Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships help faculty advance their creative and scholarly work by matching them with capable undergraduate research partners.
The deadline for faculty proposals for 2018 has passed. Proposals for 2019 projects will be due in January 2019. Read more to learn how to apply.
To be considered for the placement of a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow, eligible faculty will submit concise proposals for engaging up to three undergraduate fellows in faculty research for a twelve-week period. Fellows are not hourly employees and will not be required to complete timecards, but an average 20-hour work week over the 12 weeks is a reasonable expectation, with flexibility to match the intensity of project requirements. More than one faculty can work together on a given proposal. Individual faculty may also submit more than one proposal, but no more than one will be chosen for placement of a fellow unless there is a shortage of other viable research projects.
These projects should reflect real-world research questions and subjects that the faculty member wants to make progress on and is capable of mentoring in a professional sense. Successful proposals will be concise and approachable by a wide audience and will reflect collaboration between faculty and students.
For information about faculty eligibility and project guidelines, visit the Features and Eligibility page.
Propose a SURF project
Faculty propose projects using our online form available at the link below and in the bar at right. Because this form does not allow you to save and return later to your work, you may find it most helpful to develop your project proposal in a separate document. (The information you will need to complete the form is provided below.) When you’ve finalized the proposal in your own document, you can then paste each relevant section into the form.
SURF Faculty Proposal Form (closed for 2018)
In addition to your name and contact data, this form will ask you for the following information (with noted size limits). Again, we recommend you prepare the proposal in a separate document first.
Title (300 characters, including spaces):
Description (2000 characters, including spaces): Describe the research project available in your lab, study site, studio, or area of expertise.
General expertise required of student fellows (1500 characters, including spaces): Describe the key knowledge, skills, and abilities; level of study (i.e., beginning, intermediate, advanced); coursework prerequisites; other required characteristics of the successful applicant.
Responsibilities of the fellows and knowledge and experience to be gained by them (1500 characters, including spaces): Describe the responsibilities of undergraduate fellows on the project as well as the knowledge and experience to be gained by them.
Number of fellows requested (check box). Indicate the number of fellows the project could accommodate, up to three total. (Note: it may not be possible to place a fellow with every project or more than one fellow with any project.)
Anticipated progress (1500 characters, including spaces). Outline the anticipated progress on the project made possible with each fellow placed. For example, if you are requesting a total of three fellows, describe what the project might accomplish if you received all three fellows, only two fellows, or only one fellow.
Additional information (1500 characters, including spaces). What else do student applicants and others need to know about this project?
The deans will review all proposals to identify any potential barriers to a project for this student award and troubleshoot solutions with the faculty proposing it. The deans may disqualify a faculty proposal if in their judgment it doesn't adequately reflect the requirements of the program.
Once the slate of faculty projects is established (around February 1), students may apply for fellowships on up to three different projects. Placements will be limited to one per student. Students will be asked to express their previous research experiences, course preparation, and the reason for their interest in particular projects. These applications will be due around March 1.
In the contest announcement, students will be encouraged to speak directly with the faculty leaders of projects they are interested in before applying.
Once the deadline for student proposals has passed, faculty will have an opportunity to review and prioritize their top applicants for the deans to consider. The deans will then select proposed students to be placed with particular projects.
Depending on the numbers of proposed faculty projects and student applications, it may not be possible for every proposed project to receive a fellowship placement. The deans may also decide to award teams of two or three fellows to particular projects when the proposed research experience and the quality of the students applicants appears to warrant such placements, even if that leaves some projects without placements. Final selections will be announced around April 15.
Fellows and their faculty mentors are asked to attend an opening reception in June, participate in SURF cohort activities during the summer, and make a poster-style presentation at a closing celebration in the fall.