SURF Faculty Application

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships help faculty advance their creative and scholarly work by matching them with capable undergraduate research partners.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Faculty Proposals

You can find general information about SURF at

Faculty propose a SURF project by completing the application form. The completed form must be sent as a Word document to by January 24, 2020.

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 intent and structure of the program.

The deadline for faculty proposals for Summer 2020 is January 24, 2020. 


To be considered for the placement of a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow, eligible faculty will submit concise proposals for engaging one or two 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 member 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 that support professional mentoring. Successful proposals will be concise and understandable to a generalist audience and be clearly supportive of collaboration between faculty and students.

For information about faculty and student eligibility, visit the Eligibility page.

Student applications

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.

Final selection

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 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.