MGM Summer Undergraduate Research Engagement (MGM SURE)

March 10, 2014

The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology is pleased to announce a new 10-week summer fellowship program for Duke undergraduates. The program runs from June 2, 2014 – August 8, 2014.

The goal of this undergraduate research opportunity is to introduce motivated students to important questions in genetics, microbiology, infectious diseases, virology, and RNA biology through faculty-mentored research projects and practical lab experience. The program includes monthly science and career development discussions with faculty and trainees in MGM. The program aims to prepare students for sustained pursuit of biomedical education and research.

Program Overview

Research in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology spans both model and pathogenic organisms and the full spectrum of genetics from unicellular to multicellular eukaryotic organisms. Many investigators are experts in both microbiology and genetics, including those utilizing yeasts as experimental microbial systems, and those probing the interactions of infectious agents with cellular or heterologous host model systems. Much of the history of modern molecular biology can be traced directly to genetic approaches with microbial and infectious systems, including the discoveries of DNA and RNA as the genetic material, the elucidation of the genetic code, and the development of recombinant DNA approaches based on bacterial restriction-modification systems and related enzymes. Existing areas of strength in the Department include: 1) microbiology (virology, mycology, bacteriology); 2) RNA biology and genomic expression analysis; 3) yeast genetics; 4) genetics of model systems and humans; 5) chromosome structure, function, replication, and repair, and 6) epigenetics.

Eligibility and Criteria

MGM SURE is open to Duke undergraduate students who have completed, or are currently enrolled in, at least one biological sciences course. With the exception of graduating seniors, all Duke undergraduates are eligible to apply. Prior research experience is not required, since the goal of the program is to immerse students in cutting-edge research labs where they can acquire skills in experimental practices, data analysis and interpretation, and effective science communication. Those undergraduates currently involved in research in MGM labs are also eligible to apply.

We encourage women and individuals from underrepresented groups to apply. Students will be selected based on academic record, letters of recommendation, and descriptions of research interests and goals.

The research engagement will run from June 2, 2014 – August 8, 2014. Students must be present full-time for the entire summer program and may not be enrolled in courses during the research engagement period.

Number of Awards

In summer 2014, MGM SURE will grant four to six awards to support summer research projects of 10 weeks in duration. Each award includes a $4000 stipend (to help cover accommodation and living expenses for 10 weeks) and $1000 in project expenses to be paid to the host lab. If an awardee spends less than 10 weeks in the host lab during summer 2014, the stipend and project expenses will be prorated according to the appropriate timeframe. Note that housing/accommodation is not provided or coordinated by the program. However, awardees may be eligible to live on Central Campus during the program and will be put in contact with the housing office (

Projects involving human subjects, either in-person or online, may need approval from the Duke Institutional Review Board. All fellows will be required to complete the necessary online safety training offered through the Duke Safety Office.

Applications are now open.

Deadline for completed applications is APRIL 11, 2014. Application should be returned to