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SURF+ Program

SURF+ Program

surf students

Program Overview:

The Surgical Undergraduate Research Fluency Plus (SURF+) Program is a ten hour per week, summer research commitment designated for undergraduate university students with an interest in pursuing a career in the healthcare field. The goal of this internship is to provide training for future professionals in biomedical and clinical research that will lead to improvements in healthcare outcomes.

The SURF+ students are paired with a mentor and introduced to many of the complexities of research including the management of academic research, clinical trials, and the federal regulations, policies, and ethical concerns pertaining to the treatment of human subjects. Projects differ from year to year, and duties assigned to the students are dependent on the student’s specific project and level of research fluency. Responsibilities in the past have primarily included data collection, data entry, data analysis, and research paper drafting under the direction of a Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) mentor.

Mentors at MIHS are eager to teach the SURF+ students, enabling them to get the most of their experience here. The Department of Surgery at MIHS oversees many ongoing research initiatives and includes the Arizona Burn Center and the Trauma Center. Last year, the program was successfully expanded beyond the Department of Surgery to include projects within the Pediatrics and Research Departments.

In addition to research, SURF+ students are given the unique opportunity to supplement their research projects with professional development by:

  • Networking
  • Observing surgeries
  • Shadowing residents and surgeons on trauma call
  • Attending lectures 

Gaining this first-hand exposure, students are engaged in multiple activities that are designed to enhance their knowledge of various fields of medicine and research. Students demonstrate this knowledge at the end of the summer with a presentation on the progress they have made on their individual projects. The student’s findings in the past have even resulted in research publications. This phenomenal experience prepares students to competitively pursue a career as a physician, physician’s assistant, public health worker, or other healthcare professional.

Follow this link to get a better idea of some of the previous student’s specific research projects and read testimonials from past students about how the program has aided them in their career development. 

To participate in this program you must be a currently enrolled undergraduate university student with a desire to pursue a career in the healthcare field and the ability to dedicate at least 10 hours per week to their research project. No previous experience is necessary, but positions are limited and thus competitive. There is no minimum GPA or specific major requirements, but priority is given to students who have demonstrated academic excellence and obtained previous experience within the healthcare field.


  • November 28: Applications available online. See below. 
  • March 24: Application submission deadline. 
  • March 24-April 4: Selection Committee processes all submitted applications. 
  • April 5: Acceptance offers sent out via e-mail.  
  • April 7: Deadline to accept internship offer.
  • April 21: Deadline to submit onboarding documents to MIHS.
  • June 1: Orientation day.
  • August 3: Research symposium and end of 2017 SURF+ Program. 

This internship is unpaid, however the student is provided with an extraordinary opportunity to gain valuable, hands-on experience in a hospital setting. Also, because we require that students only devote ten hours to their research per week, they have the ability and time to seek employment elsewhere while enrolled in this program. 

Summer of 2017 Application: 

IMPORTANT: Please save the application to your computer before beginning to fill out the required fields.  Then open the saved document, read all of the provided information, and complete the application by the deadline. If you do not save the document prior to editing, all changes will be lost and you will have to start over.  

SURF+ Application

SURF+ Applicant Evaluation Form


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