Wednesday, January 13, 2021

[Bachelor Student] UNIL Summer Undergraduate Research (SUR) Programme 2021, Switzerland (Scholarship Available)

Few entering university students have had significant experience with research into the unknown. Initial university courses provide descriptions of fundamental processes that are well established, indeed “in the textbooks”. The first opportunity to do research at the edge of the unknown can be a life changing experience that is remembered for the rest of one’s life. The School of Biology of the Faculty of Biology and Medicine at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) proposes the Summer Undergraduate Research (SUR) Programme for the uninitiated to obtain that first experience.

During 8 weeks in July and August, the SUR Programme hosts about 15 Bachelor (first university degree) students with both biological and medical studies background from around the world (including 1-2 from Lausanne). Each participant will perform an individual research project in a different laboratory of the Faculty of Biology and Medicine. This programme aims to attract outstanding motivated students from near and far for a research experience that will remain with them for their lifetimes.

While most of the time is spent in the host lab, each week the students come together for shared academic activities, often with participants of the sister programme at the EPFL. These activities include introductory student research presentations, lectures from faculty members on research topics and their career paths, and career guidance workshops in academia and beyond.

At the end of the summer, students present the results of their research on a poster during a joint UNIL/EPFL Symposium and write a final report.

Students also enjoy many social activities, including a hike in the Alps, barbecues, swimming in Lac Léman, and visits to other cities in Switzerland!


hope to welcome the participants in Lausanne next summer from July 5th till August 27th, 2021.

Given that participation in a summer school requires some preparation for the selected candidates and in view of the uncertain situation we are facing, we have decided to limit applications to students residing and studying in a member or associate member country of the 9th Framework Program (also known as Horizon Europe) as listed here.

With our decision we want to ensure that:

  • Selected students do not have to apply for visas and pay unnecessary fees in case the 2021 edition has to be cancelled at the last moment due to the pandemic. For some countries, visa applications can take up to three months and generate significant costs for students.

  • Ease travel preparation for selected students and permit the purchase of the airline tickets at the last minute which is easier at the European level than at the international one.

The SUR Program 2021 will only take place if the health situation allows it, according to the recommendations of the FOPH (Federal Office of Public Health) and the Swiss Confederation. A cancellation at the last minute remains possible.

Therefore, selected students will have to take all necessary steps at the very last moment (travel insurance, purchase of the plane ticket with the cancellation option, etc) and must be present in Europe at the time of the future trip to Switzerland

The SUR Programme coordinator will communicate closely with the selected students.

Selected students entering Switzerland from states and areas with a high risk of infection that would have to be quarantined would no longer be able to participate in the SUR Program. A negative test does not exempt a person from the mandatory quarantine requirement. The conditions will be reviewed regularly and participants will be informed until the last moment.

We are aware that our decision will sadden many of you, but we are confident that you will understand the special situation we are all facing. We sincerely hope that the year 2022 will allow us to welcome students from all over the world.

We kindly ask you to carefully read the following eligibility criteria before applying.


Field Of Study:
Any field in the life sciences, as well as those pursuing medical studies. (Biology, Medical Studies) 
More Info Visit HERE

  • The program coordinator will arrange and pay for the housing. Students will be housed in a furnished apartment of one of the UNIL associations, in a single room with a shared kitchen and bathroom. The program coordinator will inform you when your housing assignment is made, how to contact them and where it is located.
  • The programme will also provide a scholarship of approximately CHF 1500 to cover other living expenses. It is advised to bring extra money for expenses above and beyond standard housing and living expenses (e.g., weekend travel).
  • Limited funds are available to cover justified costs of travel to Lausanne. In general, up to CHF 500 for European travel and CHF 1200 for overseas travel is covered. Original receipts and boarding passes will be required for reimbursement.
  • Assistance will be provided to all students who require visas to come to Switzerland.
  • Participants must be covered for health and accidents from their home country.

    • The programme is aimed at students who are currently mid-way through their bachelor's degree in any biological or medical field. Applicants who have completed only one year of an undergraduate degree or currently in their last year are not eligible. Master degree are not eligible.
    • The programme is highly competitive and students are chosen based upon their academic record (typically GPA >3.75 or equivalent, and/or top 5% class ranking), personal statements, and letters of recommendation.
    • If your university does not use a 4 point scale, then include an explanation of your grading scale in the online application (under curriculum vitae B). Differences in grading scales will be taken into consideration, but you must be in the top 5 % of your class.
    • Students can be of any nationality and be studying in any country, but should have very good abilities in written and spoken English.
    • Students must be present for the entire programme to participate.
    • Selected participants will be informed via email about 3 weeks after the application deadline.

      Required Document:
          • Transcripts
            • A copy of your official transcripts of record (JPG or PDF format) and/or an authenticated translation of documents not issued in French or English must be uploaded during the online application.
            • This document should be named in the following format:
          • Recommendation letters
            • In addition to the online application, you must arrange for two confidential letters of recommendation from people familiar with your academic work (e.g., professors). Please ask your referees to use the letter template below.
            • This form should be completed and named in the following format:
            • The document should be e-mailed directly by your referees to before the application deadline.
            • Download UNIL Summer Undergraduate Research Programme 2021 Recommendation letter (Word) HERE

              How To Apply:

              Please visit HERE for applying
              Online application procedure

              31 January 2021

              Click Here