The Ohio State University Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

Gloved hands pipetting into a test tubeThe Ohio State University and The Five Colleges of Ohio will convert their collaborative Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) internships to virtual research opportunities for Summer 2021 in recognition of the continuing impact of COVID-19 in Ohio.  The program will offer paid internships in chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, statistics, biostatistics, and epidemiology exclusively to students enrolled at the Five Colleges of Ohio. The program anticipates confirming additional research opportunities, including those in mathematics and physics, before the close of 2020. The collaboration is made possible with the joint support of The Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences, the OSU College of Public Health and The Five Colleges of Ohio.

The summer program, offered from May to July 2021, will partner OSU faculty members with Ohio Five interns who will conduct individual projects that contribute to the faculty members’ research priorities. Interns will become part of the faculty members’ research teams in online synchronous meetings and project work and will also carry out project assignments independently, providing an introduction to the graduate school research experience. Students will conclude their internship at a virtual capstone event where they will present their research to OSU faculty and faculty and academic deans from their home institution, followed by a presentation through their college early in the fall semester. Students may complete their internships from the location they choose that offers reliable internet service and the ability to work from 9 am to 5 pm Eastern Standard Time.

Participants in the program credit their summer experience with building their skills and confidence in developing independent research projects, using advanced lab techniques, and presenting their research to peers.  Working in an R-1 environment with a mentor, leading research projects, and experiencing “the independence and trial and error of being an experimentalist” topped their lists of program attributes. “Learning what research in my field actually entails in practice was very beneficial for me,” one student commented, “I learned a lot by being pushed out of my comfort zone intellectually.”

The program is open to currently-enrolled students at The College of Wooster, Denison University, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, or Ohio Wesleyan University with a special focus on students completing their sophomore years. Applicants may be STEM majors or, for the College of Public Health internships in biostatistics, statistics, and epidemiology, may also include social sciences majors who have statistics coursework. Those who initiate research projects they wish to continue may be invited to continue these activities with OSU following the internship.  The program is especially suited to students interested in a graduate degree in the sciences that they may consider pursuing at OSU.

Interns will be employed on an hourly basis at $10.53 an hour, corresponding to about $4,000 in gross wages for 38 hours per week for 10 weeks, the typical time of the program.  Typical start and end dates would be May 17-July 23, but the exact duration and start and end dates are negotiable and depend upon the needs of the individual labs.  Interns must have reliable internet service and be able to attend online, synchronous meeting during working hours in the Eastern time zone (i.e., approximately 9 am to 5 pm).  The program will entail full-time research and is generally not compatible with other employment or coursework.  

Apply

To apply, students should:

  1. Review detailed information about the SURE program on its website, including research program summaries from  each sponsoring faculty member.  Students will be asked to rank their first five choices for research assignments in the online application. Visit https://u.osu.edu/ohio5sure/ for this information.
  2. Submit an application, including a resume and official or unofficial transcript by February 15, 2021 through the Ohio Five SURE online application site. The SURE program uses a series of application questions instead of a cover letter.  Students should be prepared to provide narrative responses to these questions:
    • Tell us about the areas of research you would like to explore in a summer 2021 research program like SURE.
    • Please explain your first, second and third choices among the faculty-led SURE research programs and how you believe they will contribute to your research interests and future plans.
    • Please describe your previous laboratory or research experience.
    • Please tell us about your future plans after graduation.
  3. Applicants will also include the name and email address of a faculty member who knows their research well as a reference. The Ohio Five application site will contact that faculty member directly to request a letter of recommendation be sent to the Ohio Five.
  4. Decisions will be announced by March 15.  Questions? Please email Sarah Stone, Executive Director, Five Colleges of Ohio at stones@ohio5.org.