Undergraduate scientists from around state to present research at URI July 31

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KINGSTON, RI– July 13, 2015– “The best 10 weeks of your educational experience,” reads the headline of the University of Rhode Island’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program.

The 8th annual Rhode Island SURF conference will be held on Friday, July 31 at URI’s College of Pharmacy building, 7 Greenhouse Road, and at the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences, 120 Flagg Road, on the Kingston campus from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Based at URI since 2007, the research program and concluding conference provide undergraduate students from most of Rhode Island’s universities and colleges with a deeper involvement in scientific research and advances their technical skills to help them refine their career development.

The conference, co-sponsored by the Rhode Island IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (RI-INBRE) and the Rhode Island National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (RI NSF EPSCoR), which are federal research programs based at URI, provides undergraduate students from around the state with unique opportunities to present their summer research findings to a group of their peers and senior scientists. The research projects began May 26 and will end with the conference July 31.

“It’s a very competitive program,” said Brenton DeBoef, coordinator of the SURF program and professor of chemistry at URI. “These are some of the best young minds in our state, and they are working with excellent faculty mentors, not just at URI and Brown, but at the primarily undergraduate schools, too. The SURF students will work on cutting edge research for 10 weeks on projects ranging from neuroscience to natural medicines.”

The RI-INBRE program has 96 undergraduate students participating, while RI NSF EPSCoR has an additional 38 undergraduate students.About 10 undergraduate students from the University of Rhode Island are participating this summer.

“We have a lot of incredibly bright students involved, and the SURF program gives them the opportunity to do hands-on research. They can devote up to 40 hours a week to an authentic research project. It is an opportunity for the students to figure out if science is the right career path or if the topic is what they want to focus on,” said David Rowley, professor of biomedical sciences in URI’s College of Pharmacy.

There will be an anticipated 100 posters presented at the conference in biomedical, behavioral, environmental, and life sciences. More than 300 faculty, students, and administrators are expected to be in attendance from the University of Rhode Island, Brown University, Providence College, Rhode Island College, Roger Williams University, Salve Regina University, Bryant University, Rhode Island School of Design, and the Community College of Rhode Island.

For more information, directions, and pictures, visit 8th Annual RI SURF Conference.

This release was written by, Rachel Smith, a graduate assistant in the Marketing and Communications Department.