

Participation in Other Activities Concurrent with SURP

I need three more credits to graduate on time. Can I enroll in two summer courses concurrent with participation in the SURP?

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Given the rigor of the SURP curriculum and the unpredictable schedule that interns maintain within their host lab/research group, we do not recommend taking classes while participating in the SURP.

Is it possible to manage other activities while participating in the SURP, such as a GRE or MCAT test prep course or weekend employment?

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Given the rigor of the SURP curriculum and the unpredictable schedule that interns maintain within their host lab/research group, we do not recommend enrolling in a MCAT/GRE test prep course or secondary source of employment.

Other Internship Opportunities at Fred Hutch

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

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

FAQs Among Accepted Interns

Program Dates

My professor asked if I could present a poster at a national conference this summer. The conference takes place from July 19–26, so I would miss four days of the program. Could I make up these dates by staying a few more days beyond the conclusion of the program?

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We understand opportunities to attend a national conference can and do occur; however we clearly stipulate that participation over the entire 9-week period of the SURP is a requirement for acceptance into the program. SURP staff are not in a position to approve intern absences on behalf of their host lab/research group; therefore we suggest that you contact your faculty mentor directly to request permission to attend this conference and keep SURP staff updated regarding the outcome of this request. The offer to stay a few days post-program to make up for this absence is not a feasible option from an administrative perspective.

My brother is getting married on Friday, August 3. Can I attend his wedding?

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We understand personal circumstances arise; however SURP staff are not in a position to approve intern absences on behalf of their host lab/research group. If you are accepted into the program, we suggest that you contact your faculty mentor well in advance to request permission for this absence.

Travel Reimbursement

I plan to drive to Seattle, which may require staying overnight at a hotel. What is the process for requesting mileage reimbursement? Can I also be reimbursed for my overnight accommodations?

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The SURP will cover the cost of travel to and from Seattle up to $450. The Internal Revenue Services' standard mileage rate of $.58 (*in 2019) will be multiplied by the number of miles driven to determine the amount of reimbursement; however, interns cannot receive payment above the $450 travel cap. If the mileage reimbursement request falls within the $450 travel cap, the SURP can also offer hotel reimbursement up to $450.

To request mileage reimbursement, please send an email to SURP staff with the following information: 1) date of departure; 2) departure city/state; 3) date of arrival; 4) arrival city/state; and 5) total number of miles driven. You may send the info to SURP on orientation day or anytime thereafter.

To receive hotel reimbursement, please submit receipts to one of the SURP co-coordinators on orientation day or anytime thereafter. A reimbursement check will be issued approximately two weeks following submission of mileage information and/or hotel receipts.

I see that travel arrangements will be coordinated by program staff unless otherwise requested. Is it okay if I purchase my airfare independent of the program and request reimbursement later?

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Yes, you can purchase your roundtrip airfare independent of the SURP; however, be aware that:

  1. First class airfare or a nominal fee to upgrade to first class is not eligible for reimbursement; and
  2. The SURP cannot reimburse interns for airfare purchase independent of the program until AFTER the travel has taken place.

To request reimbursement for airfare purchased independent of the SURP, please email your itinerary to SURP staff following arrival in Seattle or present a paper copy of your itinerary to one of the SURP co-coordinators on orientation day or anytime thereafter. A reimbursement check will be issued approximately two weeks following submission.

The cost of my airfare is less than $450. Can I be reimbursed for other travel-related expenses?

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The SURP is funded by a variety of sources at different funding levels. *In 2019, funds were available to reimburse students for the cost of luggage fees and/or ground transportation to and from the airport [whose airfare cost less than $450]; however, it's important to note that funds availability is subject to change on an annual basis. Please submit an email to SURP staff to determine whether additional reimbursement [in cases where airfare cost less than $450] is allowable. If yes, a receipt denoting the cost of these items is required for reimbursement. To request reimbursement, please submit receipts to one of the SURP co-coordinators on orientation day or anytime thereafter. A reimbursement check will be issued approximately two weeks following submission.

The cost of my airfare is less than $450. Can I be reimbursed for the cost of shipping my bike, linens, and/or some kitchen items to and from Seattle via FedEx or some other carrier?

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No, shipping is not an allowable travel expense. However, if these items are transported with the passenger, you may request reimbursement for the cost of additional luggage or oversize baggage fees as a travel-related expense.

May I be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred upon return to my home institution?

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The SURP is funded by a variety of sources at different funding levels. *In 2019, funds were available to reimburse students for the cost of luggage fees and/or ground transportation upon return to their home institution; however it's important to note that funds availability is subject to change on an annual basis. Please submit an email to SURP staff to determine whether additional reimbursement [in instances where airfare cost less than $450] is allowable. If yes, a receipt denoting the cost of these items is required for reimbursement and can be mailed or emailed to one of the SURP co-coordinators. You will also need to indicate an address where the reimbursement check should be mailed. A reimbursement check will be mailed approximately two weeks following submission.

I am a local student. Can I apply the travel stipend ($450) to some other expense, such as requirement for daily mileage?

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The SURP offers a travel stipend so that accepted interns can get to and from Seattle; however commuting to and from the Fred Hutch campus on a daily basis, whether by car, bus, or some other mode of transportation, is not considered 'travel' and is therefore not an allowable expense.

