2023 SURF Request for Proposals

The 2023 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.  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 10
  • Program starts                                                May 22
  • Program ends                                                  July 28
  • Final Project submission                                 August 22
  • Undergraduate Research Symposium             October 26                                                       

Who is eligible?

  • Current USA undergraduate students in any academic major at South Alabama
  • Applicants must be enrolled as an undergraduate in Fall 2023 (not graduating in August 2023)
  • 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 information session in late April
  • Participate in SURF workshops on Tuesdays during summer
  • 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 27

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 2023 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 at least be on campus on Tuesday afternoons for workshops and discussion groups.


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