2024 SURF Request for Proposals

The 2024 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program is now accepting applications.  This program supports outstanding students from all academic majors participating in scholarly research projects or creative activities under the direction of faculty mentors.  Fellows are offered opportunities to:

  • Acquire scholarly expertise through hands-on experience
  • Develop skills in scholarly communication
  • Enjoy participation in a community of scholars
  • Contribute to the discovery of new knowledge or development of new perspectives

Applications should be submitted through Jag$POT.  Make sure to complete the Jag$POT General Application for the current academic year then select Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the options.

Please read the detailed proposal guidelines by downloading the Request for Proposals.  Start your proposal preparation using this SURF Proposal Worksheet.

Mentors should submit the Mentor Agreement Form, but do not need to submit a separate letter of recommendation.  A letter of recommendation from a faculty member other than the mentor will be requested in JagSPOT. 

Important dates

  • Application open in Jag$POT                          January 10
  • Application deadline                                       Feb 28 (Mentor agreements and reference letters by March 7)
  • Award notifications                                         April 12
  • Student confirmation deadline                       April 19
  • Orientation Meeting                                       May 1
  • Program starts                                                May 20
  • Prof. Development Day (Mandatory)               May 31
  • Prof. Development Day (Mandatory)               July 19
  • Program ends                                                 July 26
  • Final Project submission                                August 27
  • Undergraduate Research Symposium            October 23                                                       

Who is eligible?

  • Current USA undergraduate students in any academic major at South Alabama
  • Applicants must be enrolled as an undergraduate in Fall 2024 (not graduating in August 2024)
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 is expected (some flexibility, but exceptions must be addressed in mentor recommendation)

What other selection criteria are considered?

  • First-year students may apply, but preference is given to students who have completed two or more years in their academic majors.  Awards may be made to truly exceptional first-year students if funds are available.
  • Students who have received a SURF award in the past may apply, but preference will be given to students who have not already participated in the program.  If awards are available, repeat awards may be made.
  • A maximum of two students may receive a SURF award with the same faculty mentor.
  • SURF participants are generally expected to be present on campus, working with a South faculty member, for the summer project.  If your project involves travel, consult with the Office of Undergraduate Research prior to applying.
What is the award?

Stipends of $2,500 are disbursed over the summer as fellows submit benchmark requirements.

What are the expectations for SURF participation?
  • Attend an orientation session in May 1
  • Participate in SURF one-day workshops twice during summer (mandatory)
  • Work on your project at least 20 hours per week through the 10-week program
  • Submit required program benchmark documents on time
  • Present in the Undergraduate Research Symposium on October 23

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Whom should I ask for a letter of recommendation?

    Your letter of recommendation should come from a faculty member who is familiar with you and your capabilities, but NOT from your mentor.  Your mentor will describe your suitability for the project in the Mentor Agreement Form

  • Why does the application ask about how many hours of courses I plan to take during the summer?  Does this affect my eligibility?

    We ask about your course load to make sure you are not taking too many hours to have time for your project.  You do not have to be enrolled to be eligible for SURF.

  • Can I apply for SURF if I am graduating?

    No, to be eligible for SURF funding, you must be enrolled as an undergraduate through the Fall 2024 semester.

  • Can I participate in SURF if I am not on campus this summer?

    It's fine if your research can be conducted remotely as long as your mentor agrees, but you must be on campus for the mandatory professional development days twice during the summer.


If you have questions about finding a mentor, eligibility, expectations, or writing the proposal, contact the Office of Undergraduate Research at undergradresearch@southalabama.edu.