Summer Undergraduate Research Experience

Sure Students

The University of South Dakota Veteran's Affairs, and Sanford Research is home to the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE), a unique opportunity for American Indian undergraduate students to receive hands-on research experience and mentoring in a cross-disciplinary training program (biomedical or behavioral research).

SURE is a 10 week, full-time, paid internship.

Experience includes:
  • Research seminars
  • Shadowing opportunities
  • Lab tours
  • Group BBQs and campouts
  • Dinner and other informal group events
SURE builds students’ capacity to conduct independent research while preparing them with greater skills and ideas to develop their future career paths.

This program offers American Indian undergraduates the opportunity to explore their interest in pursuing careers in the health science professions and in health disparities research.

Read our 2013 newsletter to find profiles of past students and their projects. To find profiles of past students and their projects read our 2011 and 2012 newsletters.

Listen to our radio advertisement.

“Without SURE I wouldn't have been given the opportunity to become more involved in health disparities. The program gave me the confidence to know that I have something to offer and that I can make a difference in American Indian health.”  – SURE 2013 Intern

  • Must be an American Indian Undergraduate student (must not graduate before summer)
  • Focus: Must have an interest in healthcare, healthcare research or health disparities.

To apply, you will need the following:

  • Completed application
  • Resume: You can find a basic resume template here (upload with application)
  • Letter of Recommendation from an instructor or mentor (upload or email)
  • College transcripts, official or unofficial (upload or email)

If you would rather email your resume, letter of recommendation and college transcripts, please email them to:

Applications Due February 15, 2015

“It was wonderful getting to know my student and seeing the steps she took throughout the summer. I feel like we were just getting to know each other and that she was beginning to open up. It would have been great to have had a few more weeks with her. I think she has the capacity to really learn a lot from research but the time went too quickly!” – SURE 2014 Mentor

For more information, or to ask questions, please contact:
Jen Prasek
Center for Health Outcomes and Prevention Research
2301 E. 60th Street N.
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Phone: (605) 312-6208
2012 SURE            Students Presented at the 3rd Annual  Student Research Symposium at Sanford Research/USD


2014 SURE students presented at the 5th Annual Student Research Symposium at Sanford Research.


Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills wowed all attendees at the CRCAIH Annual Summit in Bemidji, MN. At the mixer, he engaged with students, telling stories and learning about their paths.


Students conversing with guest speaker Gene Thin Elk. The discussion was on bravery, fortitude, sacrifice, generosity and hope and how each plays a role in our interns' educational journeys.


Some of the SURE interns traveled to the Indian University of North America at Crazy Horse Memorial to share information about their experience with SURE. It was a whirlwind, exciting trip!


 Sanford SURE
SURE students, friends and family got to know each other at our BBQ in Vermillion.


SURE offers a variety of research experiences! During the summer of 2012, Noelani Villa often traveled to SD reservations to recruit participants and collect data for community-based projects.