1. Recruiting a student with a Federal Work Study (FWS) award
Did you know the cost that the FWS student’s salary is paid according to the following split: 70 percent federal share and 30 percent departmental funds (for every dollar that a student earns, $.70 cents is paid with FWS funds and the other $.30 cents is paid from departmental funds)? The Engineering Undergraduate Research Office (EURO) can facilitate a conversation between the division of financial aid and disseminate research opportunities that you may have for undergraduate students. This is an opportunity to leverage research funds and provide a meaningful career-related employment opportunity for engineering undergraduates. If you would like to be considered for this opportunity, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Recruiting a SURF student
- Students are encouraged to contact faculty members with potential SURF opportunities. Faculty members are also encouraged to identify a student to apply for SURF.
- Students must first complete the SURF online application. Qualified students are then identified by a faculty member for a specific project who then submits a project description and recommendation for the student to be selected for SURF and assigned to their project.
- Faculty members post a research project on the SURF website if they want to select a student from a pool of applicants.
- Faculty members review applications and select applicants to interview for their project and recommend a student for the project.
- Next, the schools/colleges review their students’ applications and send their recommendations to the SURF office.
- SURF office reviews all recommended applicants and finalizes the participant list.
Funding of SURF students
- SURF participants receive a $5100 stipend
- The SURF funding model splits the per-student cost equally between — the professor, the professor’s school/department, and the professor’s college. Each entity provides $1700 per student.
Timeline for SURF program
- Post projects between December 15, 2020 - January 25, 2021
- Student/application review and selection period starts February 16, 2021 through March 22, 2021
- Request students by the third week of March 2021
- Offer letters will be sent by EURO throughout the last week of March and first week of April 2021
Confidentiality of the Project
Please note that students are required to present their research in a public forum and the abstract of their work will be made public in the form of an abstract booklet. Since their work will be presented to the public, research projects that have confidentiality restrictions are not suitable for students in this program.
Mentoring a SURF participant
Your role as mentor plays an important role in the student’s decision to pursue ;a research career. Some tips for engaging undergraduate researchers include:
- Assess your student’s skills, knowledge, and interests
- Create an open environment and encourage your student to ask questions
- Explain the overall goals of the project, and the student’s role
- Meet with the student on a regular basis, a fixed weekly meeting is recommended
- Clearly define your expectations and outline the student’s tasks and responsibilities
- Work with the student to develop a schedule to complete various aspects of the project within the length of the program
- Explain the role of other members of the team and the reporting structure
- Provide guidelines and expectations regarding the lab notebook and data collection
- Provide constructive feedback, employ active listening skills
- Get to know your student on an informal basis. Talk to your student about career options, research as a career, graduate school options.
- Review the schedule of SURF activities and encourage your student to actively participate
Additional Resource: Graduate Students Mentoring Undergraduate Students: Opportunities, Expectations, and Strategies (PDF); Presentation by Dr. Sean Brophy, Purdue University
Safety in the Laboratory
Every SURF student must become familiar with laboratory safety practices. SURF faculty and graduate student mentors are responsible for providing a safe environment and should:
- Provide undergraduate safety orientations for their respective laboratory setting and additional safety training at the school level if required.
- Report any laboratory accidents to the Radiological & Environmental Management Office (REM), First Report of Injury Form
SURF participants are not employees of the University and therefore are not covered under Workman’s Compensation. During the summer, each SURF student is covered with limited medical insurance through the Risk Management Office. This coverage is primary but does have limitations. Any unapproved and unpaid medical expenses will be the financial responsibility of the student.
If the student needs medical assistance, contact the SURF office as soon as possible.
3. Other ways to recruit undergraduate student-researchers
- Indiana Space Grant Consortium Award
- REU Grants
- NSF Grants