The Graduate College at the OU Health Sciences Center hosts four summer undergraduate research programs aimed at preparing and encouraging undergraduate students to pursue careers in biomedical research or health related sciences. Studies show that undergraduate research programs are beneficial to the success of applying to and completion of a graduate degree program. Our programs introduce outstanding undergraduate students to the rigorous academic preparation required to achieve these goals, through participation in intensive, hands-on research experiences in the laboratories of OUHSC biomedical faculty mentors.


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Participating Programs & Research Areas


We seek outstanding undergraduate students from around the state and the country to spend their summer at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City for a biomedical research experience at one of the best mentored programs in existence. Students join experienced laboratories where they work with other students and personnel to pursue their own projects over the course of a nine-week period. On the final day, students show off their progress at a poster session to the campus community. A Celebration Luncheon follows where student accomplishments are acknowledged by their advisors, awards are presented, and a former summer student returns to campus to present a Keynote Address. Students participating in our intensive programs receive generous stipends and housing arrangements to allow pursuit of their research activities full-time (40 hours/week) without distraction. Please see the information in the sidebar above to find which program is best suited for your needs and background. Entry is competitive, so be sure to apply by the deadline in February or March to ensure consideration. 


Each of our summer programs lasts 9 weeks, from the end of May to the end of July. SURE and NARCH participants arrive in Oklahoma City on the weekend preceding the start of their program to begin orientation sessions that will include training for laboratory safety, radiation safety, library resources, etc. 


Students engage in basic laboratory research immersed in the intellectual environment of the laboratory, including lab meetings. Mentors, graduate students, post-docs and laboratory personnel work closely with students to share methods and techniques that will enable students to assume responsibility for their own research projects if practicable. Attempts are made to match the interests of each participant to a mentoring research professor with related interests; with the overarching goal of exposing students to dynamic, cutting edge research training projects that have been successful in the biomedical arena.


Weekly educational enrichment meetings are held to discuss research-related skills, to familiarize students with the areas of research at the OU Health Sciences Center and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation beyond their assigned laboratory, and to promote networking. Topics also include career opportunities for PhDs in biomedical sciences, preparation for graduate school, financial aid advising, etc. Students have opportunities to learn about all graduate programs at OUHSC and to visit laboratories in participating departments.

Optional social activities are scheduled for the evenings and weekends to enhance the overall experience. Past events have included pool parties, barbecues, Oklahoma Redhawks Baseball Games, and trips to museums and Frontier City Amusement Park.


Scientific Sessions

To conclude the 9-week program, participants submit scientific abstracts and present their findings at a poster session open to the OUHSC Campus community. This celebration is followed by a luncheon reception that features a keynote speaker. The poster session, displayed at the OUHSC, is another excellent opportunity to reinforce the importance of graduate education and the research opportunities available at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.


To ensure maximal return for the student’s investment, trainees are expected to remain on the OUHSC campus for the duration of the 9-week program.


All summer programs provide stipends which are subject to federal and state tax withholding.  The stipends are paid in installments over the summer.



Questions can be e-mailed to  or you may call  405-271-2489.

We look forward to your hearing from you!



Dr. Caleb Marlin
Assistant Director

Dr. William (Mike) McShan
Director of Summer Undergraduate Research Programs
405.271.6593 ext. 47256