Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship - UH

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship - UH

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program at the University of Houston (SURF-UH) seeks to provide funding for rising UH sophomores, juniors, and seniors to participate in a focused, full-time, 10-week research experience (June 2nd - August 8th) under the direction of UH faculty. Current freshmen who will be sophomores in fall 2014 are eligible to apply for the fellowship. However, students graduating in spring and summer 2014 are not eligible for this program. No course credit will be offered for participation in this program, and students who have previously participated in the SURF-UH program are ineligible to reapply. This fellowship is open to students of all disciplines. The deadline for the SURF 2014 program has now passed.

Who is Eligible?

Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors, from all majors, with at least a 3.0 GPA are eligible to apply. If a student has less than 12 hours from UH, a 3.5 GPA is required.  The SURF program provides a $3500 stipend to students and a $300 reimbursement stipend to faculty for any expenses incurred in mentoring the SURF student. All full-time UH faculty are eligible to mentor a SURF student.


Please be aware students may not enroll in a course, such as the thesis course or an independent study, and receive a SURF fellowship at the same time for the same research project.  Post-baccalaureate students NOT pursuing a second bachelor's degree are not eligible for SURF. Only University of Houston students are eligible to apply. 

Campus Partners

The programs supported through the Office of Undergraduate Research would not be possible without the financial support of our campus partners:
Provost's Office, which includes the Office of Undergraduate Discovery Programs
Division of Research
The Honors College
Biology of Behavior Institute (BoBI)
Hobby Center for Public Policy 
Medicine and Society Program 
Texas Obesity Research Center

UH Colleges: 
Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture
CLASS Dean’s Excellence Research Scholarship
Honors College

UH Departments:
Health and Human Performance
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Biology & Biochemistry
Computer Science
Mathematics
Construction Management
Electrical Technology

How to Apply

Student must complete and submit this online application, which includes:

  1. Statement of research objectives and goals not to exceed 500 words
  2. Three short answer questions about your academic and research experience
  3. Name of the UH faculty mentor/sponsor who will be providing a letter of recommendation

The statement of research should:

  • Be composed in consultation with the faculty sponsor
  • Be written in your own words—not in your faculty sponsor's words
  • Be written in first person
  • Discuss the relative importance of the proposed research within its discipline
  • State the specific tasks to be accomplished during the semester programma
  • Define the scope and goals of the proposed research
  • Be checked for any spelling or syntax errors before being submitted

The UH faculty mentor letter of recommendation should:

  • Describe the student's qualifications
  • Identify the area of research, creative or scholarly activities in which the mentor will engage the student 
  • Describe the faculty member's role as mentor to the student, including a description of how the proposed research relates to their on-going research
  • Be emailed to Karen Weber in the Office of Undergraduate Research no later than March 21st.

Competitive applications generally include:

  • Demonstrations of strong student academic record
  • Research proposals that are clear, thorough, within the 500-word limit, free of errors in spelling, grammar, and syntax, and in the student's own words
  • Research proposals with clear, realistic goals that help the student focus and indicate that the project will lead to a substantive research experience for the student
  • Descriptive and informative faculty letter of recommendation (1-2 pages in length), especially addressing the prospects for results in the projected time frame, the value of the research project, and the ability of the student to undertake the project

Please be aware this is a competitive program with finite funding, and the Office of Undergraduate Research receives many more strong proposals than they are able to fund. The staff at the Office of Undergraduate Research is unable to share specific information about the assessment of individual applications after the decisions have been made. 

Expectations/Workload

  • Full-time participation in 10-week program
  • It is assumed that students will not take a summer course; if a student MUST take a summer course for extenuating circumstances, petitions within this spirit may be accepted on a case-by-case basis by completing a petition form; petition form is due March 21st
  • Attend SURF orientation on Thursday, April 24th at 4-5 p.m. in the Honors College
  • Attend weekly Brown Bag Lectures each Wednesday from noon - 1 p.m.
  • Complete online survey, which is due on August 8th
  • Participate at Undergraduate Research Day 2014, which will take place Thursday, October 9 at 4 p.m., by presenting a research poster and submitting an abstract for event program
  • SURF recipients' and faculty mentors' names and photos will be included in the annual Undergraduate Research Day booklet and in other online and print promotional materials.

Please contact Karen Weber, the Program Director, or Stuart Long, the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Research, if you have any questions or if you require additional information.