Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF)

OURI Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships, is a program for undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds who are interested in pursuing supervised research with a Rice faculty member over the summer. No prior research experience is required, and preference will be given to first- and second-year students without previous experience. Students from all disciplines are eligible to apply. Fellows will receive $5000 and are expected to work approximately 30 hours per week on their research project.


  • completed UNIV 201: Research Readiness.
  • do not have prior undergraduate research experience (or limited to a semester or less);
  • hold an identity that is underrepresented in your field of interest (including first-generation and low-income)
  • are a returning Rice undergraduate student, enrolled full-time during the fall 2024 semester in a degree-granting program;
  • are in good academic standing;
  • can engage in research and programming for the specified duration (May 22 to July 28, 2023)
  • will not receive additional monetary compensation for your summer research project

SURF is designed to address some of the disparities in research specifically at Rice University. Therefore, the program prioritizes underrepresented populations, first- generation college students, and students from low-income backgrounds who have not had prior research experience. While our office is attempting to serve students who have not had access to research, we recognize that there are many intersecting identities. Therefore, any and all identities are self-reported in our application process with room to express any barriers to research participation due to identity in the Personal Statement. To apply, you must be a returning Rice undergraduate and must have completed the Research Readiness course.

Fellowship program requirements:

  • complete all surveys connected to your experience;
  • present your work at RURS or another conference;
  • follow guidelines for responsible conduct of research relevant to your discipline;
  • participate in required research support meetings and activities run by OURI.

SURF 2023 applications are closed.

Application Requirements:

  • Personal Interest Essay (250-words) - Share your motivation for applying to SURF, what you hope to gain and contribute through the program, and how your identities, interests, and goals intersect with your research pursuits.
  • Mentor Preferences (see list of potential mentors and projects)
  • Resume

Office Hours:

For a short presentation and for any questions related to the program or the application itself, students are encouraged to attend the SURF office hours in the Fondren Library (Room 514). All questions, comments, and/or concerns are welcome!

Wednesday, February 15th 4-5 PM

Thursday, February 23rd 4-5 PM