SURF Program at UW-Whitewater

      SURF Program at UW-Whitewater

      Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program at UWW

      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.Interdisciplinary projects that consider the intersecting roles of diversity and sustainability are particularly encouraged. For example, projects may explore how environmental stressors (such as climate change, fracking, mining, chemical pollutants, etc.) disproportionately impact vulnerable populations or how vulnerable communities are rallying to creatively seek solutions.  Such projects may receive additional support (e.g., in the form of increased mentor stipend, research budget, etc.) from the College of Letters and Sciences, pending approval from the Dean and commitment to present project results at the Fall 2015 Diversity Forum .

      The most important factor in proposing a successful project is your enthusiasm for the project itself and for 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.


      • UW-Whitewater Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors as of Fall 2015 who are enrolled full time through Spring 2016
      • 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)

      Application Process

      In order to apply for the SURF Program, you will need to apply via our online submission process.  Applications must be submitted at: 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 1200 words, or approximately 4 pages double-spaced)
      • Timetable of project activities
      • 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.  (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 mentors 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 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. The outline consists of the research design (what you propose to do, the methodology for the research, how you will analyze the results, etc.) how the work fits with important questions in your field and how you will accomplish this during the summer (this last section should align with your proposed timetable of project activities).  Your proposal should also address how, and if, this project will continue during the 2015-2016 school year and how it fits into your future career or post-graduate studies plans. For further guidelines on writing an excellent proposal, please consult the 'SURF Proposal Writing Guidelines.'

      Summer Fellows Expectations

      • 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. 1, 2015.
      • Fellows will complete an evaluation of their fellowship experience by early September 2015.
      • Students will also be expected to present the results of their research at Fall 2015 Undergraduate Research Day and Spring 2016 Undergraduate Research Day.

      Selection Process

      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:


      Number 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 recommendation are strongly supportive of the applicant's merit for this fellowship.

      10 points

      Mentor letter demonstrates enthusiasm, appropriate experience and time commitment to supervise this project.

      20 points

      The application process is currently closed.

      Please address any questions to Catherine Chan, Director, Undergraduate Research Program,


      Undergraduate Research Program
      University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
      800 W. Main Street
      2115 Andersen Library
      Whitewater, WI 53190
      (262) 472-1296


      Professor Catherine Chan
      Director of Undergraduate Research
      (262) 472-1296

      UWW URP Student Org