SURF: Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships-Undergraduate Research Office - Carnegie Mellon University

SURF: Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

Summer 2017 SURF Proposal Deadline: Friday, March 24, 2017

Register!

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program awards $3500 to undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon for 8-10 FULL-TIME weeks of summer research in any field of study.

What can I do?

Students interested in any form of research may apply. All you need is an idea and a faculty advisor willing to supervise your research on campus for 8-10 weeks. You can work alone or in a group, but you must apply as an individual – unlike SURG, no group awards are available. 

How much SURF funding can I get?

Each Fellowship is given as a $3500 stipend. You will work full-time at a pre-determined hourly rate of $11.67 (37.5 hours per week) over 8-10 weeks, working 300 hours over the course of the summer.  Students will complete their hours on Workday through their department; the faculty advisor and business manager will each need to sign a copy of the student’s contract upon acceptance of the fellowship stipend. The award is subject to all applicable taxes.  Students will not be compensated from the URO beyond the $3500 maximum or beyond the established 300-hour maximum.

Can I take a summer course and also participate in SURF?

Summer research is a full-time endeavor.  Students are generally discouraged from pursuing credit-bearing work during the period of their undergraduate research.  If a student has a compelling reason to take a summer course, the coursework cannot interfere with the student's research, and it should not require any adjustment to the student's research schedule.  Students must receive permission from their faculty mentor before they may enroll in credit-bearing work for the same time period.  

Am I eligible? 

You are eligible if you:

  • are a CMU undergraduate student - including freshmen - in a degree-granting program;
  • are going to be enrolled during the Fall semester after your fellowship; alumni are not eligible the summer following graduation;
  • have a minimum 3.0 GPA in the prior fall semester; any issues with GPA eligibility, please contact Dr. Stephanie Wallach sw4s@andrew.cmu.edu
  • are in good academic standing (not on probation or suspension);
  • are not on a leave of absence when applying for SURF and/or are not planning to be on leave during the semester of the grant (please contact our office to discuss your leave);
  • have not received SURF in the past;
  • have a faculty member who will meet with you over the summer and oversee your progress
  • will conduct research on campus or at an institution in Pittsburgh.  SURF is not intended to support research at other institutions outside of Pittsburgh or for study abroad.  Any questions, please contact Dr. Stephanie Wallach, sw4s@andrew.cmu.edu
  • will commit fulltime to the research position—SURF is in lieu of a job; students work regular hours and submit their time through their home departments.

What are the Fellowship Requirements?

By accepting a SURF, you are agreeing to:

  • participate in all required URO events
  • write a thank you note to your funder
  • plan to meet with the URO Director or Assistant Directors, and your mentor during the summer to talk about your project
  • complete all surveys connected to your SURF
  • present your work at the Undergraduate Research Symposium (Meeting of the Minds)
  • follow human subjects guidelines.  Read A Note on Human Subjects for instructions
  • attend Speak Up! - a cross-disciplinary communication skills seminar for undergraduate summer researchers.  Speak Up! is a series of five communication modules for SURF students, on Wednesdays at noon.  Students will learn across each module about when, why, and how we communicate to different, often "non-expert" audiences, through real-world oral and written communication activities focused on translating expertise and energizing audiences.  The sessions will take place on June 7, 14, 21, 28 and July 12.

Failure to satisfy these requirements will result in ineligibility for future awards.

When should I apply?

If you are interested in SURF for Summer 2017, the deadline is Friday, March 24, 2017. Appointments to meet with the Director or Assistant Directors of the URO to review proposals should be made no later than March 23, 2017.

YOUR PROPOSAL

There are two types of Proposals. Type I is designed for students who are in the Arts and Creative Humanities.  Type I covers research-based “making” proposals.  All other students should submit Type II proposals.

If you are uncertain about whether Proposal Type I or Type II is most appropriate for you, please schedule an appointment with Stephanie Wallach, Director of the URO, Joanna Dickert, Assistant Director of the URO, or Richelle Bernazzoli, Assistant Director of the URO at www.mywco.com/urofsoappointments.

            TYPE I: Arts and Creative Humanities

            TYPE II: All Other Proposals