The GradSURP program is directed at students with a strong interest in obtaining a PhD. in any discipline in biomedical science. College sophomores, juniors, and non-graduating seniors are eligible to take part in the program. Students will work alongside graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty to carry out independent research. They will also have the opportunity to participate in multiple seminar series aimed at providing exposure to a wide range of cutting edge research topics. At the end of the program students will work with faculty mentors to write an abstract and to deliver a short presentation describing their research.

Applicants are encouraged to identify faculty within the McGovern Medical School who match their research interests. A list of faculty mentors is provided below. Strong preference will be given to student choices, but in the event that the faculty member is not available the program will match a student with another mentor with similar research interests.

The program accepts undergraduate students from Texas and across the nation. Students will spend 10 weeks during the summer gaining intensive hands-on laboratory experience under the direction of seasoned faculty researchers. All undergraduate students work at least 40 hours per week in a research lab.


Participants in the program are paid a stipend for the 10-week period. The current stipend is $6,000, which is paid in conjunction with the UT payroll schedule.  Paychecks will be issued on the 1st and the 16th of each month.  Students pay for housing from these funds.


Applications will be accepted from Dec 1. – Feb. 1 (11:59 pm Central Standard Time – CST) only. You will not be able to submit applications before this time. Supporting documents, including letters of reference and transcripts, must be submitted on-line along with your application by February 1.
Application Form

Faculty Mentors


At the time of application, undergraduate students enrolled in any accredited U.S. college or university during the current academic year may participate, but must NOT have graduated at the time the program begins. With AP credit, freshman can apply to the program as long as the freshman has 12 hours of science credit by February 1 (11:59 pm CST) of each year.

To qualify for this program, applicants must be a United States citizen or an international student enrolled at an accredited undergraduate institution in the U.S. All students must be 18 years of age by the start of the GradSURP program.

The following items must be submitted online at the time of your application process:

  • Official transcripts (if unofficial, printed page must have source of where document has been printed, ie. name of school or registrar’s office, etc.)
  • Two letters of reference (must come directly from the writer).  Name and email information are needed to complete this section of your application.  An email from the application system will be sent to these two references asking to submit your reference before the deadline.  The letters of reference can come from a professor, employers, volunteer director etc.
  • A personal statement is required at the end of the application.  Please review the guidelines (located in the area before the Personal Statement block) and prepare your personal statement BEFORE beginning the application. Note that you cannot save an incomplete application form and continue later.

All application materials, including transcripts and letters of recommendation, must be submitted online by the February 1 (11:59 pm CST) deadline.  Your application will not be considered for admission if you miss this deadline.  Your application form MUST be in “Submitted” status in order to be considered.

Program Requirements

  • Mandatory attendance at orientation.
  • Attendance at weekly GradSURP seminar-series lectures.
  • Completion of 10-week program (encompasses 40-hour work week; no vacation is to be scheduled during the program with exception of May 30th holiday and July 4th holiday).
  • Completion of lecturer and program evaluations.
  • Abstract submission.
  • Mandatory attendance at closing program.

Permanent Residents & International Students

Permanent residents are eligible to participate in this program but must meet the requirements for a Social Security card / number. In addition, they must contact the UTHealth International Affairs Office at 713.500.3176 PRIOR to the first day of the program to ensure proper documentation is received by the university.

International Students are also eligible to participate and must meet the following requirements before the first day of the program:

  • Must be enrolled at an accredited U.S. university.
  • Must have valid Social Security number and card BEFORE applying.
  • Accepted international students must show a passport, I – 94, I – 20 and evidence (letter or notation on I – 20) of permission from the International advisor of your University. Call 713.500.3176 for more information.
  • You will be required to provide these documents or any other documents as stipulated by the United States government to the UTHealth Office of International Affairs BEFORE you are allowed to start the program.


Copies of immunization records must be provided once a student has been accepted into the program. Required immunizations:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Meningococcal Vaccine
  • MMR
  • Diphtheria/tetanus
  • PPD Skin Test
  • Varicella

For Comments or suggestions, please contact us at

Senior Program Manager: Mrs. Linh Trinh
Summer Research Program
6431 Fannin, JJL 315B
Houston TX 77030
Telephone: 713-500-5105
Fax: 713-500-0603

GradSURP Contact: Shane R. Cunha, Ph.D.
Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology
McGovern Medical School
6431 Fannin St.
Houston, TX 77030
Tel. 713-500-7433

Website updated as of 10/12/2023