VT Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Neuroscience (SURF-N)


The SURF-N program is a 10-week summer research program sponsored by the VT School of Neuroscience that gives undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in hands-on research in laboratories of our faculty members.

Student fellows will spend 40 hours per week immersed in a research environment, assisting in an ongoing project in the faculty mentor’s laboratory. They will gain real-world neuroscience research experience and bench skills beneficial to career development, and will receive financial support with a stipend of $4,000. In addition to hands-on research, undergraduate fellows will have opportunities to attend departmental research seminars, receive training on science communication and presentation skills, and engage in a career preparation workshop. At the end of the summer fellowship, students will present a poster of their work at the annual School of Neuroscience Research Retreat in Blacksburg. If you have questions about the program, please contact Dr. Sarah Clinton (sclinton@vt.edu) or Dr. Lina Ni (linani@vt.edu).


To be eligible to apply to this program, students must be currently enrolled in a neuroscience major at Virginia Tech. Application requirements and deadlines are listed below:

·       Application deadline is March 1, 2023

·       Awardees will be notified on March 15, 2023.

·       SURF-N program dates: May 22 – July 28, 2023.


  • Identify 2-3 potential mentors from our list of SoN-core faculty or a SoN-affiliated faculty. (PLEASE NOTE: It is not necessary to contact the faculty mentor, just indicate the faculty members’ names.) You are welcomed to select any SoN core or affiliated faculty, although the following list of faculty mentors are particularly interested to host summer students:
    • Dr. Sweta Agrawal
    • Dr. Julia Basso
    • Dr. Georgia Hodes
    • Dr. Matt Howe
    • Dr. Tim Jarome
    • Dr. Wynn Legon
    • Dr. Silvio Macias
    • Dr. Lina Ni
    • Dr. Michelle Olsen
    • Dr. Alicia Pickrell
    • Dr. Kendra Sewall
    • Dr. Chris Thompson
    • Dr. Matt Weston


  • Prepare answers to the following questions:
    1. Why are you interested in neuroscience? 
    2. Why are you interested in research?
    3. Identify any skills you have that you feel will be relevant or useful in research (not limited to previous research experience, could include teamwork, communication skills, coding, programming, data analysis, science writing, etc.)
    4. Why you are interested to work with the faculty mentors selected?
    5. What are your expectations for the summer research experience?
    6. How will this experience with SURF-N benefit you?


  • Upload your unofficial transcript.
  • Upload a recent resume/CV.