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Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

SURE Program Overview

The Rural & Underserved Utah Training Experience (RUUTE) & Regional Affairs program has worked to develop a 10-week research experience for undergraduate students.

The emphasis of this program is to provide research opportunities for students from rural and underserved areas throughout Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana and provide opportunities for students to work on projects emphasizing rural and underserved health. 

For more information contact 

Applications are now closed for Summer of '24. For more information on applications of Summer of '25 please sign up for our email list below.

SURE Program Overview Video

Program Details

    In order to apply to the program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

    1. Be a current matriculated, degree-seeking undergraduate student from a college/university in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming or Montana
    2. Must have at least 36 college credits. Concurrent enrollment credits achieved while still in High School don't count towards this requirement.
    3. Applicants do not need to be attending the University of Utah. Students attending higher education institutions throughout the state of Utah, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming are welcome and encouraged to apply!
    4. Able to commit approximately 40 hours per week of work on a research project with your mentor.
    5. Preferred: Students who have a passion for rural or underserved medicine or are from rural or underserved communities, and who plan on pursuing a career in healthcare.

    Students selected into the program will receive a stipend over the course of the program. This stipend will be used for student expenses and living accommodations, and will not be a tuition scholarship. Students will also be able to highlight this on their Resume or CV.


    Participants relocating to Salt Lake City for this program may be eligible to receive a travel reimbursement for travel-related expenses.


    1. Time commitment: This is a full-time program. Selected applicants are expected to work approximately 40 hours a week on research and program related activities for the entirety of the program. Specific details regarding project work with be negotiated with the student and faculty member.
    2. Mentor Meetings: Students will set up reoccurring meetings with their faculty mentor to ensure project activities and work are met.
    3. Final Presentations: Students are required to develop and present their work in a poster format to the RUUTE program. This may also include participation in a Summer Research Symposium with other summer research programs.
    4. Final Report: Students are required to fill out all RUUTE surveys regarding their experience. Further reporting may also be developed to capture student experiences.
    1. Contact information
    2. Academic information, including college transcript
    3. Your current resume or CV
    4. Your academic transcript
    5. Personal statement of why you would like to participate in this program and why you would be a good fit.
    6. 1 Letter of Recommendation (preferably, these will be written by faculty members who can attest to your suitability for research, motivation, professionalism, and classroom performance). There will be a link housed within the application that you will need to send to your letter writers to upload their letter of recommendation.
    7. To review the list of eligible projects you could potentially work on. The list of projects can be found in both the application and from the link below. 

    2023 Research Projects

    2023 SURE Students

    Benjamin Seamons

    Mentor: Dr. Derek Dosdall

    Project: Results of Increased Surface Area on Impedance in Multi-Contact Cardiac Pacing Electrodes 

    Creston Betridge

    Mentor: Dr. Ganesh Adluru 

    Project: Radiology Research T1 Segmentation and Analysis using MatLab and CVI 4 

    Dillon Stevens

    Mentor: Dr. Jared Rutter 

    Project:  Biochemistry - Exploring COX7B as a Human Riboswitch 

    Maya Roland

    Mentor: Dr. Sarah Franklin

    Project: Heart Disease - Investigating the Role of skNAC in Cultured Cardiomyocytes 

    Colton Gardner

    Mentor: Dr. John David Symons

    Project: Nutrition & Integrative Psychology; The Impact of Inducible Depletion of p62/SQSTM1 from Endothelial Cells on Mesenteric and Cerebral Artery Reactivity in Mice 

    Nick Wong

    Mentor: Dr. Sihem Boudina

    Project: The role of autophagy in metabolic regulation; Prdm16 Regulates Sex-specific Genes in Cardiac Development Through DNA Damage 


    Amy Richards

    Mentor: Dr. Anna Beaudin

    Project: Internal Medicine - Hematology; Effect of Prenatal Folate on HSC Function 

    Amaya Pfannenstiel

    Mentor: Dr. Scott Summers

    Project: Investigation of Ceramide Synthesizing Genes 

    Benjamin Nelson 

    Mentor: Dr. Matthew Rondina 

    Project: Interferon Induced Transmembrane Protein 3 (IFITM3) Mediates Platelet Granule Secretion Under Conditions of Inflammatory Stress 

    Braxton Bird

    Mentor: Sarah Franklin

    Project: Heart Disease - Investigating the Role of skNAC in Cultured Cardiomyocytes 

    Rachel Dou

    Mentor: TingTing Hong

    Project: Dr. Quantification of in vitro transduction efficiency of AAV9-cBIN1 across different viral batches 

    Taylor Smith

    Mentor: Dr. Martin Tristani-Firouzi

    Project: Efficacy of blebbistatin and para-aminoblebbistatin as inhibitors of muscle contraction in juvenile zebrafish hearts 

    2022 Research Projects

    2021 Research Projects

    To find more ways to donate towards rural medical student scholarships, please visit the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine Website.

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    Please contact the RUUTE Team with any questions, concerns, or suggestions.