Sanford Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR)

Explore Scientific Research Careers

Sanford Research offers the SPUR program and the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF REU) Site in Cellular and Molecular Biology, which provide opportunities for undergraduate students interested in research careers to participate in laboratory research.

These summer programs allow you to apply your classroom knowledge by working in a laboratory under the supervision of a principal investigator and interacting with research teams that include graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

In addition to obtaining research experience in state-of-the-art facilities, you will attend weekly career and professional development workshops, as well as build your presentation and communication skills through scientific presentations.

Summer Program Details

  • The program schedule is 10 weeks from June 3-Aug. 9, 2019. You must commit to working the entire 10 weeks, with the exception of the July 4 holiday, and participate in all program workshops.
  • You will work under the direct supervision of a Sanford Research mentor as part of the mentor’s research team.
  • You will prepare and present a short project proposal at the beginning of the program and a poster describing your research results in a symposium at the conclusion of the program.
  • You will attend weekly workshops geared toward career preparation and professional development, including topics such as ethics in research, science career opportunities, and applying to graduate school.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to attend regular research seminars and participate in a weekly GRE preparation course.
  • You will engage in outreach activities to bring science to the local community.
  • We organize social activities to enable casual interaction with other participants and mentors.
  • We provide an educational stipend of $5,750 to each student.
  • You can live free-of-charge on the Augustana University campus in Sioux Falls.

Student Eligibility
Any college student majoring in the life sciences is eligible to apply for the SPUR and NSF REU programs. You should be in your freshman, sophomore or junior year at the time of application and should be interested in exploring careers in research and graduate school opportunities.

You are encouraged to apply if you attend an institution that does not have substantial research opportunities, or are underrepresented in the biological sciences (including underrepresented minorities, first-generation college students, individuals from lower income backgrounds, students with disabilities, and veterans or members of the Armed Services).

How to Apply
To apply for both SPUR and NSF REU programs, include:

  • A Program Application
  • An official transcript from each college you have attended or taken college-level courses from. Only official transcripts that are sealed or sent electronically directly from the school will be accepted.
  • Two letters of recommendation, at least one of which must be from a college professor. If letters of recommendation are sent via email, they must be sent from the author's email.

An application will not be considered complete until the application, letters of recommendation, and transcript(s) have been received. Transcripts and letters of recommendation can be emailed to or mailed to:

Sanford Research
Attn: Tamara Ledeboer, Route 5031
2301 East 60th Street North
Sioux Falls, SD 57104

The application deadline is Friday, Feb. 1. All materials must be received by the deadline, and late applications will not be considered.

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