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SUPER is an undergraduate research program at the University of Texas at Austin. The goal of SUPER is to prepare students for the rigors of graduate school by providing immersive, hands-on experience in active scientific labs.

The core components of SUPER include:

Scientific Research:

The program leverages the interdisciplinary structure of the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences (ILS) Graduate Programs to provide research opportunities that span virtually all areas of modern Molecular Biology. SUPER Scholars will learn to conduct original scientific research via placements within ILS-member labs.

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Building a Community of Science:

A central aim of SUPER is to foster inclusivity and nurture a sense of community among scholars. SUPER Scholars are paired with a formal mentor – typically a graduate student or post-doc – and supervised by a faculty PI or the duration of the program. Mentors provide day-to-day guidance in the lab and general support throughout the program.

Organized social activities provide opportunity for all participants to build new connections and friendships within and outside of their labs. Extracurricular events are also paired with regular check-ins, status meetings, and progress reports to ensure students are getting the support and supervision required for steady research progress.

Towards the end of the summer, each SUPER Scholar will prepare an outreach activity aimed at an audience from their home community – this can be their undergraduate institution, elementary-, middle-, high-school, or their family, church, or other local organization, etc.

Professional Development:

SUPER Scholars will meet regularly as a group to take part in workshops, seminars, and discussions on a wide variety of topics designed to enhance their professional development. Past workshop and discussion topics include: ethics in research, how to apply to graduate school, how to read/write scientific publications, presentation skills and techniques, and explorations of different life-science careers.

Scholars will further shape their professional skills through activities like a 2-Minute Elevator Pitch Competition, mock interviews, formal Lab-Swaps, and final oral and poster presentations. (These are examples of past activities, the specific 2021 schedule has yet to be announced.)

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)