Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)

Dates and Deadlines

  • The deadline to apply for SURP 2017, open to WCU undergraduate students, is Monday, February 20, 2017.
  • Notifications of awards will take place by March 24, 2017.
  • SURP program dates are Wednesday, May 31, 2017 through Wednesday, July 26, 2017.
  • Move-in date will be Tuesday, May 30, 2017 (for those choosing on-campus housing).
  • NOTE: SURP is a full-time obligation for the 8-week program. Students should not plan to take other summer courses or have other employment during the program.

Proposal Information

Please read these instructions carefully.

This application consists of four components:

  1. the on-line application - submitted by the student
  2. the proposal - submitted by the student as a single PDF
  3. unofficial WCU transcripts - submitted by the student as a single PDF
  4. one letter of recommendation - submitted by your faculty mentor as a single PDF

Completed applications are due by midnight on Monday, February 20, 2017 to receive full consideration.   No email or hard copy applications will be accepted.

Please note that the due date for faculty letters of recommendation only has been extended to midnight on Monday, February 27, 2017. Student application materials are still due by February 20.

For the SURP student applicant:

The student is the primary author of the proposal (part 2), but it is expected that the faculty mentor will collaborate on the content and advise on the writing and format.  The letter of recommendation (part 4) will be written and submitted by the faculty mentor and will be kept in confidence; the student waives access to this letter upon submission of the application.  The submission of your application also signifies that you give permission for your academic records (in the form of your unofficial academic transcripts) to be shared with the selection committee.

The proposal (part 2) should be typewritten and formatted in an appropriate, professional style (including citations) of your discipline.  Font size should be no smaller than 10 point.  The proposal should be no more than eight double-spaced pages and adhere to the following format: 

  • Abstract of the proposal in paragraph form
  • Statement of the goals of the project, 1 – 2 sentences on each goal of the proposal
  • Background and significance; explain the significance of the research, scholarly, or creative endeavor
  • Plan; explain how you will achieve your goals
  • 8-Week timeline that approximates when the work will be accomplished
  • Bibliography of works to be consulted
  • Brief statement about your previous research experience, if any.

 Please name the proposal PDF file as "Lastname_Firstname_SURP2017.pdf".  For example, if Hermione Granger were applying to SURP 2017, her proposal file should be saved as "Granger_Hermione_SURP2017.pdf".

 Please name the unofficial transcript PDF file as "Lastname_Firstname_SURP2017.pdf".  For example, if Hermione Granger were applying to SURP 2017, her transcript file should be saved as "Granger_Hermione_Transcript_SURP2017.pdf".

SURP 2017 Proposal Guidelines
SURP 2017 Proposal Guidelines

Students Click HERE to apply

 

For the SURP faculty mentor:

The faculty mentor's letter of recommendation (part 3) should provide a fair and honest evaluation of the student's academic potential and the faculty mentor's interest and enthusiasm in working with this student on this project as part of the SURP program.  By submitting the letter of recommendation, the faculty member signifies that he or she is committed to the SURP program and its expectations as described, if his/her student and project are selected.  If there are any conditional circumstances or unusual parameters or needs for the project, faculty mentor, or student's participation, this should be disclosed and discussed in the recommendation letter. 

Please name the letter of recommendation PDF file as "Lastname_Firstname_Facultylastname_SURP2017.pdf".  For example, if Professor Severus Snape were writing a letter of recommendation for Hermione Granger, his letter of recommendation file should be saved as "Granger_Hermione_Snape_SURP2017.pdf".

Curious about the kind of research proposal YOU can submit to be part of SURP 2017? Check out some of the research projects from SURP 2016!

Interested students should contact their faculty instructors and identify someone who is interested in working with them for an 8-week summer session. Once a faculty member is identified, the student should work with that person to put together a research proposal that describes the nature of the work, line of inquiry, and overall goals of the project. The application also requires a timeline that roughly stages the work to be accomplished and a bibliography of works (articles, manuscripts, books, print materials, etc.) to be consulted.

Students who are selected must be willing to commit the entire 8-week time period to the pursuit of their scholarly agenda (no simultaneous coursework or part-time jobs) and one of the end-goal objectives should include readiness to give an oral presentation about the project.

