“Sometimes, it can be intimidating to work in a lab if you don’t have any previous experience. But with the SURF program, it’s just you, a graduate student, and the mentor, so the work environment is really comfortable. I could ask the questions I needed to and ended up preforming better overall. I also made important connections for scientific diving and graduate school opportunities, and with professors who can help with future research projects. SURF was a serious game changer for me — I feel more confident about my future as a marine biologist because of the experience.”
Jillon McGreal | University of Rhode Island | SURF Class of 2014
The best 10 weeks of your educational experience
In collaboration with Rhode Island NIH INBRE, Rhode Island NSF EPSCoR provides valuable training and career development for undergraduates through the widely recognized Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program. The intensified summer research experience breeds a deeper involvement in the science, and advances technical and cognitive skills. The program also helps students define a clearer picture of their career path.
SURF students delve into research projects — an opportunity not often available during the academic year — that are markedly different from most course-based lab work in that the SURF projects are open-ended and usually a part of a much larger research program. The undergraduates earn fellowship awards through a competitive application process and, once accepted, engage in full-time, independent research projects in the laboratory of a faculty mentor. Read about previous research opportunities: 2017 | 2016 | 2015.
Since 2007, Rhode Island NSF EPSCoR has supported over 300 SURF fellows under the mentorship of 100 different faculty members at our partner institutions. Meet our SURF classes: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013. And, get a close look at some of the individual experiences through these in depth student profiles.
The SURF program also provides workshops on leadership and communication to help students build the communication skills needed for successful careers. Students wrap up their work with a poster conference that showcases their accomplishments. All students complete the Responsible Conduct of Research module through the CITI program and deliver a certificate of completion to the EPSCoR office.