Fifth Annual Conference Celebrates Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF)
The University of Rhode Island hosted the fifth annual Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Conference on Friday, July 27th. At the event, students from around the state presented their summer research findings and showcased the hands-on laboratory experience they gained during their summer fellowships. Governor Chafee helped celebrate the event, congratulating the students on their hard work and encouraging them to remain in Rhode Island and be part of our growing our life sciences economy.
Photo: Governor Chafee meets with student researchers Shennel Gelin and Kristen Dostie who worked with faculty mentors Dr. JD Swanson (Salve Regina University) and Dr. Carol Thornber (University of Rhode Island). The Thornber/Swanson lab is a 2012 recipient of a STAC Collaborative Research Grant for their work on algal blooms.
The SURF program, a collaboration between the RI IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (RI-INBRE) and the RI Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (RI-EPSCoR), offers summer research opportunities to Rhode Island students who are considering careers in the biomedical, behavioral or life sciences. This year’s program was the largest yet, with 70 faculty mentoring 88 students from Rhode Island institutes of higher education including the University of Rhode Island, Brown University, Providence College, Rhode Island College, Roger Williams University, Salve Regina University, Bryant University, and the Community College of Rhode Island. The students displayed posters illustrating their research and discussed their work on such topics as marine science, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences and biology.
Undergraduate fellows work alongside a faculty mentor in an intense 10-week research program, ending with an annual conference that attracts university faculty members, researchers, business leaders and government representatives from around the state.