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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 3 - August 7) under the direction of UH faculty. Current freshmen who will be sophomores in fall 2019 are eligible to apply for the fellowship. However, students graduating in spring and summer 2019 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. All full-time UH faculty members are eligible to participate as faculty sponsors (this precludes adjunct faculty).

The 2019 SURF program application will be available starting January 2019.

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 $4000 scholarship 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.

Students may not receive course credit for the SURF program. This includes a thesis course and an independent study course. Post-baccalaureate students NOT pursuing a second bachelor's degree are not eligible for SURF. Only University of Houston main campus students are eligible to apply. 

Students seeking to conduct research with faculty members in the Biology of Behavior Institute (BoBI) are also encouraged to apply for the BoBI Undergraduate Research Scholarship for summer 2019. A listing of BoBI faculty can be found here:

Campus Partners

The programs supported through the Office of Undergraduate Research would not be possible without the financial support of:
The Office of the Provost
Division of Research
The Honors College

Visit our listing of other campus and community partners who have supported the PURS and SURF programs. 

How to Apply

Student must complete an online application, which includes:

  1. Statement of research objectives and goals not to exceed 500 words (including references)
  2. Two 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; this is the faculty member who the student is applying to conduct research with

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 summer program
  • 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 Dr. Jennifer Asmussen in the Office of Undergraduate Research no later than the application deadline.

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

Working with Human Subjects: If your research proposal includes working with human subjects, then you must receive approval from the University's Institutitional Review Board (IRB) prior to initiating your research. Please reference the University's IRB policy before submitting your research proposal.

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. For this reason, UH faculty are encouraged to limit their submissions to only two proposals for a single SURF competition. 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. 


  • 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. A student cannot earn course credit for the SURF program.
  • Attend SURF orientation: TBA
  • Attend weekly summer Brown Bag Lectures each Wednesday from noon - 1 p.m. in the Rockwell Pavilion and/or Honors College.
  • Complete online survey, which is due on August 7th
  • Participate at Undergraduate Research Day 2019, which will take place in October 2019, by presenting a research poster
  • 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 Jennifer Asmussen, the Program Director, or Stuart Long, the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Research, if you have any questions or if you require additional information.