Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

Application deadline is March 31, 2017

Information sessions will be held:

  • Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 12:15-12:45 in NCF 135.
  • Thursday, February 2, 2017, 4:15-4:45 in NCF 135.
  • Tuesday, February 14, 2017, 4:15-4:45 in NCF 135.

Proposal preparation workshops will be held:

  • Friday, February 17, 12:00 - 12:50 pm: Defining a research question and finding a mentor
  • Tuesday, March 7, 12:15 - 1:05 pm: Project design and feasibility
  • Tuesday, March 21, 4:30 - 6:00 pm: Bringing it all together

Check the Center for Undergraduate Research and Graduate Opportunities (CURGO) calendar for workshop locations, RSVP information, and additional details. Students considering an application are very strongly encouraged to attend as many workshops as possible. The workshops are also open to students who may not apply for a SURF but are interested in learning about preparing effective proposals.

Program Description

The SURF program is a 10 week research program that provides support for current Xavier University of Louisiana undergraduate students to complete on-campus scientific research. The program will run from May 22 to July 28, 2017. (These dates are concurrent with summer sessions I & II.) Students selected for participation will receive a stipend of $4,400 for completing 350 hours of research and program activities. In addition, projects will be provided with a budget of $1,000 for research expenses. During the following academic year, travel awards are available to subsidize the presentation of SURF research at national conferences. SURF recipients will also be offered the opportunity to participate in a GRE prep course at no cost. The SURF program can support ten students for summer 2017.

Students interested in a SURF first design a research project in collaboration with a research mentor (a faculty member). A proposal is prepared and submitted with the application. The research mentor separately submits the mentor form. Students selected for participation will work on the project as a full-time research student during the summer, while participating in regular professional development activities. Professional development activities will include research safety, research ethics, preparing for poster and oral presentations, information about careers in science, preparation for graduation school, and related topics. At the conclusion of the summer, students will present their work in a poster session and write a final report.

A SURF does not provide additional funds for housing. However, students will have the option of on-campus room and board at the usual summer rate.


The SURF program is open to all current Xavier University of Louisiana CAS undergraduates who will still be enrolled in fall 2017. However, research projects and mentors must be in one of the following areas of the sciences:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry / Biochemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology*

Any student who is enrolled full-time at XULA during spring 2017 and who will not graduate before fall 2017 may apply. There are is no GPA requirement, and students with or without prior research experience are welcome to apply. Students in any major (including pre-medical and pre-pharmacy tracks) may apply, as long as the proposed research project is in an approved area. If you can find a research mentor in the sciences and prepare a proposal, you are eligible.

Students who are not eligible:

  • Students who have a summer fellowship/stipend through participation in another research program (BUILD Scholars, RISE, MARC, etc.).
  • Graduate students.
  • College of Pharmacy students.
  • Undergraduates who have been accepted into the College of Pharmacy for fall 2017.
  • Students graduating in spring 2017 or summer 2017.

Students who have academic year support for research, but not summer support, are eligible. Each SURF is awarded to the student, so research funding held by the mentor is not considered.

* Psychology research topics must have a significant life sciences/neuroscience component (typically with some time spent in a research lab), and cannot be purely social science (i.e., not solely human subjects research). Students interested in preparing a proposal for research in psychology are very strongly encouraged to set up an appointment to discuss the project with the SURF program director prior to preparing a proposal.

Participant Requirements

Participants in the program will be expected to:

  • Work full-time on research during the 10 week programs (35 hours per week, 350 hours total).
  • Attend all program professional development activities, held approximately once a week.
  • Present a research poster at the end of the summer.
  • Submit a final report that summarizes the research outcomes, evaluates the program, and includes an updated IDP.
  • Complete a year-end evaluation during spring 2017.

In addition, participants will be encouraged to:

  • Participate in other summer activities such as departmental seminars and additional student workshops.
  • Present at a national conference, with the option to request travel funds from the SURF program.
  • Present at Festival of Scholars during the 2017-2018 academic year. This is mandatory for those who receive travel funds.
  • Present at any other local venues for scientific research.

Participation in a SURF is a full-time position. Therefore, participants should discuss any outside commitments or other jobs with their research mentor and the SURF director before participating in the SURF program. Participants will also only be allowed to take summer classes (including online courses) after developing a plan with their research mentor and the program director to ensure that the student can successfully complete the program and any concurrent coursework. SURF students who fail to complete the required activities and research hours due to outside committments and/or who enroll in summer courses without prior approval may be removed from the program.