Summer Undergraduate Research Award

The Office of Undergraduate Research, in partnership with academic departments at WashU, offers Summer Undergraduate Research Awards (SURA) to financially support WashU undergraduates pursuing faculty-mentored research during the summer from all academic backgrounds, with the exception of life sciences and Physics. Students from the life sciences should apply for the BioSURF award; however, students conducting biodiversity-related research may seek nomination for a Living Earth Collaborative SURA. Students conducting research in Physics should apply to the Physics Department for summer funding.

Program Highlights

  • SURAs range from $2,500-$4,000 based on the length and nature of the proposed project. The award amount is determined by the length of the proposed project and whether travel is involved:
    • For a ten-week or more research project, the award amount is $4,000. No budget submision required.
    • For research that is expected to last less than ten weeks, the award is $2,500. No budget submision required.
    • For research requiring extensive travel and/or fieldwork, the award amount is not determined by length of project. The maximum award amount is $4,000 and is based on the submission of an itemized budget.
  • The SURA Program is intended to support WashU students working with a faculty mentor in their field of research who agrees to actively engage in conducting the research project.
  • Students build professional relationships with their mentor and the broader research community.
  • For Summer 2022, the proposed research should take place between: May 16 - August 26.  
  • Students give an oral or poster presentation at the Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium patterned after a professional scientific meeting. Students also attend a required Research Ethics Workshop and submit an end-of-award report.
  • If you are considering seeking nomination for a SURA and have an interest in international journalism, consider also applying for The Pulitzer Center’s International Reporting Student Fellowship.

Learn about the OUR Summer Research Programs

Check out the recording of the recent OUR Summer Programs Information Session to find important info about WashU's Summer Undergraduate Research Award (SURA) and other WashU summer research programs.

Learn More

Submission Guidelines

Eligibility

  • Open to all continuing WashU undergraduate students.
  • Recipients must be able to conduct research full-time for the proposed project period between May 16 - August 26.
  • Students from the life sciences should apply for the BioSURF or Living Earth Collaborative SURA. Students conducting research in Physics should apply to the Physics Department for summer funding.
  • Students must be nominated by a Washington University faculty mentor in their field of research who agrees to actively engage in conducting the research project.
  • Priority is typically given to students pursuing their first summer research experience; however past recipients may seek funding for an additional summer research project and are welcome to submit a second nomination packet.

How to be Nominated

  • The SURA Program aims to recognize and support excellence in undergraduate research by funding research endeavors nominated by a WashU faculty mentor.  It is the student’s responsibility to work with their mentor to complete all the necessary forms and submit the required documents to complete their nomination. 
  • Students will submit an information form and a 4-5 page, double-spaced proposal, developed in collaboration with their research mentor. The Research Proposal should include the following components: 1) Background; 2) Methods; 3) Implications and Importance to the Field of Study.
  • Mentors will submit a letter of nomination.
  • For research activities involving human subjects, nominees must seek and receive approval from the University's Human Research Protection Office prior to beginning their data collection; however, this step can take place after submitting nomination materials.

Awards are made on the basis of the faculty nomination, which should address the following points:

  • the importance of the research experience to the student’s development
  • the feasibility of the proposed project within the project period (all proposed research should be completed by the first day of classes in August) and its contribution to the discipline
  • approval of the proposed budget (if applicable)
  • comments related to the student’s ability to complete the research
  • any issues related to intellectual property rights and publication you foresee (if applicable).

Award Recipient Expectations

  1. Awardees must present their work at the Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium in the semester following receipt of the award. 
  2. Awardees must submit an end-of-award report upon completion of their summer research experience.
  3. Students receiving awards for a summer research project may not ENROLL in or TA any class during the time of their research and may not engage in any outside employment during that period.
  4. For research activities involving human subjects, nominees must seek and receive approval from the University's Human Research Protection Office
  5. All awards are considered taxable income by federal, state, and local government.

Still have questions? Reach out to a member of our team.

Send us an email