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.

Students must seek nomination from a Washington University faculty mentor in their field of research who agrees to actively engage in conducting the research project.

Program Highlights

SURAs are for up to $4,000 based on the length and nature of the proposed project.  For Summer 2021, the proposed research should take place between: May 14 - August 27.

  • For a ten-week or more research project, the maximum award amount is $4,000.
  • For research that is expected to last for less than ten weeks, the maximum award is $2,500.  
  • 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.

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.

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.

Award Recipient Expectations

  1. Awardees must present their work at the undergraduate research symposium in the semester following receipt of the award. Details of this event will be covered in an Award Agreement.
  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.

Submission Guidelines

SURA awardees must be nominated by a Washington University 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.  A complete nomination file (all components due by March 1) includes the following:

  1. Mentor Nomination and Statement of Acceptance
  2. Student Submission Form, link below, including the following components:
    • An uploaded Research Proposal (4-5 pages, double-spaced, to be developed in collaboration with the mentor).  The Research Proposal should include the following components: 1) Background; 2) Methods; 3) Implications and Importance to the Field of Study
    • ONLY students whose research necessitates travel and/or fieldwork are expected to upload an Itemized Budget and Budget Narrative. (Travel between St. Louis and home is not included here.  A budget is only required for research projects that take place somewhere else.)  Justify expenses, including efforts to save costs.  A SURA will cover costs up to a maximum of $4,000. See Creating a Budget for more information and use the contact information below if you have questions.

Once you have collected all of your application components, including your proposal and budget (if required), you're ready for the next step here:

Student Submission Form