Few entering university students have had significant experience with research into the unknown. Initial university courses provide descriptions of fundamental processes that are well established, indeed “in the textbooks”. The first opportunity to do research at the edge of the unknown can be a life changing experience that is remembered for the rest of one’s life. The School of Biology of the Faculty of Biology and Medicine at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) proposes the Summer Undergraduate Research (SUR) Programme for the uninitiated to obtain that first experience.
During 8 weeks in July and August, the SUR Programme hosts about 15 Bachelor (first university degree) students with both biological and medical studies background from around the world (including 1-2 from Lausanne). Each participant will perform an individual research project in a different laboratory of the Faculty of Biology and Medicine. This programme aims to attract outstanding motivated students from near and far for a research experience that will remain with them for their lifetimes.
While most of the time is spent in the host lab, each week the students come together for shared academic activities, often with participants of the sister programme at the EPFL. These activities include introductory student research presentations, lectures from faculty members on research topics and their career paths, and career guidance workshops in academia and beyond.
At the end of the summer, students present the results of their research on a poster during a joint UNIL/EPFL Symposium and write a final report.
Students also enjoy many social activities, including a hike in the Alps, barbecues, swimming in Lac Léman, and visits to other cities in Switzerland!
- The program coordinator will arrange and pay for the housing. Students will be housed in a furnished apartment of one of the UNIL associations, in a single room with a shared kitchen and bathroom. The program coordinator will inform you when your housing assignment is made, how to contact them and where it is located.
- The programme will also provide a scholarship of approximately CHF 1500 to cover other living expenses. It is advised to bring extra money for expenses above and beyond standard housing and living expenses (e.g., weekend travel).
- Limited funds are available to cover justified costs of travel to Lausanne. In general, up to CHF 500 for European travel and CHF 1200 for overseas travel is covered. Original receipts, proof of payment and boarding passes will be required for reimbursement.
- Assistance will be provided to all students who require visas to come to Switzerland. The scholarship will not cover visa fees for accepted applicants.
- Participants must be covered for health and accidents from their home country.
- The programme is geared towards students who are currently mid-way through their bachelor’s degree. Applicants who have completed only one year of an undergraduate degree or currently in their last year are not eligible. Master-degree students are not eligible.
- They welcome students studying any field in the life sciences, as well as those pursuing medical studies. UNIL is unique in having a combined Faculty of Biology and Medicine, and we are keen to offer to medical students the possibility to perform research.
- Students of any nationality, studying in any country, are welcome to apply, but should have very good English language skills. While most students come from abroad, applications from local students from the UNIL or the EPFL (or elsewhere in Switzerland) are also welcome.
- The programme is highly competitive and students are chosen based upon their academic record (typically GPA >3.75 or equivalent, and/or top 5% class ranking), personal statements, and letters of recommendation.
- If your university does not use a 4-point scale, then include an explanation of your grading scale in the online application (under curriculum vitae B). Differences in grading scales will be taken into consideration, but you must be in the top 5 % of your class.
- Students should have very good abilities in written and spoken English and must be present for the entire programme to participate. For organizational matters, we cannot change the programme’s date.
Before applying online, please carefully read the procedure below which will give you all the necessary indications, step by step.Then, complete the online application form available in the link and upload your CV in a PDF format. The CV should not exceed one single page and should include:
- A list, starting with the most recent, of the most relevant THREE academic prizes/fellowships that you have received (max. 100 words).
- A list, starting with the most recent, of the most important THREE occupations, other than as a student, in which you have engaged to any considerable extent, giving names and location of employers and dates of employment (e.g., military service or volunteer work experience) (max. 100 words)
- Any other relevant information about yourself (hobbies, skills, interests, etc) (max. 100 words).
- Personal statement
Please give your reasons for wishing to participate in the UNIL SUR Programme (e.g., your academic background, scientific interests, long-term professional goals, any previous research experience and what you hope to accomplish by attending the SUR Programme (max. 400 words).
- Transcripts: Please upload a copy of your official transcripts of record (JPG or PDF format) and/or an authenticated translation of documents not issued in French or English.
- Recommendation letters: In addition to the online application, you must arrange for two recommendation letters to be submitted by people familiar with your academic work (e.g., professors). During the application, you will be asked to indicate the contact details of your referee. An automatic email will be sent to them asking to fill out the letter template below.
Application Deadline: January 31, 2022Application ClosedOfficial link