University of Rhode Island to host 10th Annual SURF Conference

Event showcases undergrad research in RI

College and university students from across Rhode Island will present their summer research work Friday, July 28, 2017, when they gather for the 10th Annual Rhode Island Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF) Conference — the state’s largest exhibition of undergraduate research.

Co-sponsored by Rhode Island IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (RI-INBRE) and Rhode Island NSF Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (RI NSF EPSCoR), the conference will feature about 150 scientific posters in the biomedical and life sciences and draw more than 400 faculty, students, and administrators from across the Ocean State.

The University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, hosts the event, which begins at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast, registration, and poster set-up. Welcoming remarks take place at 9 a.m., followed by the poster session at 9:30 a.m. Lunch for those who register will begin at 12:30 p.m.

The projects include biomedical research, such as the synthesis of new drugs for Alzheimer’s disease and the development of nanoparticles for the treatment of lung cancer. Or, they focus on environmental science, such as investigations into the impacts of climate change on the marine life and ecosystems of Narragansett Bay.

The students work under the guidance of faculty mentors and along side their peers. The process emphasizes communication and analytic skills, and exposes students to the many career opportunities available for scientists, from the ground floor of new research to the production of biodiesel and pharmaceuticals or writing about science to convey the importance of breakthroughs.

For 10 weeks, full-time, the INBRE and EPSCoR SURF programs immerse students in their projects, researching relevant background information, designing experiments, troubleshooting problems, redesigning experiments, getting frustrated with troublesome data, redesigning experiments again, getting excited about unexpected results, interacting with and learning from colleagues, attending seminars and workshops, and, ultimately, presenting their work at the conference.

The annual conference marks the culmination of the collaborative SURF program, which this year involves 99 RI-INBRE students and 24 RI NSF EPSCoR students. Acceptance to the program is based on a competitive application process run individually by RI-INBRE and RI NSF EPSCoR. With this summer’s class, RI-INBRE has engaged 874 Rhode Island undergraduates in scientific research since 2004; RI NSF EPSCoR has supported 312 since 2007.

The conference provides undergraduate students from the University of Rhode Island, Brown University, Bryant University, Providence College, Rhode Island College, Roger Williams University, Salve Regina University, and Community College of Rhode Island with the unique opportunity to present their summer research findings to their peers and to the larger Rhode Island community.

All Rhode Island students who are actively participating in scientific research are welcome to register for the conference and present their work, even if they are not formally a part of the SURF program. There is no charge to participate or attend.

Exhibitor space for potential employers, graduate schools, core facilities, and other programs is available. For complete conference details, visit the website:

45 Upper College Road Kingston, RI — 02881

July 28 8:00 am

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