The Undergraduate Research Program (URP) invites applications for a ten-week mentored summer research grant.  Up to 20 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 2017 who are enrolled full time through Spring 2018
  • 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.

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.  Click CLOSED to begin your grant application. 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 will prepare and maintain a research portfolio for the duration of the fellowship and submit it to the Undergraduate Research Program by Sept. 3, 2018.
  • Fellows will complete an evaluation of their fellowship experience by early September 2018.
  • Students will also be expected to present the results of their research at Fall 2017 Undergraduate Research Day and Spring 2018 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,  

Informational sessions dates and times:  
Times TBD

Technical questions on the grant application software?  Grant technical workshop scheduled for:
Times TBD

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

SURF UWW Application
Note: Form Currently CLOSED
Click here to Apply 
Due March 2nd, 2018 at 3pm

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URP information

  • McCutchen Hall, Lower Level
  • Common Office Hours:
  • M-F, 9 A.M. - 5 P.M.
  • Campus E-mail:
  • Campus Phone:  (262) 472-1296

RAP information

  • McCutchen Hall, Lower Level
  • Campus E-mail:
  • Campus Phone:  (262) 472-1484

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