For a two-week time period each undergraduate will be partnered with a new incoming WCU first year student (our research scholars). In this mentorship role, the student will help the research scholar to learn more about the facilities and amenities for research at WCU. Undergraduates will work with their faculty advisor to plan for the work of the research scholars, and undergraduates will have significant supervision and mentoring responsibilities for these new students during this time.

Students will be expected to give at least one formal oral presentation on their work during the summer. Additionally, all summer research students will be encouraged to participate in an appropriate undergraduate research conference in the fall semester.

The SURP program will also include several group activities and outings. This will include some local travel. Some of the program activities will be required, while others will be optional. More information on outings and activities will be provided after selection of the participating teams.

SURP 8 week schedule for undergraduate students:

  • Students arrive on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 and check in to Central Residence Hall, if they are using campus housing.
  • SURP dates for undergraduate students - Wednesday, May 31-Wednesday, July 26, 2017.
  • Check out of Central Residence Hall on Wednesday, July 26, 2017, if applicable.
  • Earn a stipend of $3200 - please note that taxes will be withheld.
  • Students will be required to enroll in USI380-Research in the Discipline HON, a 3 credit hour course. Tuition and fees apply. Final tuition rates for Summer 2017 are awaiting approval. Read more at https://www.wcu.edu/learn/summer-school/tuition.aspx.
  • This program is open to all WCU undergraduate students, regardless of whether or not they are a member of The Honors College. 

The research scholars program will be held concurrently and as part of the overall summer program. It will run for two weeks (dates to be determined). The research scholars will be invited to apply and participate based on their application to Western Carolina and overall academic profile. Research scholars will be new, incoming WCU first-year students in the fall 2017 semester.

Research scholars will make preferences about their participating research groups at the time of their application; and the faculty members will help assign the scholars to the existing teams based on academic interests and student preference.

SURP 2 week schedule for Research Scholars:

  • Students arrive on Sunday, June 18, 2017 and check in to Central Residence Hall.
  • SURP dates for Research Scholars - Monday, June 19-Friday, June 30, 2017.
  • Check out of Central Residence Hall on Friday, June 30, 2017.
  • Students will be required to enroll in a 3 credit hour first year seminar with Honors designation. Tuition and fees apply. Final tuition rates for Summer 2017 are awaiting approval. Read more at https://www.wcu.edu/learn/summer-school/tuition.aspx.
  • Applications accepted by invitation only.

Faculty members who have identified a student with whom they wish to work for the summer will collaborate with the student as he/she prepares the proposal. The faculty member will also submit a letter as part of the application.

Faculty members selected must be willing to commit to being available during the entire 8-week time period. Mentorship of undergraduate research varies widely by discipline. It is expected that faculty mentors will meet with the student one-on-one, face-to-face for some time each week. Other mentorship activities will vary by discipline and professional requirements (e.g. lab students must not be allowed to work alone in lab). Faculty mentors will also commit to being available for a weekly seminar and will be willing to speak at one of the seminars. If a faculty member has an unavoidable conflict with the summer schedule for a brief time period, those time restrictions should be provided in the application materials (in the faculty letter) so that those restrictions can be taken into account at the time the awards are made.

Faculty members selected as part of the program will also work with an incoming new WCU first-year student (our research scholars) for a 2-week period. The summer research scholars will be assigned to teams based on academic interest, later in the spring term. Faculty members will have a role in how the summer research scholars are selected. Faculty members should expect to be more available (not less) during these two weeks as compared to other weeks of the program. Faculty members are responsible for assembling a reading list for research scholars and to be intentional in planning their time on campus.

Faculty mentors will be expected to give at least one formal oral presentation on their work during the summer. Additionally, faculty mentors will help prepare their summer research students to apply to and participate in an appropriate undergraduate research conference in the fall semester.

The SURP program will also include several group activities and outings. This will include some local travel. These activities and outings are generally for the benefit of the students; however faculty mentors are invited to participate in all program activities. More information on outings and activities will be provided after selection of the participating teams.

SURP Faculty Mentors:

  • Earn a stipend of $3500.
  • Each team will have a $100 budget for supplies.
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