Skip to Main Content
College of Arts and Sciences
twoColumn twoLeft

Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)


Welcome to the UNF Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry SURP! This program provides in-depth summer research experiences to UNF undergraduates under the mentorship of a faculty member from the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. During this 10-week program, selected participants deepen their understanding of the scientific research process by contributing toward discoveries and participating in other career development activities. SURP is designed to give students hands-on training that equips them to accomplish their future career goals.

Why join the SURP?

  • Make discoveries that advance science
  • Develop lab skills beyond traditional coursework
  • Explore career paths in chemistry and biochemistry
  • Boost resume and curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Increase competitiveness of job, graduate school (MS, PhD), and professional school (e.g. MD, PharmD) applications
  • Build connections with other scientists
  • Sharpen scientific communication skills
  • Experience the fun of research firsthand!

Student researcher in a chemistry laboratory.

Sponsors & Giving

SURP is grateful to Johnson & Johnson Vison Care, UNF College of Arts & Sciences, and UNF Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry for their support of the SURP 2022 and 2023 cohorts. This program would not be possible without donor generosity.

Sponsors of SURP enable transformational summer research experiences for the next generation of scientists, teachers, physicians, pharmacists, and more. Donor contributions enable student stipends and professional development programming, which prepare UNF students to become the next generation of leaders in their chosen career fields.

We are continuing to increase the number of students that SURP can support, and we need your help. To join our donor list, please email or donate here.

Elise Ballash discusses her research experiences with local media

SURP 2022 student Elise Ballash discusses her research experiences with local media. 


Applications are closed for Summer 2023.

Check back in early Spring 2024 for information about joining the UNF Chemistry & Biochemistry SURP 2024 cohort!


Am I eligible for SURP?

Students interested in chemistry and biochemistry research and currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline at UNF are eligible to apply. Students at all levels (freshman-senior) are welcome. Students graduating in Spring remain eligible to participate in SURP immediately after graduation (e.g. Spring 2024 graduates are eligible for Summer 2024 program).

Do I need to already be conducting research to join SURP?

No! You may apply before you begin conducting research at UNF. However, you must identify a consenting research mentor in the UNF Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and work with them to complete the research statement for your SURP application (see next FAQ).

How do I find a research mentor for SURP?

Explore the UNF Chemistry & Biochemistry faculty research page to find research areas and potential mentors. Contact mentors directly about research opportunities for SURP students in their group. It is best to contact prospective mentors early, since some research groups fill up quickly.

What are the requirements of SURP?

SURP participants are required to devote 20 compensated hours each week to research throughout the ten-week program. Working hours are determined by the participant in collaboration with their research mentor. Working hours can usually be coordinated around limited summer coursework, but typically not around a full-time job.

Research expectations vary by project and mentor. Typical expectations include safety training, hands-on laboratory work, record keeping (lab notebook), literature and database searches, data analyses, scientific writing, and more.

SURP participants are required to participate in a workshop series, which meets most Fridays at 12 - 1 pm throughout the program. Workshops are aimed to maximize the benefits of the SURP experience, and focus on essential research skills, networking, career exploration, and more.

As a capstone experience, SURP participants develop a poster of their research project and present their poster near the end of the program.

Additional details of the SURP requirements can be found in the SURP Participation Agreement.

When is the SURP?

The program runs for ten weeks each summer. The Summer 2023 program is scheduled for May 30 - August 4, 2023. The Summer 2024 dates will be determined in early 2024.

How and when do I apply?

Check out the Apply tab for SURP. Applications are typically due mid-Spring semester each year.

Who should I contact to learn more about SURP?

Reach out to, or visit Dr. Lane’s scheduled office hours (hours posted on her door at 50/3114).

SURP Fellows

SURP 2023 Participants:

