Geisinger Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)

The Geisinger Clinic Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) provides an exceptional opportunity for undergraduate students to conduct research under the mentorship of our nationally and internationally recognized scientists. This program is designed for undergraduates with a strong background in the sciences who are considering a career in biomedical research. Participants experience the joy of scientific discovery as well as the challenges inherent in scientific research while developing skills in scientific reasoning, research methods and scientific communication through interaction with our research staff. Internships are available in the following areas:

  • Department of Molecular and Functional Genomics - Students will work with bench scientists investigating topics in genomics, functional genomics, developmental biology or cell signaling. They will have ownership of the project and provide a summary report at the end of the summer.
  • Geisinger Obesity Institute - Students will work with a multi-disciplinary research team to develop a summer project in basic science, genomics and clinical or population-based pediatric or adult obesity research.
  • Imaging Science and Innovation – Topic 1: Medical imaging application of machine learning and computer vision. Students will assist in large scale medical data and image cleaning, scrubbing and preparation; analyze, process and transform data using various techniques and build scalable predictive models. Topic 2: Cardiac imaging of sub-clinical heart disease. Students will work with a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in radiology, engineering, and image processing to quantify heart function from medical imaging in relation to factors such as health outcomes, genomics, or obesity. Experience with technical computing software, such as MATLAB, is preferred. 
  • Center for Pharmacy Outcomes and Innovation - Students will gain insight into conducting health services innovations/research intended to improve medication use. Focus will be on medication adherence, metabolic disease, behavioral health, addiction, pain and/or biologics. Candidates pursuing a degree in pharmacy are preferred, but this is not a requirement.
  • Department of Epidemiology and Health Science Research - Students will participate in community engaged research. Interns will have the opportunity to develop data collection tools and engage in data collection supporting the Community Health Needs Assessment activities of Geisinger Health System. In addition, students will participate in developing reports related to these activities and may participate in field training programs.
  • Environmental Health Institute - The mission of the Environmental Health Institute (EHI) is to understand how land use, the built environment, energy production and use, food systems and water systems may impact human health in central and northeast Pennsylvania. Previous EHI interns have worked on projects focusing on environmental epidemiology, including, but not limited to, primary data collection, data entry and literature reviews.
  • Genomic Medicine Institute - Students will work with the genomics team, including MDs, PhDs, and Genetic Counselors, to develop a summer project in clinical genomics with the option to choose from a variety of research opportunities.  Students will have the option to complete some job shadowing of genetic counselors or clinical geneticists as part of the internship experience. 
  • Department of Biomedical and Translational Informatics - Students will work with our investigators to apply informatics technologies to link clinical data from the electronic health record to genomic data from the MyCode Community Health Initiative to make discoveries important to human health. Opportunities are available for self-identifying underrepresented minority students under a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.   

The Geisinger Clinic SURP is competitive, with acceptance based on grades, test scores, recommendations and stated career goals. You may apply if you are currently a sophomore or junior in a four-year college or university. No previous research experience is required; however, applicants should have taken appropriate course work prior to application.

Program features:

  • College sophomores and juniors are eligible for the 10-week program.
  • To the degree possible, students are matched with research programs according to their stated interest and work on projects under the direct supervision of our staff or senior scientists.
  • Students are selected from diverse academic backgrounds. Past participants represent more than 46 colleges and universities in 10 states.
  • Students may be provided opportunities to develop critical thinking skills through participation in a weekly journal club.
  • Students participate in workshops on ethical issues in research.

Interested students should send a completed 2018 SURP internship application form and required documents no earlier than December 18th, 2017 through February 2, 2018. 

For additional information, contact Lisa Farr: lafarr@geisinger.edu.