Summer Honors Undergraduate Research Program (SHURP)

About the Program

SHURP is a ten-week summer research program primarily for college students belonging to groups that are under-represented in the sciences. SHURP presently has 475 alumni from colleges across the country, and over 90% are continuing or planning to continue training and careers in the sciences. SHURP is one of the summer research programs participating in the Summer Research Early Identification Program of the Leadership Alliance, a consortium of 35 colleges and universities dedicated to improving the participation of historically underrepresented students in graduate programs.

To be eligible for SHURP, applicants must be currently-enrolled undergraduates who:

  • will not have completed their BA/BS degree by June 2020,
  • are considering careers in biological or biomedical research sciences,
  • have already had at least one summer (or equivalent term-time) of experience in a research laboratory,
  • have taken at least one upper-level biology course that includes molecular biology, and
  • are U.S. citizens or permanent residents (due to requirements of our federal funding).


Summer research opportunities will be available in a variety of biological and biomedical sciences including (but not limited to): cellular and developmental biology, cell cycle regulation, stem cell biology, studies of blood cells, cancer biology, endocrinology, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, genetics, neuroscience, receptor structure and function, transmembrane signaling mechanisms, and virology.  Considerable emphasis is placed on placing students in labs suiting their research interests.  More information about research interests of Division faculty members may be found at

Summer 2020 Dates: Monday, June 1st through Saturday, August 8.*
*Due to the academic schedule of those students on the quarter system, dates may be modified for those students.




Prior to the start of the summer session, incoming participants will speak with the SHURP director about research interests to determine faculty/lab placement.  Depending upon faculty availability participants will be placed in labs based on the availability of advisors in addition to a designated lab mentor (graduate student, postdoc) who will work with the advisor to ensure a smooth transition into the lab and act as an additional resource for the summer project.

Orientation will be held the first day of the summer program and will include an overview of Harvard University, Medical School and available resources at participant’s disposal.  The program co-directors and coordinator will be in attendance in addition to peer mentor coordinators to answer questions regarding research, lab and other resource locations, lodging and program requirements.  Participants will be escorted to have their ID pictures taken and accompanied to the lab where they will typically meet with both their research mentor and lab advisor.    

There will be standard meetings setup between lab advisor/mentor and the participant as well as between the participant and program directors.  In addition, participants will be paired with a current graduate student with similar research interests (typically a former SHURPer) and will have an opportunity to meet with their and other peer mentors during various outings and events arranged by the peer mentor coordinators.  Participants are strongly encouraged to arrange additional meetings as needed/desired with all available resources.

Application for Summer 2020 is now OPEN!


Apply through the Leadership Alliance here.


The application deadline is February 1st, 2020.


Contact Us

If you have any questions about SHURP, please email the program coordinator at


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