Summer Undergraduate Research Program



The Summer Undergraduate Research Program celebrates over four decades of continued success. Today, Dr. Ted Brown serves as the Director of the program. SURP 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. 

Why take part in SURP? 

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

What do we offer in the program? 

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 you 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 you are given the opportunity to showcase your 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. 


If you have any questions about the Summer Undergraduate Research Program not covered below, please email Sobiga Vyravanathan, SURP Program Coordinator

Do I need to be a student at the University of Toronto to apply to SURP?

No, students at any Canadian university can apply to SURP, as long as they meet all other eligibility requirements.

Can I send an unofficial transcript/academic history screenshot as part of my application?

Only an official transcript will be accepted as part of the application. You can submit an electronic version of the official transcript.

I am in my final year of my undergraduate studies. Can I apply to the SURP program?

Yes, students in their final year of undergraduate studies can apply to the program, as long as they are enrolled in courses in their undergraduate degree program until April. For example, if you would like to participate in SURP 2023, and you are in your final year of undergraduate studies, you must be enrolled in courses until April 2023.

I am enrolled in pharmacy/optometry/dentistry school. Am I eligible to participate in SURP?

No, students enrolled in pharmacy/optometry/dentistry school are not eligible to participate in SURP. Professional degree students are not eligible, other than medical students.

How do I find a supervisor?

In December, a list of supervisors looking for summer students for SURP for the following year will be listed on our website here. You need to contact the supervisors you are interested in working with.

Can I apply to the SURP if I have participated in SURP in previous years?

Yes, you can participate in SURP again, as long as you meet all other eligibility requirements. However, students are only eligible to receive joint funding for two years with the same supervisor. 

Will I automatically receive joint funding if my cGPA is over 3.7?

No, we have a limited number of joint funded awards, and these are awarded on a competitive basis.

What is the time commitment required to participate in SURP?

Although this is an academic program and not a job, students are expected to be working on their research for a minimum of 35 hours/week.

Are the summer seminar series mandatory?

Yes, all students are expected to attend the summer seminar series every week. Attendance will be taken at the seminar series.

We will not be accepting any international students for the SURP 2024 program.