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, students will complete an independent research project and present their findings at a competitive poster session. 

The program runs from Monday, June 15 through Friday, August 14, 2015. Students must be able to commit to this entire period in order to participate.

Areas of Research

Students 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 FHCRC faculty, please visit the website.

Program Components

In addition to completing a mentored research project, students 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.

Students 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 students and their mentors. Activities may include:

  • Attending a Mariner's game at Safeco Field;
  • Taking a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel;
  • Participating in a tour of Theo Chocolates;
  • Preparing dinner for patients and caregivers at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) House; 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.


Students will receive $4,500 (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, the program will reimburse students 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. Students who drive to Seattle may receive mileage reimbursement (up to $450).


Participants are responsible for their housing, meals, and transportation. Housing is available at the University of Washington's Stevens Court for approximately $1,900 for the duration of the program. Housing applications for Stevens Court will be sent to students who are selected to participate in the Cancer Research Internship in early March. For more information about the amenities offered at Stevens Court, please visit their website.

Local Transportation

Participants 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

The online application for the 2015 Summer Undergraduate Research Program will be available here in mid-November 2014. The application deadline is Friday, January 16, 2015.  Letters of recommendation for up to two references are due by Friday, January 23, 2015.  Notification of acceptance will occur in mid- to late-February. 

» 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@fredhutch.org.

If you are interested in other internship opportunities at the FHCRC, please visit this website.

About the FHCRC

Fred Hutch has an international reputation for its pioneering research in basic biological sciences, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation, cancer prevention, and epidemiology. For more information about the research conducted at the FHCRC, click here. To learn more about the specific research interests of FHCRC faculty, please visit the website.

You can 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 Hutch here.

Other Cancer Research Internship Opportunities

A compilation of cancer research internships  in science or medicine for high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate students can be found here.

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

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: 5 P30 CA015704-40, 5 U54 CA132381 (FHCRC) and U54 CA132383 (NMSU).