Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

Priority application deadline is April 6, 2018

Applications received April 7-April 20 will be reviewed if space remains in the program after reviewing priority applications

Program Application

The application form and proposal are due by Friday, April 6, 2018 at 11:59 pm, submitted to with the subject "SURF Application". Review the eligibility criterea to ensure your project is appropriate. You should find a research mentor as soon as possible. If you are having trouble identifying a mentor, you may contact the SURF director or the Center for Undergraduate Research and Graduate Opportunities to ask for assistance. Complete applications include:

  • A completed application form.
  • A completed IDP (included with the application form - see below).
  • A proposal in .pdf, .doc/docx (Microsoft Word), or .odt (LibreOffice/OpenOffice) format. PDF is preferred.
  • A completed mentor form, submitted directly by the mentor.

To complete the application form and IDP, you will need a PDF reader that can save data to PDF forms. Examples of free programs to do this include Adobe Reader 11 or Adobe Reader DC and Foxit Reader.

Late applications will only be considered if space remains in the program after reviewing all applications submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed until missing information is provided and may be considered late.

Individual Development Plan (IDP)

The IDP is found as part of the application form. The purpose of the IDP is to help you determine your goal upon graduation from XULA, to plan steps that will help you reach that goal, and to consider how the SURF program fits into this plan. There are no "wrong" answers to an IDP, but a well thought-out and coherent IDP will be more useful than one that is thrown together in a rush. You are encouraged to discuss your IDP with your research mentor, another trusted individual, or staff in the Center for Undergraduate Research and Graduate Opportunities. (CURGO also provides a more general IDP, but only the SURF IDP is acceptable for the application.) Each student accepted into the SURF program will be required to update the IDP at the end of the summer and during the following academic year.


All proposals need to include a title and abstract. Additional mandatory sections of the proposal include the research question, background, project design, and feasibility. You should read the detailed proposal instructions, attend a proposal workshop if possible, and work with your research mentor to prepare the proposal. Proposals can be a maximum of 3 pages in length and will likely take a significant amount of time to prepare.

Mentor Support Form

Your research mentor must complete the mentor form and submit it directly. You should be sure to follow-up with your research mentor to ensure that the form is submitted by the application deadline.

Review of Applications and Notification

Review of the applications will be performed by the SURF program director, the SURF associate program director, and a panel of science faculty. The primary criterion is the quality of the proposal. Additional review factors include the mentor support form and the IDP. Whenever possible, projects will be selected from a variety of scientific disciplines. If you have questions about the application process or completing a portion of the application, attend one of the information sessions or contact the SURF program director.

You will be notified by email regarding the outcome of your SURF application no later than April 23, 2018. Students who are initially offered a fellowship must decide whether or not to accept by April 30, 2018; any fellowships not accepted by that date will be offered to waitlisted students.