About the Program

Boston University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program takes place over 10 weeks each summer. It consists of the following:

  • Full-time research with a BU faculty member (approximately 40 hours per week)
  • Weekly seminars on topics related to career preparation and current research
  • Weekly informal meetings
  • Final presentation on your summer research
  • Participation in BU’s fall Undergraduate Research Symposium

All participants receive the following:

  • A $5250 stipend
  • A $750 supplies allowance
  • Up to $500 in travel expenses
  • Housing in a BU apartment-style dorm
  • Travel & lodging during the weekend of the October Undergraduate Research Symposium

Each summer, 10-20 outstanding students conduct full-time research in a BU lab. Normally, 2-3 positions are reserved for Boston University students, who act as peer mentors to the other participants. The remaining positions are offered to students from other colleges and universities, particularly those without plentiful research opportunities. SURF is designed to encourage graduate education in the sciences for talented undergraduate students, especially those from minority groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences: African-American, Hispanic, Native American/Native Alaskan, Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian/Polynesian or students from institutions with limited research opportunities.

The SURF program is open to students who are conducting research in the following areas:

  • Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Ecology
  • Genetics
  • Environmental Sciences

Unfortunately, psychology, humanities, social sciences and other topics are not supported by the SURF program. For information on other intensive summer research experiences, please visit our summer opportunities page.

SURF is sponsored by the Boston University Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and the National Science Foundation NSF-REU Program. One goal of the SURF program is to increase access to graduate programs for underrepresented minority students, with the ultimate goal of increasing diversity at the STEM professoriate level.

Requirements for application are as follows:

  • Rising Junior or Rising Senior ONLY
  • US Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Online application, two letters of recommendation, and official transcript

For more information on the program and the application process, please see the FAQ.

The application deadline for Summer 2015 is February 16, 2015. The application will be open for submissions at this page on December 1, 2014.

Program Dates for Summer 2015 will begin in early June and end in early to mid-August.