Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF)

10-Week Summer Research Fellowships

The Directors of Undergraduate Research, Institutional Advancement Office, and Deans have collaborated to offer Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) for students committed to working on a scholarly project over the summer, overseen by a faculty mentor. An overarching goal of this program is to alleviate the economic pressures that can prohibit strong students from actively engaging in academic research opportunities. The range of supported activities is broad – as long as it is primary research. The research could be faculty driven, student driven, or even driven by a liaison from business, industry, government, etc, so long as there is a faculty member who sponsors the work. However, the research activities associated with the SURF experience cannot be related to any of the student’s SJNY coursework or degree responsibilities; the research undertaken for the SURF experience must be extracurricular.  And, unfortunately, seniors are not eligible for SURF; applicants must be freshman, sophomores, or juniors.

Compensation: The SURF initiative will provide stipends of $4,000 for each student recipient to work on their SURF research projects for 10 weeks during summer, which is the equivalent of 20 hours per week at $20 per hour. Faculty mentors will be compensated the equivalent to teaching a 1 credit course.


  • Application deadline is 5 p.m. on March 29, 2024
  • Award decisions will be made on April 12, 2024.

Selection Criteria

This is likely to be a highly competitive application process. Public presentation will be one of the criteria used to award fellowships. The Student Summer Research Committee will also take into account the following when selecting fellowship recipients:

  • The Impact of Financial Support
  • Motivation & Desire for Research Experience
  • Quality of the student proposal
  • Level of faculty support for the student and the project as expressed in the letter provided with the application
  • Student GPA and general academic standing 

Requirements and Expectations

  • SURF recipients will receive a $4000 stipend as compensation for their time, which is equivalent to $20 per hour, 20 hours a week, over 10 weeks. Faculty mentors will be compensated the equivalence of teaching a 1 credit course.
  • SURF recipients must work on project related tasks for 20 hours a week over 10 weeks. The actual weeks during which this work will take place during the Summer of 2023 must be disclosed in the application.
  • SURF recipients must meet at least once a week, depending on the nature of the project – in person or via teleconference (Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.) – with the faculty mentor during the 10 weeks of the program.
  • SURF recipients must present the results of the summer project at the Student Research Symposium the following year, and/or some other venue that the Student Summer Research Committee deems a valid substitute. 
  • All research projects are considered to start their first week on a Monday, During the 1st week of the program a notification will be sent to remind the faculty mentor and SURF awardee that their initial progress report is due on the 3rd Friday of the project’s timeline. The SURF awardee’s second paycheck will be withheld until this report is submitted.
  • SURF recipients must complete an exit survey about their SURF experience upon completion of the program.
  • SURF recipients must write a final paper summarizing the summer project, in a format approved by the faculty sponsor that is submitted as part of the exit survey before the start of the fall semester.
  • SURF recipients must agree to have their project summary included in university promotional materials, and agree to a photo release.

What Do Former SURF Recipients Say?

Caitlin Anetrella ’23
Biology Major with a Concentration in Adolescence Education

"I really enjoyed the experience and opportunities the SURF program provided me with. It allowed me to conduct research in an area I was interested in — and to share the results I obtained with others. I enjoyed how it gave me the freedom to create my own schedule for the summer. It is also something that will help me with my career goals; it is definitely a great addition to have on my resume when looking for a job."

Blanca Reyes '23
Psychology Major

"SURF has taught me more about the research field, the creation of your own methodology and creating your own literature review. It was eye-opening to feel and push myself to be more independent with my research and setting my own tasks. My favorite part of the SURF experience was bringing my vision to life and conducting my own research, while being guided with the expertise of someone who has been in the field of psychology and as a researcher."