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Pepperdine University Seaver College Undergraduate Research in Biology

Pepperdine SURB students

In the summer 2024 (May 6-July 19), Pepperdine University will host the Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Biology (SURB) developed specifically for students who are interested in pursuing a career in biological research, science education, environmental science, biomathematics or biotechnology. Pepperdine biology faculty will work closely with selected students in diverse areas of biological research. Successful applicants will be provided a generous stipend, on-campus housing, a unit of biology research credit, funding for travel to Malibu, and a budget for the purchase of research supplies. Students will be introduced to varied research tools and techniques and will partner with a faculty member to develop a project idea for their summer research. Then the full SURB group will complete their research proposals and engage in a research retreat,often at the James Reserve near Idyllwild, CA. Over the remainder of the summer, students will pursue individual research projects under the direction of their faculty mentor. Guest scientists will periodically visit the program to give seminars and meet with the SURB research students. The research program will conclude with a student research symposium in late July.

Students may elect to study in one of seven areas, and selection criteria include their interest in research-based careers, their academic credentials, and teacher recommendations. Depending on faculty participation, which varies from year to year, students may be accepted to do research in a second or third choice of preference.

The salary stipend for SURB students is $700 per week or $7,700 for the eleven week program and reflects what Pepperdine University reasonably expects to pay for this stipend. Student participants in the SURB program will also receive a weekly allotment for food/meals, on-campus shared housing, a credit for travel, and a one-unit academic scholarship. 

Students must complete the online application using the National Science Foundation’s Education and Training Application (ETAP) for this program.  Further details are available on the application page.  Application components will include 1) the NSF registration form, 2) SURB-specific application questions, 3) a brief essay stating the reason(s) why you would like to participate in this program (see application page for full prompt), 3) college transcript (unofficial is acceptable), and 4) one letter of recommendation from a science faculty member who is familiar with your academic or research work. Applicants are expected to have completed one year of biology prior to the summer program and must be classified as undergraduate students (NSF requirement). All application materials, including the recommendation letter, must be submitted to ETAP before the application deadline: 12 am Midnight (EST) Wednesday, February 7, 2024.

Notification of acceptance will be made on or before Friday, April 12, 2024.

The following link provides access to the ETAP application form that begins your application process:  https://etap.nsf.gov/award/4621/opportunity/6437

Please note that participation in the SURB program is contingent upon renewal of funding from the National Science Foundation. SURB is a residential program, and access to the Pepperdine campus is contingent upon COVID conditions and approval for campus access by Los Angeles county and by Pepperdine policy. We will maintain regular communication with accepted students if there are any changes affecting program funding or campus residency. 

 Please contact Dr. Courtney Davis for more information.