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 Summer and Fall 2022 Awards:

Student Proposal Deadline: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2022 (11:59 pm)
Faculty Letter of Recommendation Submission Deadline: SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2022 (11:59 pm)

Decisions announced: late-April

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 Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholar Development 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. 

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 OURSD 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 Summer or Fall 2022, the student submisstion deadline is Wednesday, March 23, 2022. Appointments to meet virtually or in-person with the OURSD to review proposals should be made for no later than March 22, 2022. Appointments are limited this spring, so please plan meetings well in advance of deadlinesFaculty are required to submit the letter of recommendation by Sunday, March 27, 2022.

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 . 

           Type I: Arts and Creative Humanities

           Type II: All Other Proposals