The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program sponsored by the UAMS Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology offers an excellent opportunity for you to learn about graduate level research through an interactive environment. Our program is highly competitive so please read over the application process carefully. Incomplete applications will not be processed. Good luck!


To be eligible for SURF, you must:

  • Be a continuing undergraduate student at a domestic university.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5/4.0.
  • Complete the second semester or third quarter in residence at your college or university.
  • Not be under any disciplinary sanction.
  • Be a domestic student or foreign national in the US legally (possessing a valid visa, etc.)

Applicants to the SURF program must submit

  • Completed application form, application.pdf or application.doc.
  • An official transcript (sealed by the university registrar).  Science GPA includes all science related courses, e.g. Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math, etc.
  • Two letters of recommendation. Here is a suggested form to use, recommendation.pdf.

All materials should be sent as one complete packet to ensure their receipt by our office; nevertheless, we will accept application materials sent individually.  Regardless, the complete application must be received on or before March 1. If the deadline falls on a Sunday or federal holiday, then the deadline is the next business day.  It is imperative that applicants provide contact information (preferably E-mail and/or telephone).  It is the responsibility of the student to ensure all materials are received by the deadline.   Applicants should receive a confirmation by mail and/or email that the application has been received by our department.  Otherwise, please contact Dr. Grover Paul Miller by phone (501-526-6486) or email (

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Dept of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
4301 W. Markham St, Slot 516
Little Rock, AR 72205

Identify a project of interest

In order to match a students interest to on-going research programs, the student chooses a potential mentor and project listed under the Research Opportunities link. Because there may be multiple requests for projects, students must select three projects in order of preference (see application form). If a student is selected to participate in the SURF program, a mentor and the corresponding project will be assigned to the student based on there qualifications and interests in the particular area of study.


Students are required to submit two letters of recommendation from professors or mentors who can evaluate the applicant based on performance in science courses or recent research projects.


Students are required to have an official transcript mailed in a sealed envelope or emailed to the program director or organizing committee from the records office at their college or university.

Review Criteria

Applications are judged on the following criteria (in no particular order):

  • There is a higher preference for students completing their junior (third) year of undergraduate education; however, qualified sophomores and on rare occasions freshman have also been accepted.
  • Student is prepared for the project (coursework, experience, etc).
  • Student expresses genuine interest in graduate level research.
  • Faculty have submitted supportive recommendations and evaluations.

SURF Awards

Completed applications will be reviewed in the order they are received. Final decisions will be made by early March. Awards will be announced on April 1 (unless it falls on a weekend in which case awards are announced on the following Monday). The SURF Director on recommendation by the Graduate Education Committee of the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology awards SURF fellowships. Students will receive e-mail notification of the outcome of their applications. Awards will be posted on the website.


SURF students receive a $4000 stipend. The stipend is taxable income and will be reported on relevant tax forms.
Stipend payments will be distributed in equal installments on the last working day of June, July, and August.


Students with friends and family in the Little Rock area are free to arrange their own accommodations. Otherwise, students may live in UAMS housing during the ten weeks of SURF; however, students will be responsible for housing costs. Rates will not be finalized until late spring, and there is no board contract. Get more information on UAMS guest housing.

Any questions?

Please check out this FAQ sheet.