General Information

Recruiting students for research projects

Professors are encouraged to recruit students from their classes as well as from other U.S. universities. SURF provides a great opportunity to introduce students to Purdue, expose them to the research environment, and attract them to research careers and graduate programs.

If you already have a student that you want to recommend for the program, the student can indicate the match directly on the application form. If you have not identified a particular student and want to select a student from a pool of applicants, please post a research project on the SURF website for all students to view. You will need to login with your Purdue career account. Projects posted on the SURF website will be available for applicants to view and then indicate their top three choices directly on their application.

Since students will present their research at the SURF Research Symposium, they should be assigned to projects that can be shared in public forums. Grants that have confidentiality restrictions are not suitable research projects for students in this program.

The application and review process

Students may apply online with or without a match to a specific research project. The application review process begins immediately after the application system is closed and includes the SURF office, the professor, and the professor’s school or college.

Professors who have posted research projects will have access to the online application system where they can review applications and identify qualified applicants to interview for the position. Once the student has been matched to a project, a recommendation for the student is completed by the faculty member. This is a very important part of the student’s application, and is required to complete the application. Next, the schools/departments review the applications for their school and send their recommendations to the SURF office. Finally, the SURF office reviews all recommended applicants and finalizes the participant list.

Funding of SURF participants

Summer program

SURF participants receive pay OR credit for their research activities. For the summer, most students choose to receive pay. Information about the credit option is available at the Information for Applicant  webpage. Since SURF is a full-time research experience, students are not allowed to enroll in classes nor take vacation time-off during the program period.

Students are paid $4200 plus a housing benefit of $600. The SURF funding model splits the per-student cost equally between three entities – the professor, the professor’s school/department, and the professor’s college. Each entity provides $1600 per student.

Faculty with a NSF-funded research project may qualify for an REU Supplement to fund an undergraduate student researcher. The College of Engineering Pre-Award Center can quickly assist faculty members in submitting the necessary paperwork . The center is located in MSEE room 308, and can be contacted at Information is available at the NSF website as well.