Baher Boktor Baher Boktor is a rising sophomore neuroscience major with a chemistry minor, who plans to pursue a career in the field of science. As a SURP participant, he is working in Dr. Ciesielski’s Lab that is focusing on proteins and molecular chaperones.
Amanda Jessel Amanda Jessel is a senior chemistry major, who plans to pursue graduate studies in inorganic chemistry. As a SURP fellow, she is working in Dr. Lufaso’s lab to synthesize and characterize properties of a new Aurivillius-type compound Bi 3-xLa xFe 0.5Nb 1.5O 9.
Hana Kabil Hana Kabil is a senior biology major with a concentration in biomedical science. She aims to apply to medical school in the future and pursue a career as a physician scientist. As a SURP fellow, she is working in Dr. Lane’s lab to isolate and elucidate the structure of novel compounds from the marine bacteria Nocardiopsis for use as potential antibiotics.
Skyeler Klinge Skyeler Klinge is a senior biology major with a concentration in molecular and cell biology and biotechnology. As a SURP researcher in Dr. Lane’s lab, she explores the therapeutic possibilities of natural products produced by marine organisms. Skyeler plans to pursue a Ph.D. and build a successful career as a biomedical researcher, driven by her passion for advancing scientific knowledge and making a positive impact in the field.
Tania Maria McCormack Tania McCormack, a chemistry major with ambitions of attending medical school in pursuit of becoming a physician, is currently a SURP fellow in Dr. Ciesielski's lab. Her research aims to unveil the importance of co-chaperone Tid1 protein for mitochondrial DNA integrity, which defects are associated with human neurodegenerative disorders and various types of cancer.
Cassidy Nguyen Cassidy Nguyen is a recent graduate with a major in chemistry and a pre-medical concentration. She plans to pursue a PhD in chemistry and is currently working on two projects in Dr. Eirin Sullivan’s lab. These two research projects look at the solid-state synthesis of Sr 3B xM 1-xO 4F (M = Al, Ga) with x = 0, 0.05, 0.10, 0.15, 0.20, 0.25 and the solid-state synthesis of Na 2CaGeO 4F doped with Mn (IV), Zn (II) and compare with old magnesium germanate fluoride phosphors.
Gustavo Perez Gustavo Perez is a graduating senior majoring in molecular cell biology with a minor in chemistry, who plans on pursuing an MD-PhD program in the future. As a SURP fellow, he is working in Dr. Knuckley’s lab to further explore the chloroacetamide warhead to develop a more potent and selective PRMT inhibitor.
Jordan Tucker Jordan Tucker is a chemistry major who plans to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry following her graduation in Fall 2023. She hopes to one day have a career in research at the National Institutes of Health. Jordan is currently working in Dr. Knuckley’s lab to develop peptoid inhibitors of PRMT1 as potential cancer therapeutics.
Cameron Young Cameron Young aspires to take his passions for chemistry onward into graduate school for biochemistry. In his research with the Ciesielski lab, Cameron discovered his passion for the proteostasis network and protein structure-function research in general and hopes to find a PI to continue to learn and gain expertise in this field.

SURP 2022 Alumni:

  • Elise Ballash, Exploring bacterial genomes for discovery of novel diketopiperazines (Lane group)
  • Zachary Burkhead, Discovery of the inducamide natural product gene cluster (Lane group)
  • Isabella Cioffi, Studying mechanosensitive ion channels in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Bacillus cereus (Malcolm group)
  • Brooklynn Dailey, Gene cloning of mechanosensitive ion channels in Paraburkholderia graminis with electrocompetent cells (Malcolm group)
  • Brandon Guerin, Cancer mutations in essential human co-chaperone DNAJB1 protein (Ciesielski group)
  • Amanda Jessel, Crystal structure, dielectric and optical properties of Aurivillius-type Bi 3-xLa xFe 5Nb 1.5O (Lufaso group)
  • Seth Shearer, Does cancer hijack molecular chaperone proteins to its favor? (Ciesielski group)
  • Caroline Teeter, DNA binding ability of mitochondrial co-chaperone Tid1 (Ciesielski group)
  • Natacha Tirado, Role of intramolecular interaction in JDP protein partner of molecular chaperone Hsp70 (Ciesielski group)
  • Jordan Tucker (Knuckley group)

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Program 2022 celebration.

SURP 2022 participants, their research mentors, SURP sponsors, and other community
partners were celebrated by the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

News & Events

Upcoming Events:

Celebrate the SURP 2023 cohort on Friday, August 4 @ 12 - 1 pm at location TBD. They will give brief presentations of their research projects over lunch. All are welcome!

SURP 2023 students will present posters at the campus-wide UNF Achievements in Research, Inquiry, and Scholarship Exhibition (ARISE) on Friday, July 28 from 10 am - 2 pm.

Past Events & News:

September 2022: SURP 2022 students presented posters and participated in the ribbon-cutting to unveil the new NMR spectrometer and renovated wing of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

Several local news outlets covered the event:

The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry new wing ribbon cutting.

UNF College of Arts & Sciences Dean Dr. Kaveri Subrahmanyam cuts the ribbon with (from left)
Chemistry & Biochemistry Department Chair Dr. Bryan Knuckley,
SURP student Zachary Burkhead, and Chemistry alumnus and donor Chuck Ged.

May 2022: Ten students were welcomed into the Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Student Internship in UNF’s Chemistry & Biochemistry SURP.

Dr. Hanna Malcolm supervises a research student.

Brooklynn Dailey pursues her SURP project under Dr. Malcolm’s guidance.


Email or drop by Dr. Lane’s office hours (50/3114) to learn more about SURP.