Students encouraged to apply for Summer Undergraduate Research Fund Award program




University of Connecticut undergraduate students have until Jan. 29 to apply for the Summer Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF) Award program.

The award is open to undergraduate students in all majors from all campuses who plan on graduating in Dec. 2018 or later. Students can apply for funding of up to $4,000 to help them with summer research or creative projects. The $4,000 is comprised of a $3,500 maximum stipend and an additional $500 of project supplies.

To be eligible, students must be supervised by a UConn faculty member and must not have received a SURF award in a previous year.

Students who are awarded SURF funding must agree to present their project findings at a Frontiers in Undergraduate Research poster exhibition in Oct. 2018 or April 2019.

The Office of Undergraduate Research Program Coordinator Jodi Eskin said receiving a SURF award is a valuable opportunity because it allows students to spend a summer engaged full-time in a research project or creative activity.

“Spending 35-50 hours a week on a project allows students to delve more deeply into a project than is possible during the academic year,” Eskin said. “Students enhance their problem solving skills, learn new techniques and benefit from the guidance of a faculty member.”

Eskin said for many students, a SURF experience can help solidify the direction they wish to pursue in graduate school or inform their choice of a career path.

“We hope the SURF experience is a transformative one for students,” Eskin said. “Beyond gaining greater independence in their work and a deeper understanding of the research or creative process, we hope students will benefit from the opportunity to explore what they are passionate about and become producers of new knowledge.”

To apply, students must write a proposal that summarizes the basic idea, problem or question the proposed project will examine, as well as how their projects will examine and/or answer those ideas, problems and questions.

Students must also briefly explain the research or project’s design, procedures and methods and explain what makes them qualified to undertake and complete their proposed project.

In addition to a proposal, students are required to write a timeline and a budget for their project and include two recommendation letters from faculty members.

The timeline should include summer start and end dates, the anticipated number of project work hours each week and a week-by-week listing of planned project milestones.

The budget should note how much funding the student is requesting and how that money will be spent.

Students who wish to include international travel as part of their project must answer supplemental questions that can be found on the application.

A full description of the grant and the application can be found online.

Gabriella DeBenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at

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