The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology is pleased to continue for the third summer a 10-week summer fellowship program for Duke undergraduates. The program runs from June 1, 2017 – August 5, 2017.

The goal of 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 also includes monthly science and career development discussions with faculty and trainees (graduate students and postdocs) in MGM. The research experience culminates in MGM SURE fellows presenting their summer research project at the department’s annual retreat in early September.

Overall, the program aims to capture students who are interested in developing a research project in an MGM lab during their undergraduate years at Duke and completing their senior thesis based on this research. The program also aspires to prepare students to become scientific scholars immersed in sustained long-term pursuit of biomedical 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) fungal 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 a 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. Candidates not currently working in MGM labs are encouraged to contact faculty of interest prior to submitting an application to discuss the possibility of doing summer research in a particular lab.

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 1, 2017 – August 5, 2017. Students should be present full-time for the entire summer program, and ought not be enrolled in courses during the research engagement period.

Number of Awards

In Summer 2017, MGM SURE will grant 4-6 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. Note that housing/accommodation is not provided or coordinated by the program.

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

Applications are now open.

MGM SURE application 2017

Deadline for completed applications is March 23, 2017. Application should be returned to (

Previous MGM SURE Fellows by year


MGM SURE students 2015small

Past Fellows