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Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

Each summer the Yale SURF Program brings a group of qualified undergraduates to Yale for eight weeks. The experience is meant to familiarize students with the kind of work they can expect to do in graduate school, provide them with insight into the many steps involved in building a career based on Ph.D. level training, as well as foster a sense of confidence regarding their own abilities and potential. Students are immersed in an academic, professional setting involving a working relationship with a faculty mentor, a post-doctoral associate, and/or an advanced graduate student, a program of individual research, and participation in a series of program workshops and panel discussions. The focus of the program is primarily on research and on the methods of professional research. Students in the natural sciences learn advanced laboratory methods and conduct Ph.D. level research in state-of-the-art laboratory facilities. Students in the humanities and social sciences work closely with mentors and have at their disposal the considerable archival resources found in the Yale University libraries. Emphasis is also placed on the presentation of research findings to colleagues. All students develop a proposal, give a final presentation to their peers, submit a written final paper, and attend the Leadership Alliance National Symposium to present their research at the meeting.

Eligibility Requirements:

The SURF Program is intended for students with a strong desire to pursue research careers at the Ph.D. level. The program is particularly interested in identifying and providing research experience to talented underrepresented minority students. Preference is given to students completing their sophomore or junior years. However, other students who express persuasive plans for research may be considered. Participation in the summer program is restricted to US citizens and permanent residents.

Covered Expenses:

Students are housed at no charge in a Yale University dormitory. Students receive a $1,000 food allowance at the start of the program. Air or train transportation to and from the program will be covered up to $400 (not including excess luggage charges). All travel arrangements are made through the SURF Program Office. Students will also receive a stipend of $3,000 upon successful participation in, and completion of, the program.

Program Duration:

Eight Weeks in the summer (June and July)

How to Apply:

To provide a research experience for as many students as possible, applicants with full or partial funding from outside sources are given preference during the selection of the summer research fellows. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is a member of the Leadership Alliance and requires qualified applicants to apply through the Leadership Alliance Summer Research-Early Identification Program (SR-EIP) website. Please visit the Leadership Alliance website for the application.

Applications become available on November 1 and are due February 1.

Admissions Notifications:

Only students selected to participate will be notified directly no later than April 1. Approximately 15 students are chosen to participate each summer. Please do not contact the office for application status. You will be contacted via e-mail if selected to participate.


Yale awarded the first Ph.D. degrees in the United States.