CardioSURF at Fralin Biomedical Research Institute


The American Heart Association FBRI CardioSURF program is a 10-week long summer program that gives students the opportunity to participate in hypothesis-driven independent research at Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC in Roanoke, Virginia. Students will participate in a weekly workshop series to provide hands-on experience in the cutting-edge imaging technologies housed within FBRI to understand appropriate application of each technology in cardiovascular research. This program encompasses a full-time, 40-hour week schedule and supports CardioSURF students with a $6,000 stipend. Housing will also be provided to those students that need it.

The CardioSURF program’s objectives are:

1. To expose undergraduate students to the broad scope of visualization technologies available for interrogating cardiovascular biology

2. To provide hands-on experience within the multidisciplinary environment of the FBRI where we apply cutting-edge imaging technologies

3. To expose a diverse cohort of students to experiential learning early in their careers and foster long-term careers in STEM and cardiovascular fields

4. To develop creative problem-solving skills and train students in the appropriate application of techniques, experimental design, and data analysis

5. To provide professional development training with a focus on effective scientific communication

In addition to hands-on research projects, AHA FBRI CardioSURF students will participate in:

  • Weekly workshops by FBRI Faculty on each imaging technology
  • Courses on preparing for a future career in science
  • Mentoring on science communication and presentation skills
  • The Virginia Tech Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium
  • Peer mentoring from VT graduate students
  • Social and cultural activities with fellow summer research students


To be considered for the CardioSURF program, an applicant:

  • Must be a rising junior or senior who attends a university in the United States
  • Must be a United States citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Must possess a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  • Must have completed introductory courses in biology, chemistry, or physics
  • Must be able to devote yourself to full-time research for the duration of the 10-week Molecular Visualization SURF program (May 22 – July 28, 2023)


  • Applicants who express commitment to careers in science will be preferred
  • Previous independent research experience is not required
  • Students from underrepresented groups (including, but not limited to, ethnic minorities, first-generation college students, students from low-income areas, students with disabilities, LGBTQ+, etc…) are strongly encouraged to apply


Applications for the American Heart Association FBRI CardioSURF program are available here.

All application materials will be due February 14, 2023.

Please note, a completed application package includes the following:

  • General information about the applicant
  • Three short essays describing:
    • Your participation experience in independent research
    • Why you are interested in cardiovascular research
    • What you hope to gain from participating in the AHA FBRI CardioSURF program and how it might contribute to your career
  • An up-to-date unofficial transcript and GPA (16MB maximum file upload)
  • A recommendation letter/faculty letter of support from a faculty member at your current institution, or a previous faculty mentor emailed to

Faculty Research Areas

The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC