Undergraduate Research Program
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The Undergraduate Research Program (URP) invites applications for a ten-week mentored summer research grant.  Up to 15 fellowships will be awarded with stipends of $3,500.  In addition, up to $500 in funding for supplies, services and travel expenses.  Mentors of selected research fellows will receive a summer stipend of $2,500.  Stipend amounts are taxed.

The most important factor in proposing a successful project is your enthusiasm for the project itself and working with the mentor.  SURF is not 'just a summer job'; a project should have significant intellectual and creative content.  For more details, please consult the FAQ section.  For suggestions on how to compose a successful proposal, please consult this guide.

Video: How to Submit Proposal

Below are examples of four successful proposals.  Some information has been omitted for privacy.  Please click the respective subject for reference.
1)  Communications - Education and Professional Studies
2)  Economics - Business and Economics
3)  Biology - Letters and Sciences
4)  Environmental Science - Letters and Sciences

NOTE: This page provides information on the SURF UWW program. You may apply to both the SURF UWW and SURF CBR programs, but be aware that each program has different requirements, so be sure to adjust any application materials accordingly.

  • UW-Whitewater Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors as of Fall 2018 who are enrolled full time through Spring 2019
  • Students do not get course credit for their summer projects
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in major and minor (exceptions may be made on a case by case basis; mentor's letter must address the reason for an exemption)


  • A thesis-like capstone project is an in-depth and ambitious project typically conducted in the senior year of a student's college career.  Students who are conducting such projects and need additional financial support (i.e., beyond the normal $500 Undergraduate Research Grant budget) are eligible to apply for up to an additional $500 for each grant.  However, the student applicant must address in his/her proposal why the proposed project is equivalent to a thesis project in its scope and/or deliverables and thus, merits special consideration for extra funding.  The mentor must also address this issue in his/her letter of support. Students can only  request one such thesis-like supplement in the course of a student's college career. The thesis or thesis-like project must result in an outcome that is significantly greater than the outcomes expected from regular UR projects. Appropriate documentation(s) for such evidence should be sent to the URP office once the project is completed.


  • Award eligible for Biology majors conducting Biological Sciences research.  Applicants must be at least of sophomore standing and maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or above.  A total of six awards are available per academic year, and each award request can be up to $500 in research budget (on top of any other grant budget request).  Applicants are selected among eligible and successful undergraduate research proposals that show high quality of research and justification for increased research budget.

Birch and Aspen Scholarship


  1. The candidate must be an accepted registered student at UW-Whitewater and maintain an overall academic GPA of at least 3.0.
  2. The candidate may be a sophomore, junior, or senior at the time of application and must be in good standing
  3. The candidate must have applied for, and been accepted by, the Undergraduate Research Program, and must have an approved faculty mentor as part of that program, and must be conducting academic research
  4. The candidate must submit a completed application the school year preceding that for which the scholarship will be awarded.


  1. The selection of the candidate(s) will be made by the Director of the Undergraduate Research Program, with input from deans or other appropriate persons with regard to finalist candidates and the criteria below must be adhered to.
  2. All candidates must be a native of Wisconsin. After finalist candidates are selected, should there by a candidate from Wautoma (Waushara County), that candidate will receive the scholarship.
  3. To be considered as a finalist candidate, student(s) must have a superior research project proposal; provide prior evidence to suggest high-caliber work will be completed; and have a demonstrated passion for research.


For more information, click here.

EvaluateUR is an assessment tool designed to evaulate learning outcomes of students participating in summer research. One of the primary goals of this assessment tool is to obtain a reliable assessment of the program's impact on participating students that goes beyond the student survey data that has so far been the principle source of impact findings reported in the literature. The project requires a series of students' self-reflection, mentors' assessment of the students' learning, and dialogues between the mentee-mentor pairs throughout Summer 2018. Those who are interested in participating in this project should indicate so on their SURF application. Each team who satisfactorily complete the evaulation project will receive an additional $500 in research budget.

If your research will entail or entails human or animal subjects, you must hold or obtain approval from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP).  Undergraduate Research Program award funds will not be disbursed to you until you provide the appropriate protocol number from ORSP to URP.  If you do not have a protocol number assigned to your research and need to apply, please be aware that the approval process may last three to four weeks for finalization.  This is especially important when planning travel arrangements. 

Human Research Compliance Policies and Process

Animal Research Compliance Policies and Process

In order to apply for the SURF Program, you will need to apply via our online submission process.  The application link can be found near the bottom of this webpage.  Please note that a complete application consists of:

  • A completed application form
  • A copy of the student's Degree Progress Report
  • Summer Research Fellowship Proposal (no more than 15,000 characters)
  • Timetable of project activities. Click HERE for template.
  • Proposed itemized budget for supplies, services, and travel with a justification of how you will spend these funds and why they are necessary on a separate page. All anticipated supplies should be listed with their estimated costs.  All travel costs need to comply with University travel reimbursement requirements.  Click HERE for template.  (Note that the budget should not exceed the needs of the project, normally up to a maximum of $500/grant).  
  • Two Confidential Letters of Recommendation
    • At least one Letter of Recommendation should be from the proposed UW-Whitewater faculty mentor. This letter should address their assessment of the student's project and ability to complete the project, the mentor's commitment to supervise this project, and the experience of the mentor in supervising student research and/or creative inquiry projects.
    • The other Letter of Recommendation can be from any instructor or employer who can address the scholarly merits of this project and the personal or academic background of the applicant.

The proposal should be as specific as you can make it as it will be read by the URP Council members with some knowledge of your field. It must outline what you plan to do, and why it addresses important research questions in your field or why it addresses important public concerns. The outline consists of the research design (what you propose to do, the methodology for the research, how you will analyze the results, etc.)

  • A statement of goals and objectives for the project with a clear research question appropriate for the discipline, one for the upcoming summer and another for the upcoming academic year. The two sets of goals and objectives should be connected as the summer work should inform the academic year work.
  • An outline of the method or design for carrying out the project which may include participants, data collection, and analysis procedures.  This is typically the largest portion of your proposal.
  • A brief explanation of the preparedness of the student applicant to undertake the project.
  • How the proposed work helps important questions in your field and/or issues of public concern, and how you will accomplish this during the summer - this statement should align with your proposed timetable of project activities.
  • How this research will continue on to the academic year (this statement should align with your proposed timetable of project activities), and how it aligns into your future career or post-graduate studies plans.

Reviewers will assess your proposal by using the criteria under the section, "Selection Process SURF."

For additional optional and example guidelines on writing an excellent proposal, please consult the 'SURF Proposal Writing Guidelines.'
Please use the guidelines example at your own discretion.

  • Fellows will devote 10 weeks of full time effort (40 hours per week) to their project. If they hold any other employment or take any courses during the period of their fellowship they must submit a separate document by May 15th detailing their summer obligations and how they will fulfill the goals of their fellowship. This document must be approved by their project mentor(s) and the director of URP.
  • Fellows and their mentors will commit to continuation/extension of their summer projects during the 18-19 academic year.
  • Fellows will prepare and maintain a research portfolio for the duration of the fellowship and submit it to the Undergraduate Research Program by Aug, 2018 (exact date to be covered in orientation meeting).
  • Fellows will complete an evaluation of their fellowship experience by Aug, 2018 (exact date to be covered in orientation meeting).
  • Students will also be expected to present the results of their research at Fall 2018 Undergraduate Research Day and Spring 2019 Undergraduate Research Day.

Applications will be reviewed by members of the Undergraduate Research Program. The review committee may ask select applicants to provide revised proposals before further evaluations are made. Up to 30 finalists will be invited to a 20-minute interview with the selection committee.  The selection committee will evaluate fellowship applications on the following criteria and will also consider representation of different disciplines among the supported summer fellowships:

CriteriaNumber of Points
Applicant demonstrates that the project is feasible and has scholarly or creative merit. 20 points
Applicant demonstrates that they will acquire significant new skills or experiences as a result of this project. 15 points
Applicant presents a clear and compelling case for how the fellowship will allow them to continue their Undergraduate Research during the 2015-2016 academic school year and how this summer fellowship will contribute to their career or post-graduate study plans. 15 points
Applicant demonstrates that they can successfully complete the 10 week fellowship. 10 points
Applicant is prepared for the fellowship (coursework, experience, etc). 10 points
Letters of support from the applicant's mentor and proposed community partner attest to the merit of this project. 10 points
Mentor letter demonstrates enthusiasm, appropriate experience and time commitment to supervise this project. 20 points

Please address any questions to the Undergraduate Research Program, urp@uww.edu.  

Informational sessions dates and times:  
Feb. 27 at 1pm-2pm in McCutchan 12
Mar. 7 at 11am-12pm in McCutchan 12

Technical questions on the grant application software?  Grant technical workshop scheduled for:
Feb. 19 at 11am-3pm in McCutchan 11B
Feb. 20 at 9am-10:30am in McCutchan 11B
Mar. 6 at 9am-10:30am in McCutchan 11B
Mar. 7 at 11am-3pm in McCutchan 11B

If you have any further questions/concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at urp@uww.edu or giving us a call at 262.472.1296.

SURF UWW Application
Note: Form Currently OPEN
Due March 25, 2019 @4pm

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URP information
  • McCutchen Hall, Lower Level
  • Common Office Hours:
  • M-F, 9 A.M. - 5 P.M.
  • Campus E-mail:  urp@uww.edu
  • Campus Phone:  (262) 472-1296
RAP information
  • McCutchen Hall, Lower Level
  • Campus E-mail:  rap@uww.edu
  • Campus Phone:  (262) 472-1484

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