Summer Undergraduate Program in Emory Renal Research (SUPERR)

The Summer Undergraduate Program in Emory Renal Research (SUPERR) promotes an appreciation for the study of kidney, urology, and hematologic (KUH) diseases among undergraduate students who are interested in furthering their scientific research and could be encouraged to pursue a career in biomedical scientific research. Early exposure of undergraduate researchers to these exciting areas of study will give promising students first-hand experience in laboratory methods to answer questions that directly affect human health and disease. Our goal is to foster sustained interest in KUH diseases, thereby increasing the number of students applying to PhD, MD and duel degree programs, and increasing the cadre of scientists in the biomedical workforce studying these topics in the future.

SUPERR will expose undergraduate students to current questions in KUH diseases that are being investigated by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) supported investigators at Emory University. Following a national recruitment, selected students will participate in a 10-week didactic and laboratory-based experiential program on our Atlanta campus to advance their knowledge of nephrology, urology, and hematology research through laboratory experimentation, clinical research, career development activities, responsible conduct in research training, and opportunities to present and share their research. Specific targeted skills will include data acquisition, analysis and interpretation, and scientific presentation. In addition to research, students will be afforded the opportunity of shadowing a Nephrology physician in an active clinic. The culmination of the 10-week training will be participation at the NIDDK sponsored Summer Student Research Symposium either in Bethesda, MD at the National Institutes of Health or one of the grant program locations. This symposium is a required attendance event and is of no cost to the student.

SUPERR students will receive:

  • Mentoring by research and/or clinical faculty during the entire 10 week program
  • Hands-on training in established research laboratories (minimum of 37 hours of independent research per week)
  • Classroom training in ethical conduct of research
  • Didactic training including journal club and related seminars and training opportunities
  • Experience in presentation of scientific findings

Optional activities for SUPERR students: 

  • Pre-medicine student shadowing at Grady Memorial Hospital Nephrology Fellow Clinic 
  • Kidney MAPS Health Fair with SUPERR students

SUPERR Renal Research Course

This class for SUPERR students specifically focuses on the study of nephrology in an informal, open manner. The aim of these classes is to have open dialogue with the instructor and other students while learning unique areas of kidney-focused research and tools for a future in research science. Please understand that attendance is a mandatory addition to your summer experience as a SUPERR fellow.

Introductions, Questions, and Pizza

Week 1 - During the first meeting, you will meet the other SUPERR students along with SUPERR faculty, mentors, and staff for a Q&A session on the program and what to expect for the summer.

Renal Physiology Boot Camp

Week 2 - We will briefly touch on the relevant physiology of the kidney and how it relates to renal function. 

Ethical Concerns with Renal Transplant

Week 3 - Using actual case studies, we will have an open discussion about the ethical considerations that must be considered when selecting suitable transplant donors.

How to Read and Understand a Scientific Paper

Week 4 - This session will teach you how to critically read and analyze primary research articles…without getting lost in the details!

The Basics of Statistical Data Analysis

Week 5 - This session will outline some of the basic statistical analyses needed in data analysis and when to use them.

SUPERR Star Journal Club

Week 6 - The discussion of a trending article focused on some aspect of renal-based research. Students will be provided the paper a week in advance and are expected to apply the strategies taught to participate in the discussion.

Preparing a Poster Presentation

Week 7 - As you are finalizing your summer project, this session will address how to effectively show your work through poster planning, production, and presentation.

Methodology Show and Tell

Week 8 - Each student will present a method that they have been performing in the lab over the summer to their classmates. Each presentation will be approximately 5 minutes and the content of the presentations will be coordinated with the program director a few weeks beforehand.

SUPERR Poster Session

Week 9 - Members of the Renal Division and Department of Physiology will attend an informal poster session allowing you to practice your poster presentation before the NIH/NIDDK-KUH Symposium. 

Week 10 - NIH/NIDDK-KUH Symposium (location TBD)

SUPERR Mentors

SUPERR mentors have been selected on the basis of interest in mentoring undergraduate summer students, including members of groups under-represented in science careers, and research productivity. All mentors are NIH funded and have excellent lab space, facilities, and equipment. We have included basic, translational, and clinical science mentors conducting science that is relevant to the NIDDK/KUHD mission, regardless of whether their research funding is from NIDDK or another NIH institute or the VA. For a full list of this year's mentors, click here.

How to Apply

SUPERR is open to students in the biomedical sciences. The program will begin May 29, 2018 and end approximately August 4, 2018. You may apply November 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018. You will need to collect all of your required documents to upload before beginning the application as you will not be able to save and return to the application. The items you will need are as follows:
  • One letter of recommendation from your current mentor
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Research proposal (required of Emory students only)
  • Personal statement explaining how research factors into your academic and career goals
  • Resume/CV

Click here to complete your application.