The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program is one of the "crown jewels" of Caltech. Since 1979, SURF students have had the opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of experienced mentors working at the frontier of their fields.
SURF is modeled on the grant-seeking process:
- Students collaborate with a potential mentor to define and develop a project
- Applicants write research proposals as part of the application process
- 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.
In 2023, Fellows will receive a $7,100 award for the ten-week period.
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
- Effective communication workshops
- Social and cultural activities
- Weekly small student-faculty dinners
- Special field trips