youtube linkedin
Exit off canvas

Summer Undergraduate Research Program

The Institute of Medical Science (IMS) has an exceptional Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP). Dr. Vasundara Venkateswaran has served as the Director of the program since 2010. This program provides an opportunity for undergraduate B.Sc. and medical students (who do not hold a graduate degree) to become involved in projects relating to biomedical research. Projects range across a broad spectrum of disciplines, from molecular biology and cognitive science to clinical investigation and bioethics.

Participants selected for the program spend 3 months in the summer (June-August) in a laboratory or clinical setting, working on a research project. During this time students are encouraged to participate in laboratory meetings, data analysis, journal clubs, and/or appropriate clinical research rounds at the affiliated teaching hospitals. In addition, the IMS offers weekly seminars rendered by eminent researchers from the University of Toronto.

The summer research program concludes with Research Day in mid-August where students are given the opportunity to showcase their research findings through oral or poster presentations. Highlights of the Research Day include several awards for excellence in research presentation including a certificate of participation.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program is a wonderful opportunity and a great platform for students to work with distinguished faculty members, develop sound research methodologies and experience excellent mentorship. Click here to read about SURP in the IMS Magazine!

Please contact Elena Gessas for all SURP related inquiries.


What you need to know.

EligibilitySupervisor MatchProgram DurationInternational StudentsDomestic Students
Participants in the IMS Summer Student Program must be enrolled in medical school (without a previously obtained graduate degree) or pursuing an undergraduate science degree program. Undergraduate applicants must have an average of B+ Cumulative GPA (3.3/4.0 or 77%) or higher. Participants who apply for IMS funding must hold a Cumulative GPA of A- (3.7 GPA, 80% or First Class Distinction) or higher. Medical student applicants must not hold a graduate degree and must be in good standing as determined by their school registrar.

Students are required to initiate their own student/supervisor match before submitting their application. A list of faculty recruiting students for 2017 will be available at the end of November 2016. Students who are able to secure a supervisor but whose applications do not meet the minimum eligibility requirements will not be considered for funding.

A list of faculty recruiting students for the 2017 program will be posted at the end of 2016.
The IMS offers participants a 12-week (June 1 – August 26, 2016) immersive experience in a laboratory or clinical setting in the University of Toronto community.  Students are expected to be present for the complete duration of the program, with no exceptions.
The International program is a wonderful opportunity for students from around the world to gain hands-on research experience at the University of Toronto.  The International program is available to undergraduate or medical students who are not Canadian Citizens or permanent residents and do not have a valid SIN #.  The IMS accommodates a limited number of International students each year.

Students must be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program or medical school at a post-secondary institution outside of Canada.  Must have an average of B+ or 77%, or higher.

The International Application Package for the next year of 2017 will be posted at the end of November 2016.

The domestic application process applies to students who:

  • Are Canadian Citizens or permanent residents and have a valid SIN Number.
  • Enrolled in an undergraduate degree program or medical school.
  • Have an average of B+ cumulative GPA (3.3/4.0 or 77%) or higher.
  • Medical students must not hold a graduate degree and must be in good standing as determined by their registrar.



The following funding options are available to domestic students accepted to the program:

OPTION #1: External funding. The student funds their summer research through an external grant or award. The IMS office does not administer this option. For possible sources of external funding visit the Faculty of Medicine, Research Office.

OPTION #2: Full funding from the supervisor. The supervisor funds the student through an operating grant, affiliated research facility funds etc. This option is at the sole discretion of the supervisor. The IMS office does not administer this option.

OPTION #3: Joint funding. 50% funding provided by the supervisor, 50% funding provided by the IMS. IMS funding is subject to availability. This option is a competitive process and not guaranteed.

For more information please contact Elena Gessas

SURP Application Deadline

Applications submission is now closed.  Please check back in November 2016 for next year’s posting.