Skip to content Skip to navigation

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

SURF provides undergraduate students from a diverse background with an 8-week summer research experience under the mentorship of a Stanford faculty member.


We at the School of Engineering know that a commitment to diversity is a commitment to excellence. Diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging are some of the key ways the School of Engineering maintains its position as a world-class institution. As part of the School of Engineering's recruitment and outreach efforts, the Office of Student Affairs has hosted SURF for the past sixteen years.


The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship is a fully funded 8-week, summer residential program which brings approximately 20 talented, motivated, and bright undergraduate students from across the country and provides them with an immersive research experience in the School of Engineering.

In addition, SURF provides students with a stipend, a robust graduate school preparation program including a GRE study course, excursions around the Bay Area, community-building activities, participation in a research poster symposium, and a strong mentorship component. 

The program will run from June 22 to August 16, 2019.  A breakdown of the application process is available here.  SURF Flowchart

Application Process

The SURF application is processed primarily through the Leadership Alliance Summer Research-Early Identification Program (SR-EIP). However, International, DACA and non-SR-EIP applicants may also be considered via the Stanford application

Complete application packages are due on February 1, 2019.

SR-EIP/SURF Applications will be reviewed and decisions will be made during the week of March 11, 2019.



The objective of SURF is to provide undergraduate students from a diverse background with an 8-week summer research experience under the mentorship of a Stanford Faculty member. In addition, the program aims to build community, explore identity formation, and create a cohort of future graduate student engineers who can promote diversity (especially underrepresented minorities, women, first generation, and other identities) within the engineering and science student body.

Student engagement in research increases 1) the retention of students in scientific research, 2) student interest in graduate school, and 3) student interest in STEM careers. Since its inception, SURF has been a vehicle for undergraduate students to conduct scientific research, and a foundation for them to pursue graduate studies in engineering. 

Finding Faculty

It is often up to the undergraduate student to identify and initiate contact with faculty with similar research interests for research opportunities. A helpful guide for starting research can be found here.

Resources for Finding Faculty


For any questions related to SURF, please email Chiru Rwigi, Office and Program Coordinator at