Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF)

Overview of the Program: 

The University of Southern California (USC) School of Pharmacy’s SURF program is geared towards increasing learning and networking opportunities for undergraduate students committed to pursuing either professional or academic research careers across the entire pharmaceutical continuum including drug discovery, delivery, mechanism of disease and drug action, clinical and translational studies, data science/bioinformatics, regulatory science, health outcome and economic analysis and policy development. Students will develop confidence and independence in conducting research and communicating scientific concepts under the guidance of faculty and other mentors. In addition to daily engagement in the research setting, students will attend biweekly entrepreneurship/professional development seminars and participate in a workshop on the graduate school application process so as to aid in the pursuit of graduate study. At the end of the summer, students will give an oral presentation of their research to their peers and faculty.


  • Undergraduate students between their junior and senior year (rising senior status when school resumes in the fall)
  • Students must be in good academic standing (GPA of 3.5 or higher) and enrolled for next year’s classes
  • Must be US citizens or permanent residents
  • Applications are strongly encouraged from the following groups to enhance diversity in our training programs: first‐generation college student, veterans or a member of a group that is underrepresented in graduate education (African Americans, Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders; individuals with disabilities, defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).

Program Information:

For a list of participating faculty ( their research projects and information about our graduate programs, please visit our website (

For more information, please contact the USC School of Pharmacy Graduate Affairs Office at 323.442.1474 or via email at

Program Benefits:

  • Participate in cutting‐edge full-remote research with top USC faculty
  • Receive a $4,000 stipend for a virtual full‐time program during summer (full time, 10 weeks minimum; involvement for a longer period may depend upon project and faculty preference)
  • Gain experience and tools to enhance your application for competitive PhD programs
  • Learn about the resources and graduate training opportunities at the USC School of Pharmacy
  • Develop lasting friendships with fellow participants through professional development sessions

Program Period:  June 1-August 6, 2021


Program Requirements:

  • Have a strong desire to pursue a PhD in one of the disciplines offered by the USC School of Pharmacy graduate programs (
    • Pharmaceutical and Translational Sciences PhD Tracks:
        • Pharmaceutical Sciences
      • Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology
      • Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics
    • Health Economics PhD Tracks:
        • Microeconomics
      • Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy
  • Strong academic background (GPA of 3.5 or higher) in the fields related to biology, chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, biomedical engineering, and/or economics
  • Students should have a working knowledge of lab skills and concepts learned through college courses such as chemistry and biology


For more information, please contact the USC School of Pharmacy Graduate Affairs Office via email at



Hear directly from previous SURF Program Fellows about their experience, Azuah Gonzalez and Mikey Bloomfield!



The USC School of Pharmacy’s SURF Program is no longer accepting applications  for summer 2021.