Carnegie Mellon University

SURG: Small Undergraduate Research Grants

The Small Undergraduate Research Grants (SURG) program offers grants for materials and supplies to undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon for research in any field of study. 

SURG Proposal Deadlines for Spring 2022 Awards:

Student Proposal Deadline: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2021 (11:59 pm)
Faculty Letter of Recommendation Submission Deadline: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2021 (11:59 pm)

Decisions announced: late-November

What can I do?

Students interested in any form of research may apply. You can work alone or in a group, in a traditional or interdisciplinary field, in a professor’s lab or in a studio—it’s up to you.

The URO adheres to a broad definition of research: “Research, scholarly, or artistic activities that lead to the production of new knowledge; to increased problem solving capabilities, including design and analysis; to original, critical or historical theory and interpretation; or to the production of art or artistic performance.”

How much SURG funding can I get?

One-person projects qualify for grants of up to $500.  Group projects can receive up to $1000.  The grants are given as cash awards for materials and supplies related to your project only, and will not affect your financial aid. 

Can I get additional funding?

SURG/CW offers ADDITIONAL funding beyond traditional SURG:  One-person projects may qualify for up to $500 additional; group projects may receive up to $1000 additional.  It is especially important for SURG/CW that applicants include a detailed budget of all expenses. 

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 semester of your grant for Fall or Spring awards, or the semester following your grant for Summer awards;
  • are in good standing at the university (not on academic or disciplinary probation or suspension);
  • are not on a leave of absence when applying for SURG and/or are not planning to be on leave during the semester of the grant (please contact our office to discuss your leave);
  • have a faculty member who will meet with you throughout the semester and oversee your progress;
  • will conduct research on campus or at an institution in Pittsburgh.  SURG is not intended to support research at other institutions outside of Pittsburgh or for study abroad; please check ISURG for information on materials and supplies support for a research project if studying abroad.  

What are the grant requirements?

By accepting a SURG, you are agreeing to:

  • participate in all required URO events
  • write a thank you note to your funder
  • complete all surveys connected to your SURG
  • present your work at the Undergraduate Research Symposium (Meeting of the Minds)
  • follow human subjects guidelines.  Read A Note on Human Subjects for instructions.

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

When should I apply?

If you are interested in SURG for Spring 2022, the student submisstion deadline is Wednesday, October 20, 2021. Appointments to meet virtually with the Associate/Assistant Directors of the URO to review proposals should be made for no later than October 19, 2021. Faculty are required to submit the letter of recommendation by Sunday, October 24, 2021.

Your proposal

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

If you are uncertain about whether Proposal Type I or Type II is most appropriate for you, please schedule an appointment with Brittany Allison, Assistant Director or Richelle Bernazzoli, Associate Director. 

           Type I: Arts and Creative Humanities

           Type II: All Other Proposals