FAQ

Q:  In order to apply, do you have to be enrolled as a Virginia Tech student?

A:  No, you do not need to be a Virginia Tech student. The FBRI Molecular Visualization SURF program will support both Virginia Tech students and students from other US colleges and universities.

Q: When is the application due?

A: Applications are due in full by March 7 2021.

Q: How do I select a mentor?

A: Within the application, you will select several potential mentors from the Research Faculty Areas tab of the website. Once accepted into the program you will work with the director of FBRI Molecular Visualization SURF to match to a specific mentor and a lab. This will occur prior to the start of the Molecular Visualization SURF program.

Q: What does a completed application package include? Where do I submit my transcripts and recommendation letters?

A:  A completed application package includes general information about the applicant, three short essays describing your participation experience in independent research, why you are interested in molecular visualization technology, and what you hope to gain from participating in the Molecular Visualization SURF program and how it might contribute to your career, an up-to-date unofficial transcript and GPA (16MB maximum file upload), and contact details of who will be submitting a recommendation letter (faculty member at your current institution, or a previous faculty mentor). A link to the application can be found here.

Q: Am I required to have health insurance in order to participate in this program?

A:  Yes, all Molecular Visualization SURF students must have health insurance.

Q:  What are the program dates?

A:  The Molecular Visualization SURF dates are May 25 – July 30.

Q: How and when will I receive the stipend?

A:  You will receive half of the stipend at the end of June, and the other half at the end of July.

Q: When can I anticipate hearing from Molecular Visualization SURF if I have been admitted into the program?

A:  Applications are due in full by March 7. You will be notified if selected for the program around the end of March. If accepted into the program, you will have one week to accept or decline.

Q: Is there a minimum GPA I must have in order to apply to the Molecular Visualization SURF program?

A: Yes, you must have a GPA of at least 3.0 or higher, and must have completed courses in introductory biology, chemistry, or physics.

Q: Where can I see a list of the program’s activities?

A: A list of the program’s activities can be found under the Curriculum tab of the Molecular Visualization SURF website.

Q: I am not a US Citizen or a US permanent resident. Can I still apply?

A:  No. Unfortunately, you must be a US Citizen or a permanent resident of the US to apply.

A: I am not a member of an underrepresented minority group. Can I still apply?

A: Yes, you may still apply.

Q:  Who should write a recommendation letter for me?

A:  A faculty member at your current institution that knows you well and can speak to your potential for a career in a science-related field. This can be a faculty member that has previously mentored you in their laboratory or has taught you in a course.

Q: How are Molecular Visualization SURF participants chosen?

A: The Molecular Visualization SURF steering committee will select applicants based on their GPA, letter of recommendation, and commitment to a career in science. Students need not to be Virginia Tech students to apply.

Q: Who can I contact for more information regarding housing during the Molecular Visualization SURF program?

A:  You may contact Dr. James Smyth, smythj@vtc.vt.edu

Q: Is there an orientation session prior to the Molecular Visualization SURF program beginning?

A:  Yes, there will be orientation sessions and general instruction during the first few days of the program.

Q:  Is there an application fee to apply?

A:  No, there is not an application fee to apply.

Q:  I am interested in more than one research area provided on your website. What should I do?

A:  Great!  So are we! An objective of this program is to expose students to many areas of biological research. However, you will have to select and match to a single mentor and laboratory. Once accepted into the program, you will work with the director to accomplish this.