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Award at a Glance

Award amount: $4,000 stipend, up to $1,300 in APS meeting travel expenses and a one year complimentary APS membership

Application deadline: February 1

Questions? Contact: Awards Department

Who can apply: Undergraduate students with no more than nine calendar months of research experience.


Past Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows



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Award Description

APS is opening the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) applications and the review process with the intent of the program moving forward as planned. However, the Society reserves the right to cancel the program at any time. Thank you for your understanding.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF), allow students to participate in hands-on research in the laboratory of an established researcher and APS member for 10 weeks. Fellows have the opportunity to:

  • network with other APS Fellows interested in and conducting biomedical or basic research;
  • explore the nature of research and the scientific process;
  • investigate physiology career options, what it takes to find career success;
  • learn about scientific writing and draft a meeting abstract, learn about common ethical issues in figure and text preparation; and
  • pose their career questions to members of the APS.

The award will be presented annually (contingent upon funding) up to 12 students. The SURF award consists of:

  • $4,000 stipend;
  • Travel expenses up to $1,300 for travel within the United States for the awardee to attend the American Physiology Summit; and
  • Up to $300 in reimbursement for lab supplies to the fellow's research host.


    Please note: The American Physiological Society’s awards and programs specific to underrepresented minority and diverse groups has governing criteria defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH defines underrepresented minority group status in the institutes Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity, which can be found here. Additional underrepresented minority group definitions can be found on the National Institutes of Health Diversity of Extramural Programs webpage.

    • This is a full-time summer position for up to 10 weeks and must be worked consecutively. The applicant can not take summer classes, schedule travel or have a second job during their time in the research lab. Ten weeks must be worked consecutively. 
    • Only one SURF application per research host may be submitted.
    • Applicant must locate and contact an APS member in good standing to serve as a research host
    • Applicant must be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student.
    • Applicant should not have more than nine calendar months of research experience in a physiology laboratory, no previous peer-reviewed publications and no previous abstracts submitted to national or international meetings.
    • Applicant must be working with an APS member in good standing.
    • Applicant must have an overall GPA of >3.0 (0-4.0 scale).
    • There are no citizenship requirements for this award.


    Applications shall consist of:

    1. A 500-word description of the student’s research project to be written by the student. If this is not written in the student’s own words, it will not be reviewed by the Committee.
    2. A copy of the student’s transcript (official or unofficial).
    3. One-page personal statement written by the student that describes the following:
      1. Background;
      2. Achievements;
      3. Interests in short-term goals;
      4. Long-term career goals;
      5. How the research experience will positively influence their career development; and 
      6. A statement concerning the student's choice of the APS member researcher who will host them in their lab.
    4. Two letters of recommendation:
      1. One from the research host the applicant proposes working with over the summer; and 
      2. One from a faculty member at the student’s home institution.

    Student Application Instructions

    Host Application Instructions

    Note: To the extent possible, these letters should rank the applicant in comparison to other students at similar levels. Both letters should speak directly to the issue of the student’s potential to pursue a career in physiology as a research scientist. The letter from the research host should describe the basis or factors that resulted in an invitation to work in their laboratory. Letters should also comment specifically on the student’s career aspirations and the stage of development of those aspirations.

    Final selection of the award recipient will be made by the members of the Career Opportunities in Physiology Committee.

    Applications are only accepted via online submission.