Carnegie Mellon University

SURA - Summer Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship

Application deadline: June 4, 2021

IMPORTANT:   Due to the evolving nature of the COVID situation, we are allowing the following for SURA 2021 participants:

  • Students should work remotely if their project allows for it.
  • Students should determine, with guidance from their faculty mentor, if their research can be done remotely, or absolutely must be done on campus due to the nature of the work. (i.e.; access to technology that would only be available on campus.)
  • There may be some limited circumstances where a student has already been working in person with their research group; in these cases, they can likely continue in person for the summer, assuming their lab’s in-person protocol does not change due to pandemic conditions.

Please note: Due to fluid internal and external guidance and policies, there may be limitations on participation in research in some areas outside the US.  This will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship (SURA) course awards tuition-free elective credit to undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon for existing faculty projects focused on undergraduate research or creative inquiry under the direction of a Carnegie Mellon faculty member. Students are responsible for finding a faculty member who is willing and able to supervise them over the summer. Tenure track, teaching track, research track, librarian track, and special faculty at Carnegie Mellon may serve as SURA mentors.  Research with faculty outside of Carnegie Mellon is not permitted.

SURA is a variable unit course with units awarded commensurate with hours worked as follows:

Units Minimum Hour Requirement
9 units   135 Hours
6 units 90 Hours
3 units 45 Hours

Generally, SURA projects should follow the Summer Session All calendar, with research falling between May 21st and August 12th.

Housing is not provided with the apprenticeship.  Information on summer housing is available here.

Course enrollment requires permission from our staff through the Apprenticeship Verification Form.  Forms must be submitted by June 4, 2021.  You cannot register on your own for the course.  Applications CANNOT be accepted after June 4, as this coincides with the Drop/Add deadline for Summer Session All.

Please note that adjustments to number of credits WILL NOT be accepted after June 4, 2021.

Eligibility requirements for the SURA experience include:

  • Currently enrolled with undergraduate first-year or sophomore status.  Current juniors may be eligible and should contact Richelle Bernazzoli to verify.
  • Baccalaureate degree in progress.
  • Little or no previous experience in research or creative inquiry at Carnegie Mellon. 
  • If you are on a leave of absence the semester in which you are applying for SURA (Spring 201),  or are planning to be on leave during the semester after (Fall 2021), please contact Stephanie Wallach.
  • Students are limited to one SURA experience over the course of their undergraduate career.
  • Students cannot combine SURA with SURG or SURF in the same summer.

 Requirements for enrolled students:

  • Attend workshop modules; these modules will be virtual and asynchronous, with the exception of the first orientation session, which will be virtual and synchoronos.  Please see dates to the right.  
  • Based on the recommendation of your faculty mentor, either present your work at or attend the Meeting of the Minds Undergraduate Research Symposium
  • Follow human subjects guidelines where applicable

How to Apply

  • Locate a facuty mentor who will sponsor your SURA.  Suggested steps:
    • Review the bios of faculty members to see what kind of research they are doing and what might interest you
    • Meet with your academic advisor and let them know your interest; come prepared with specific names and general research areas of interest
    • Meet with a faculty member who you know through a course or one who may have a similar area of interest
  • Decide with your faculty mentor the weeks you will work to complete the necessary research hours
  • Once you have a confirmed commitment, complete and submit the required 99-270 Summer Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Verification Form. Once submitted, the form will be sent to your faculty mentor for their approval.
    • All forms must be submitted by June 4, 2021.