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Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)


Are you a current undergraduate student considering pursuing a Ph.D.? 

Each summer the Yale SURF Program brings about 15 qualified undergraduates to Yale for eight weeks to explore what a Ph.D. could offer them. As a SURF program participant, you will:

  • learn about the kind of work you can expect to do in graduate school
  • gain insight into building a career based on Ph.D.-level training
  • become more confident in your academic abilities and potential

You will be immersed in an academic, professional setting with a faculty mentor, a post-doctoral associate, and/or an advanced graduate student. You will pursue individual research and participate in workshops and panel discussions.

The program focuses on research. 

  • If you are interested in the natural sciences, you will learn advanced laboratory methods and conduct research in state-of-the-art facilities. 
  • If you are interested in the humanities or social sciences, you will work closely with mentors and use the extraordinary resources found in the Yale University libraries.

You will learn to present your research effectively to colleagues. You will develop a proposal, give a final presentation to your peers, submit a written final paper, and present your research at the Leadership Alliance National Symposium.

Eligibility Requirements

The SURF Program is intended for students with a strong desire to pursue research careers at the Ph.D. level. We particularly interested in identifying and providing research experience to talented underrepresented students. Preference is given to students completing their sophomore or junior years, but other students with persuasive plans for research may be considered. 

Participation in the summer program is restricted to US citizens and permanent residents.

To provide a research experience to as many students as possible, applicants with full or partial funding from outside sources are given preference.

Covered Expenses

Free housing in a Yale dormitory is provided to SURF participants, along with a $1,000 allowance for food. Air or train transportation to and from the program is covered up to $400 (not including excess luggage charges), and all travel arrangements are made through the SURF Program Office. On successful completion of the program, participants receive a $3,000 stipend.

Program Duration

The SURF program runs over eight weeks in June and July. 

How to Apply

Please apply through the Leadership Alliance Summer Research-Early Identification Program (SR-EIP) website. 

Applications will be available on November 1 and are due February 1.

Admissions Notifications

If you are selected to participate, you will be notified by email no later than April 1. Please do not contact the office for application status.