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Summer Undergraduate Research in Biology (SURB) Application

Pepperdine SURB students in a lab


Competitive applicants should be interested in pursuing a career in biological research, science education, environmental science, biomathematics or biotechnology. They must have completed one year of biology by the summer of 2024 and must be classified as an undergraduate student prior to and during program participation. Participants must be available full-time May 6- July 19, 2024. 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. The National Science Foundation requires that all participants be United States citizens or a permanent resident of the United States.  All SURB students will live on the campus of Pepperdine University, grouped together as a research cohort, in housing provided by the SURB program.

Students must complete the online application using the National Science Foundation’s Education and Training Application (ETAP) for this program: 

Your online application, including a brief essay stating the reason(s) why you would like to participate in this program (see below for full prompt) and unofficial college transcript(s), needs to be uploaded to ETAP and received before 11:59 PM EST on Wednesday, February 7, 2024.

One letter of recommendation must be uploaded to ETAP directly by a science faculty member who is familiar with your academic or research work before 11:59 PM EST on, February 7, 2024

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. 


Submission of a Complete Application

Select “Apply Now” on the SURB ETAP application page: https://etap.nsf.gov/award/4621/opportunity/6437

Application components include the following:

  • NSF registration form (common to multiple programs on ETAP)
  • SURB-specific application questions
  • A 1-2 page essay uploaded in pdf format defining:
    • your career aspirations,
    • your specific interests with regard to biological research,
    • your interest in the Pepperdine SURB program in particular, and
    • any barriers you face or have overcome in pursuing science or research opportunities.

This essay is uploaded as a separate file in the final SURB application question (not as a personal statement).

  • Your current college transcript(s), which may be either official or unofficial
  • One letter of recommendation uploaded to ETAP directly by a science faculty member who is familiar with the academic or research work of the candidate. 

Where to seek help: 

  • For assistance on ETAP-related questions, please contact the NSF ETAP Help Desk at etaphelp@nsf.gov or 1-800-673-6188.  
  • For assistance on SURB-specific questions, please contact SURB Program Director Dr. Courtney Davis at courtney.davis2@pepperdine.edu or the Pepperdine Natural Science Division at 310-506-4321.