Housing

I have questions regarding housing at the University of Washington (UW). Who should I contact?

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The University of Washington's Conference Services operates independent of the Fred Hutch; therefore all housing questions should be directed via email or phone at 206.543.7636.

I am living at the University of Washington (UW) this summer; can I find out who my roommates are before I arrive?

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Yes, you can find out who your roommates are in advance of your arrival. SURP staff highly recommend that you initiate contact with your roommates before you arrive in Seattle. To obtain this information, please contact the University of Washington's Conference Services via email or phone at 206.543.7636.

Can I arrive at the University of Washington (UW) a day early for check-in?

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Check-in at the University of Washington takes place on Sunday, June 14, 2019 between 2 to 5 pm at the Lander Hall front desk, located on the corner of NE Campus Parkway and Brooklyn Avenue at: 1201 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98105. You will need to secure overnight accommodations elsewhere if you plan to arrive in Seattle prior to that date.

Are there kitchen facilities in the dorms at the University of Washington (UW)?

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Yes, there are kitchen facilities in the dorms at the University of Washington. Stevens Court features shared apartment units that are furnished with extra-long twin beds and Ethernet access. Two to four rooms share a bath, living room, and kitchen facilities with other guests of their same gender. Guests are responsible for bringing their own bedding linens, towels, cookware, dinnerware, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc. Please visit UW Student Housing for a complete description of the amenities offered at Stevens Court.

The SURP has prepared kitchen kits that include a plastic dining ware set [plates, bowls, cups], dining and cooking utensils, two Tupperware nesting bowls, two Pyrex baking pans, two knives, and assorted pans. You may request to borrow a kitchen kit from one of the SURP co-coordinators. 

Are linens provided in the dorms at the University of Washington (UW)?

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No, UW Conference Services does not provide linens.

If I choose in the dorms at the University of Washington (UW), will I be housed with other SURP interns?

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Yes, UW Conference Services staff makes an effort to house all Fred Hutch SURP interns in the same building and together (by gender).

University of Washington Intramural Activities (IMA) Access

I will not be living in the dorms at the University of Washington (UW) for the summer; can I still purchase an IMA pass?

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No, only interns who live in the dorms on the UW campus are eligible to purchase an IMA pass.

I told a SURP staff member I wanted to purchase an Intramural Activities Building (IMA) pass; now what?

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Go to the IMA building with your student ID and the proper form of payment. Let the person at the reception desk know that you are participating in the SURP at the Fred Hutch and living on the UW campus. You will then be asked to provide some additional information, pay the fee, and IMA access is all yours! Please visit the IMA website for a brief description of the facilities and hours of operation, or call 206.543.4590.

Ground Transportation

Do most SURP interns who live in the dorms at the University of Washington take public transportation to the Fred Hutch campus?

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SURP interns who live in the dorms at the University of Washington (UW) take a free shuttle that operates between the UW and the Fred Hutch campus in 15-minute intervals. The majority of SURP interns also purchase an ORCA passport, which covers the full fare on all regular bus routes and can be used for multiple transportation services, including Community Transit, Everett Transit, Metro Transit, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit, and Sound Transit bus service.

The ORCA Passport can also be used on Sound Transit Link light rail, King County Water Taxi (Vashon and West Seattle routes), the Sounder Commuter train, Seattle Streetcar, and the Kitsap Transit Foot Ferry. The ORCA Passport rate is $15 per month (2019) and can be used an unlimited number of times. Students have the option to purchase an ORCA Passport on orientation or at the Transportation office anytime thereafter.

Parking

What is the cost to park on the UW and Fred Hutch campuses if I live in the dorms at the University of Washington (UW)?

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If you live on the UW campus, the approximate parking rate is $15 per weekday and $5 on Saturdays (2018). The approximate parking rate on the Fred Hutch campus is $16 per weekday (2018) or you can purchase a parking pass for $135 per month (2018) for which a wait list may apply.

How do I purchase a parking pass at the University of Washington (UW)?

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Interns may purchase a long-term parking pass per month at the Terry Hall front desk, located at 1101 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA, 98105.

How do I purchase a parking pass at Fred Hutch?

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Parking passes can be purchased at the Transportation desk in the Yale Building. The SURP orientation includes a stop at the Transportation desk.

Can I get on the waitlist to purchase a parking pass before I arrive?

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No, accepted interns are not eligible to be placed on the wait list for a parking pass prior to the start of the SURP.

GRE or MCAT Test Prep

Can I take the GRE or MCAT test prep course during the SURP?

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Given the rigor of the SURP curriculum and based on feedback from alumni, we do not recommend participating in a prep course or completing elective coursework in conjunction with the program; however, your acceptance will not be revoked if you opt otherwise.

Mentorship

What is the difference between a faculty mentor and a staff mentor?

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In most cases, interns will work in a lab or research group led by their faculty mentor (namely a Principal Investigator or PI) under the guidance of a staff mentor, such as a post-doctoral fellow or graduate student. While you will have opportunities to interact with your faculty mentor, you will have more direct, routine interaction with your staff mentor. Working with a staff mentor presents a great opportunity to inquire about preparing for and succeeding in graduate or medical school, pursuing a research career, etc.