Summer Undergraduate Research (SUR) Programme
Few entering university students have had significant experience with research into the unknown. Initial university courses provide descriptions of fundamental processes that are well established, indeed “in the textbooks”. The first opportunity to do research at the edge of the unknown can be a life changing experience that is remembered for the rest of one’s life. The School of Biology of the Faculty of Biology and Medicine at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) proposes the Summer Undergraduate Research (SUR) Programme for the uninitiated to obtain that first experience.
During 8 weeks in July and August, the SUR Programme hosts about 20 Bachelor (first university degree) students with both biological and medical studies background from around the world (including 1-2 from Lausanne). Each participant will perform an individual research project in a different laboratory of the Faculty of Biology and Medicine. This programme aims to attract outstanding motivated students from near and far for a research experience that will remain with them for their lifetimes.
While most of the time is spent in the host lab, each week the students come together for shared academic activities, often with participants of the sister programme at the EPFL. These activities include introductory student research presentations, lectures from faculty members on research topics and their career paths, and career guidance workshops in academia and beyond.
At the end of the summer, students present the results of their research on a poster during a joint UNIL/EPFL Symposium and write a final report.
Students also enjoy many social activities, including a hike in the Alps, barbecues, swimming in Lac Léman, and visits to other cities in Switzerland!
About the SUR Programme
Who is the SUR Programme for?
The programme is geared towards undergraduate students at the end of the second or third year of their degree.
We welcome students studying any field in the life sciences, as well as those pursuing medical studies. UNIL is unique in having a combined Faculty of Biology and Medicine, and we are keen to offer to medical students the possibility to perform research.
Students of any nationality, studying in any country, are welcome to apply, but should have very good English language skills. While most students come from abroad, applications from local students from the UNIL or the EPFL (or elsewhere in Switzerland) are also welcome.
Accommodation, Scholarships, Travel and Visas
The program coordinator will arrange and pay for the housing. You will be housed within one of the buildings of the FMEL association, in a single room within an apartment with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The program coordinator will inform you when your housing assignment is made, how to contact them and where it is located.
The programme will also provide you a scholarship of approximately CHF 1500 to cover other living expenses. It is advised to bring extra money for expenses above and beyond standard housing and living expenses (e.g., weekend travel).
Limited funds are available to cover justified costs of travel to Lausanne. In general, up to CHF 500 for European travel and CHF 1200 for overseas travel is covered. Original receipts and boarding passes will be required for reimbursement.
Assistance will be provided to all students who require visas to come to Switzerland.
Participants must be covered for health and accidents from their home country.
The final lab assignment will be given to selected participants once we get their confirmation of participation to the programme. We will use the stated lab preferences mentioned in the on-line application as a basis for the assignment.
Dates and Deadlines
The Programme will run from July 3rd to August 25th, 2017.
The application must be complete, including reference letters, by midnight CET 31st of January 2017 PANNEAU-DANGER-.png
The online application will open in November 2016
On-line application procedure
Eligibility and Selection
The programme is aimed at undergraduate students who have completed the second or third year of their university degree in any biological or medical field. Undergraduate means the first 4 years of university training usually towards a bachelor's degree.
The programme is highly competitive and students are chosen based upon their academic record (typically GPA >3.75 or equivalent, and/or top 5% class ranking), personal statements, and letters of recommendation.
If your university does not use a 4 point scale, then include an explanation of your grading scale in the online application (under curriculum vitae B). Differences in grading scales will be taken into consideration, but you must be in the top 5 % of your class.)
Students can be of any nationality and be studying in any country, but should have very good abilities in written and spoken English.
Students must be present for the entire programme to participate.
Selected participants will be informed via email about 3 weeks after the application deadline.
A listing of all courses with grades taken at the university level is required in the online application. In addition, an official document of your transcripts, saved in a Word, JPG or PDF format, in English, French or German must be uploaded during the online application
This document should be named in the following format:
In addition to the online application, you must arrange for two confidential letters of recommendation from people familiar with your academic work (e.g., professors). Please ask your referees to use the letter template below.
This form should be completed and named in the following format:
The document should be e-mailed directly by your referees to firstname.lastname@example.org before the application deadline.
For more information click "Further official information" below.
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