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Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

September 21, 2021, 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Preparation Webinar

Staff from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will explain the components of the SURF proposal and review the submission process.  This webinar is designed to benefit undergraduate researchers who plan to apply for a SURF award and their faculty mentors. This year SURF applications are due to the ORSP on October 19th.

Please register here.

SURF provides undergraduate students an opportunity to develop a sustained relationship with a faculty member (over the course of one, two, or three semesters) to carry out in-depth research, scholarship, or creative projects. The amount of money available for travel and supplies for students is based on the number of semesters the project will require. Students from all departments and majors are encouraged to apply. 

Completed SURF applications are due to Sponsored Programs in Torreyson West, Ste. 328 by 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 19, 2021.

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To be eligible, students must have

  • Completed 30 or more hours of credit toward their degree by January 1, 2022.
  • Must have a minimum GPA of 3.25.
  • Must be U.S. citizen or a permanent resident alien.
  • Must have the commitment of a mentor with tenure/tenure track or full-time faculty status.
  • Must be working toward an undergraduate degree/cannot be a graduate student.

Research, scholarship, and creative projects from any discipline are considered eligible.

First-year students who are not yet eligible should consider planning for next year’s opportunity by writing a short synopsis of a project they wish to undertake and asking potential faculty mentors for guidance in developing a proposal.

Important Dates

  • March 18, 2021: Attend SURF Panel Discussion, 1:30-2:40 | Spring 2021 SURF Panel
  • September 21, 2021: Attend the SURF Webinar
  • October 1, 2021: Deadline to register for SURF.
  • October 13, 2021: Deadline to e-mail narrative portions you would like reviewed by the grant writer to
  • October 19, 2021: Deadline to turn in all applications materials by 4:00 p.m. to Sponsored Programs, Torreyson West, Ste. 328.
  • December 1, 2021: Deadline to have all IRB/IACUC approvals in place.


  1. Students register to apply for SURF.
  2. Students and mentors complete the two budget forms and the cover page and meet with a Grant Administrator (Matthew Smith- or Suzanne Wiltgen-
  3. Students obtain letters of support, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a printout of current class schedule from myUCA.
  4. Students complete all the documents in the application checklist and ask mentors to review and provide feedback to polish the final draft. For feedback from a professional grant writer, submit project descriptions to by Oct. 13, 2021
  5. Students submit completed applications (including the cover page signed by your mentor only) to Sponsored Programs in Torreyson West, Ste. 328.
  6. Sponsored Programs will oversee the institutional approval of applications and obtain the Provost’s signature for the cover pages.
  7. Sponsored Programs will deliver applications to ADHE.

Application Checklist

Click here for a printable checklist. 

  1. Attend the SURF Panel Discussion, Thursday, March 18, 2021, X-Period (1:40–2:30), Spring 2021 SURF Panel
  2. Attend the SURF Webinar, Tuesday, September 21, 2021
  3. Register to apply for SURF by October 1, 2021.
  4. SURF cover page
  5. Mentor’s vitae (2-page maximum) 
  6. Mentor’s SURF application form
  7. Student’s vitae (2-page maximum)
  8. Student’s SURF application form
  9. Current sealed, official transcript from the Registrar’s office
  10. Class schedule printed from myUCA
  11. One-page summary of proposed research
  12. Description of proposed research (maximum of 5 pages, double spaced)
  13. Reference list (no page limit)
  14. SURF budget justification and budget forms
  15. Mentor’s letter of support
  16. Letters of recommendation from two (2) faculty members
  17. If you need IRB (for research with human participants) or IACUC (for research on animal subjects), you will need to have approvals in place by December 1, 2021. For more information, visit the Research Compliance web page.

Budget Information

Students receive either a $1250 or $2500 discretionary stipend (depending on project length) to spend and $750 conference travel funds to present their research or project.

Faculty mentors receive a $750 stipend they may use for conference travel to present the project results; supplies and materials necessary for their portion of the creating activity, research, or scholarly endeavor; or a portion of salary and fringe benefits committed to the project. 

SURF budget justification and budget forms:

Training and Resources

Please read ADHE’s SURF guidelines.

  • SURF Checklist– This form is provided strictly for the use of faculty mentors and students applying for SURF grants. We hope you find this checklist a useful organizing tool.
  • SURF Handout This document provides an overview of the SURF program. Feel free to distribute to your students in class or online.
For questions or concerns, please contact