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IRACDA SURF Program (June 19 - August 12, 2022)

Application Deadline: February 7, 2022

San Diego IRACDA fellows develop and 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 that work with an IRACDA Postdoctoral fellow on an ongoing research project and participate in weekly professional development workshops, directed 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
  • Participate in an optional GRE-intensive test preparation course
  • Present research at the UCSD Summer Research Conference
  • Receive a stipend of $3300
  • Receive 8 weeks of on campus housing
  • Receive up to $250 to cover travel related costs
  • Eligibility for $350 to cover meeting registration upon receipt of a national conference travel award

Note that IRACDA will host an abbreviated, online program in the event we are unable to hold an in-person program this year. SURF participants will continue to receive an 8-week stipend.

How to Apply

Applicants must be students enrolled at San Diego City College. Applicants should be majoring in science and interested in biomedical research. Candidates from groups underrepresented in biomedical and/or behavioral sciences or with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

First step | Prepare

You will need 30 minutes to complete the SURF application and it should be completed in one sitting. Below are the items that you need prior to filling out the application.  

    • You can find a list of current IRACDA fellows and their research interests here.Names (first name, last name) of two IRACDA fellows that you are interested in working with
    • Your application requires at least one letter of recommendation
    • Letters should be submitted directly by your referee (letter writer) to with subject line “SURF Letter” followed by your last name.  Example: “SURF Letter | Smith”
    • Referees can find more information about the SURF program here.Name of your reference or letter writer
  • Your current unofficial transcript through Fall 2020
  • A personal statement (2-page limit)
    • The personal statement should describe your research interest and experience (if any), your educational goals, including your plans to transfer to a 4-year institution and any activities or experiences that have prepared you to do so (MESA, relevant workshops, previous job training or research experience, community service or volunteer work), career objectives as they relate of biomedical or behavioral sciences, and any hardships you might have faced. The personal statement should be uploaded as a Word document or PDF.


Second step | Apply

  • Complete the application
    • Personal Statements (2 page limit in a Word document or PDF)
    • Unofficial transcript (including the most recent completed semester)Upload the following documents to the application:
  • Confirm your letter of recommendation has been sent by the deadline 

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

Ropes Course

2021 SURFers & IRACDA Mentors