Young research student in a lab coat sitting in a lab setting, pipetting something into a dish

Explore your research interests with a summer research experience at Mayo Clinic

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A career in biomedical research is not for everyone. But if you love science, get a thrill out of discovery, enjoy tough problems, and want to contribute to medical breakthroughs, then a career as a Ph.D. or M.D.-Ph.D. scientist might be for you.

Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences offers a 10-week Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) experience for undergraduates wanting to build their skills as young scientists.

Program highlights

The Mayo Clinic SURF Program has helped thousands of undergraduate students explore their interests in research. As a summer fellow, you will be immersed in research opportunities. You’ll gain valuable experience in the lab and work closely with your mentor on a research project designed specifically for summer students.

Our SURF fellows tell us about the lasting friendships they made during the program and how the experience helped them with their career decision-making process.

In addition to their lab work, fellows  also describe some of their unique experiences:

  • Mentors. The daily experience of learning from Mayo Clinic faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, medical students, and others who are farther along their career paths.
  • Real-world research insight and experience. The excitement of gaining hands-on experience with real-world research projects at a major medical center. And, because the questions they are studying are at the forefront of science, many students earn acknowledgment or co-authorship in articles submitted to professional publications.
  • Top-notch scientists. The opportunities they had for close collaboration with nationally and internationally recognized scientists.
  • Modern facilities. The chance to learn how to use world-class instrumentation in state of the art research facilities.
  • Community. Great times living, learning, and working with the whole SURF community.

We work hard to bring together a wide variety of talented, motivated students from all ethnic, geographic, educational, and economic groups.

Student story: Meet Tamiel Turley


Student story: Meet Tamiel Turley

Research specialization options

Our undergraduate summer research program provides opportunities for current college students interested in expanding their research experience in a variety of specialized research areas: 

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Biomedical Engineering and Physiology
  • Clinical and Translation Sciences
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
  • Neuroscience
  • Regenerative Sciences
  • Virology and Experiments

During the application process, you will indicate your research preference area.