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Summer Undergraduate Research Program

SURP Symposium


Important Note: Due to budgetary limitations for summer 2021 and the ongoing effects of Covid-19, the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) will not be hosted over summer 2021. Our program hopes to return as an in-person and residential summer research opportunity in summer 2022. If you would like more information or would like to collaborate on SURP planning for summer 2022, please contact the program Director, Kloo Hansen, at

About SURP:

WCU's Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) is an intensive 8-week program, and a unique opportunity for students and faculty to engage in high impact practices and problem-based inquiry. SURP is a structured academic program dedicated to providing an opportunity to undergraduate students to gain hands-on learning experiences, and for faculty to engage their student in high impact practices. SURP is seeking applications from ALL disciplines.

This program is open to all WCU undergraduate students, regardless of whether or not they are a member of The Brinson Honors College. 

SURP is open to ALL undergraduate students who wish to apply. Summer research is a full-time commitment for the student, and students who are selected should prioritize SURP during the eight-week summer program. Students accepted to the program will receive a summer stipend, summer credits, a modest supply budget, and will have a campus housing option. Faculty will also receive a financial stipend for their participation in the program. 

Who Participates in SURP?

We seek faculty mentors currently working with, or considering working with, an exceptional undergraduate student in scholarly activity. We rely on the faculty mentor to determine what high-level undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative endeavors in their discipline or field entail, and ask them to guide their student appropriately through the process of inquiry. WCU’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) is a program for students and faculty to be supported in the process of inquiry. Faculty and student teams, who are interested in applying, should be committed to the program and make the program a priority over the 8-week period.


FAQs About SURP:

Yes! There will be a SURP Proposal Writing Workshop offered to students:

  • Workshop date is January 23, 2020 from 4 - 5 PM in UC Rogers Room (Room 209)
  • Faculty and students interested in this program are welcome to attend. 
  • Topics covered include general program information and timelines, proposal process, and proposal assistance 

The proposal is a student-written document. The faculty mentor should plan to work closely with the student to guide them in the completion of the proposal guidelines. Please see more information about this under the proposal information.

Yes! Team collaboration between faculty and students is encouraged. 

Yes, but the adjunct faculty member will need to have access to lab space/research equipment on campus, as well as, updated summer contact information (summer email/phone number) if they are not adjuncting in the summer.

Students and faculty participating in SURP are asked to make SURP a priority. Since it is an 8-week intensive research/inquiry-based program attendance is important. However, we understand that professional obligations do arise. If you have plans to attend a professional conference during the program dates please provide as much detail about the obligation in the application, so that SURP committee members may make an informed decision.

No, there is no request in the proposal guidelines for a formal resume. Instead the proposal guidelines ask for a “Brief statement about previous research experience, if any.”

Please see more information about your proposal guidelines under proposal information.

It is always best to keep your proposal within the guidelines, as additional sections and/or appendices may affect word/page limits. Additional supporting documents would best be handled by combining them into the single pdf required for submission, remembering to stay within word/page limits.   

Research projects must adhere to federal, state, and local regulations and university processes concerning human and animal subjects in research. Projects that involve human subjects must be reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to beginning recruitment or data collection. Projects involving animal subjects must be reviewed and approved by the IACUC prior to beginning any work. For questions regarding these policies or for help determining whether your project requires review, contact the Research Protection Officer, 110 Camp Building (227-7212).  

Proposals for SURP that will require IRB/IACUC approval should work with the Research Protection Officer to gain approval prior to the end of the spring semester. Receiving IRB/IACUC approval after the end of the academic year can delay or even prevent a team's ability to conduct their investigation. 

Students should not plan on receiving feedback from the review committee. However, students should plan to seek feedback about the quality of the proposal in advance of submission from their faculty mentor.

In addition, students who attend the proposal writing workshop will be offered individualized feedback and assistance with drafts from workshop facilitators.

No. Previous proposals will not be available for preview. However, a template will be available to help guide students in their writing, along with links to suggested online sources, and copies of the writing workshop PowerPoint.

Students who feel they may need extra support in writing their proposal should strongly consider attending the SURP Proposal Writing Workshop.

Funding for 2020 SURP is pending final approval. SURP Leadership will update information once the final budget has been approved.   

WCU's SURP Program is highly competitive, and quality of your proposal matters. Typically, the SURP committee will award up to 10 student/faculty-mentor teams.

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