The SURF program aims to provide a hands-on research experience for undergraduate students that will stimulate their interest in advanced education and research careers. The program is an opportunity to attract top undergraduates to Purdue's graduate school. Whether the student is currently at Purdue or enrolled at another top U.S. institution, professors and schools/departments are encouraged to recruit qualified undergraduates for the SURF program. Once on campus for the summer, the student and the professor will have time to explore the possibility of a future academic relationship.
The summer program is an 11-week program where students participate in research activities, attend professional development seminars, and complete assignments for approximately 40 hours a week. The professor outlines the student's research schedule and appoints a graduate student mentor for the undergraduate. In addition to the research experience in the lab, the primary goals of SURF are to prepare students for: planning their future career, writing professionally, and presenting at a technical conference.
Faculty members and students across campus may participate in the program. Non-engineering faculty members should contact their college and department about their interest in participating in the SURF program. Students are paid a stipend, and the SURF funding model splits the cost equally between three entities – the professor, the professor’s school/department, and the professor’s college.
Please note that students are required to present their research in a public forum and post a research abstract to Purdue e-Pubs. Since their work will be presented to the public, research projects that have confidentiality restrictions are not suitable for students in this program.
Important Information for Faculty & Mentors
Getting a SURF student
Recruiting students, the application process, and funding a student
Mentoring SURF students
Tips for mentoring undergraduates, additional resources, and safety in the laboratory
Posting a research project
(Purdue login required)
Reviewing student applications
(Purdue login required, access provided by the SURF office)