2024 Summer SURE Internship begins at The Hormel Institute

Published 4:50 pm Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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On Tuesday, May 28, undergraduate students arrived at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, for the summer kickoff of the annual Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) internship. 

Interns toured the facilities and met fellow interns as well as Institute researchers who will serve as their mentors over the course of the program, among other activities. 

Established in 1977, SURE is a nationally recognized 10-week summer internship program for undergraduate students that takes place at The Hormel Institute. Participating undergraduate students gain firsthand, real-world experience with biomedical research practices and equipment beyond what many undergraduate programs typically offer. 

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Over the course of these 10 weeks, interns receive mentorship from world-class scientists, participate in weekly professional development courses, and build connections with fellow interns and other researchers to expand their networks within the scientific research community. At the close of the program, they’ll present their scientific research at a symposium. 

More than 250 students have participated in SURE over its nearly 50-year history, and the program has seen a 540% increase in applicants from 2021–2024. 

“It [SURE] just seemed like a really great opportunity. I’ve always been interested in science and getting into research, and this seemed like a really great way to do that,” said SURE intern Morgan Arnold, adding she is currently interested in pursuing a master’s and/or PhD program in the future, and is curious to learn more about the computational side of biomedical research. 

There are plenty of benefits she expects to reap from the program now that it’s underway, including: “experience and some real skills that I can bring forward as I want to continue in science. And also just making relationships, connections, with people in the lab and connections with fellow interns,” she said. “[There is also] the opportunity you have to connect with so many people and the welcoming environment of the labs. I feel like it’s really important for me to be in an environment where questions are very welcomed and you’re working together, so I feel like that will be very helpful in my learning journey.” 

SURE intern Rachel Trebesch, who is also considering future graduate school prospects, also shared what she was looking forward to. 

“I’m hoping to learn new techniques … and just really try new things,” she said. “I also hope to strengthen some different skills, like communication … getting a better grasp on how to make a poster; I’ve done that a couple times, but doing a new project, seeing if I can apply those skills. I also hope to get a better feel for what I want to do after graduating.”