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(Tentatively June 21 - August 18, 2023)

Application Deadline: February 13, 2023

San Diego IRACDA fellows direct a SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship) Program for students underrepresented in science. The SURF program is an exciting 8-week research internship for San Diego City College students to work with an IRACDA Postdoctoral fellow on an ongoing research project and participate in weekly professional development workshops led by IRACDA fellows. Students will experience the rigors and challenges of doing research at a top rated research institution by engaging in 6-8 hours of laboratory research per day.

SURF students will:

  • Gain valuable research experience and mentoring with an IRACDA postdoctoral fellow
  • Attend weekly professional development workshops and journal clubs
  • Present research at the SURF Undergraduate Research Symposium
  • Receive a stipend of $5000
  • Eligibility for $350 to cover meeting registration upon receipt of a national conference travel award

How to Apply

Applicants must be enrolled at SDCCD. Applicants should be majoring in STEM and interested in biomedical research. Candidates from groups underrepresented in biomedical and/or behavioral sciences or with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

You will need at least 30 minutes to complete the SURF application and it should be completed in one sitting. Below is a list of the components you will need to complete the application: 

  • Names (first name, last name) of two IRACDA fellows with which you are interesting in working. You can find a list of current IRACDA fellows and their research interests here
  • Your unofficial transcript through Fall 2022
  • Your resume or CV

You will also be asked to answer the four essay questions below. Your application will be scored primarily based on your answers to these questions, so please be as thorough as possible. 

  • How do your career goals relate to the biomedical sciences and conducting research. How will the SURF program help to achieve your educational and career goals?
  • Any experiences or activities that are have prepared you for the SURF program and/or achieving your educational or career goals. These may include (but are not limited to) previous work or research experience or training, preparatory programs like MESA, classes or workshops above and beyond transfer requirements, participation in academic organizations, relevant volunteer or mentoring experience.
  • What you hope to gain by conducting research through the SURF program? What are your research interests (or scientific topics you find interesting)? 
  • Any hardships you have faced and/or overcome (English as second language, coming from an underrepresented or disadvantaged background, working or caregiving responsibilities, navigating college as a first gen student, etc). How will participation in the program help you to further overcome these challenges? 

You can type these answers directly into the application or copy and paste from a word processing program. 

If you have any questions about the application or the IRACDA SURF program, please email

If you are ready to apply, please click on the button below.

2021 SURF Group

Padres Game

In the Field

In the Lab

Collecting Samples

Learning Lab Techniques

UCSD Challenge Course

2021 SURFers & IRACDA Mentors