Caltech's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program introduces students to research under the guidance of seasoned research mentors at Caltech and JPL. Students experience the process of research as a creative intellectual activity.
SURF is modeled on the grant-seeking process:
- Students collaborate with potential mentors to define and develop a project
- Applicants write research proposals for their projects
- Faculty review the proposals and recommend awards
- Students carry out the work over a 10-week period during the summer
- At the conclusion of the program, students submit a technical paper and give an oral presentation at one of several SURF Seminar Days, symposia modeled on a professional technical meeting.
Fellows receive a $6,000 award for the ten-week period. Award payments are distributed in equal installments in late June and late July.
To enrich the research experience, SURF Fellows are invited to attend the following:
- Weekly seminars by Caltech faculty & JPL scientists and engineers
- An academic and professional development series on developing a research career, graduate school admissions, and other topics of interest to future researchers
- Various social and cultural activities
- Weekly small student-faculty dinners
- Special field trips