Features and Eligibility

SURF features

  • The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) is a multidisciplinary opportunity. Projects represent different research arenas at the college.
  • SURF allows students to engage with real-world research and creative projects, giving faculty the opportunity to make additional progress on their research agendas. As junior research partners, student fellows work directly on the research activities of faculty members.
  • The program will support several fellows over the 12-week summer.
  • Faculty propose research projects and students apply to specific projects in a  two-step process.
  • Selected students receive up to $3,000 stipends for their summer participation.
  • Faculty receive $500 for project expenses for each fellow placed with them.

Student eligibility and requirements

  • Admitted Evergreen undergraduates who will not have completed their current bachelor's degree program (i.e., graduated) before the summer of the fellowship are eligible to apply.

     A student who already has a bachelor's degree is eligible if:

    • The student is currently admitted to earn another bachelor’s degree at Evergreen; and
    • The student has not completed that degree before the summer of the fellowship.
  • Registration holds may impact a student's eligibility.  Applicants should quickly address any holds on their accounts to remain eligible for SURF during the review and selection process.
  • Fellows are not required to work a specific number of hours, but should plan on engaging with the project at least 20 hours a week, and sometimes more depending on the nature of the work.
  • The length of the placement is 12 weeks, though fellows may negotiate with their faculty mentors for flexibility in their schedules.
  • Each fellow will receive a stipend of $3,000 for participation, paid in segments and contingent on continued faculty satisfaction with their participation. Students must be eligible for student employment at Evergreen to be able to receive the stipend.
  • Fellows are asked to attend the SURF opening reception with their faculty in June. In the fall, fellows will present their summer work at a college symposium.  Fellows may also be invited to participate in other events throughout the year, including informal summer gatherings to share their progress. 

Faculty eligibility and requirements

  • Pre-retirement permanent and adjunct faculty are eligible to submit proposals to support Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship students.
  • Adjunct faculty, at the time of project selection, must have a contract to teach at Evergreen after the summer of the proposed project. 
  • At the time of selection, faculty participants must meet the requirements listed under “Eligibility for Professional Development Opportunities” in the current Evergreen/UFE Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  • Successful faculty proposals will demonstrate significant research questions and methods, the progress expected with the placement of one or more fellows, and meaningful experiences for undergraduate researchers.  Fellows are intended to serve as junior partners, not mere assistants, in the enterprise. 
  • Faculty may submit more than one proposal for a SURF project, but no more than one will be chosen for placement of a student fellow unless there is a shortage of other viable projects.
  • Faculty will be asked to provide guidance for the weekly SURF gathering of fellows and are encouraged to participate.
  • Faculty are asked to attend both an opening reception in June and a closing celebration with student presentations in the fall.
  • Faculty will mentor students on projects without financial compensation. The primary incentive for faculty is to accomplish the research proposed with support from undergraduate research fellows.
  • Faculty will have a $500-per-fellow budget for project expenses.

Selection process

The academic deans comprise the selection committee.  The process is two-fold: 1) Faculty submit proposals for projects that would support a fellowship placement in January; and 2) Students apply for positions on up to three proposed faculty projects in March.

1)  Faculty Proposals

To be considered for the placement of a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow, interested 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 and the personal needs of faculty and students. 

These research projects should reflect real-world research questions and subjects on which the faculty member wants to make progress on and is capable of mentoring in a professional sense. Research proposals must be concise projects approachable by a wide audience and reflecting collaboration between faculty and students. The proposal should identify clear research responsibilities for each fellow (i.e., students will act as junior research partners, not technicians). Faculty proposals should:

  • Describe the research project available in the faculty member’s lab, study site, studio, or area of expertise.
  • Define the general expertise required of students seeking to participate.
  • Describe the responsibilities of undergraduate fellows on the project as well as the knowledge and experience to be gained by them.
  • Indicate the number of fellows the project could accommodate (up to three total), and outline the anticipated progress on the project made possible with each number of placements.
  • Provide additional information as necessary to explain the proposed project.

The deans review faculty proposals for viability. Visit the Faculty Information page for more information about proposing a SURF project.

2)   Student Applications

Once the slate of faculty projects is established, students may apply for fellowships on up to three different projects.  Placements will be limited to one project per student.  Students will be asked to express their previous research experiences, course preparation, and the reason for their interest in particular projects. Students are encouraged to speak directly with the faculty leaders of proposed projects they are interested in before applying.

After 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.

Given the demand the program may generate, it may not be possible for every faculty project to receive a fellowship.  The deans may also decide to award teams of two or three fellows to particular projects when the proposed summer experience appears to warrant such placements.  Faculty leaders of projects will have an opportunity to turn down the placement of particular students prior to any students being notified. Final placements are expected to be announced by the middle of April.

For more information about applying for a fellowship, visit the Apply for a Fellowship page.