Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) offers students the opportunity to work in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) research position that will complement their studies. Student researchers work under the guidance of a faculty member, postdoctoral scholar or research scientist at the University of Washington.

Projects are available in most fields of physical and natural sciences, engineering and earth sciences. Some projects may involve off-campus locations or fieldwork.

Students currently working on a research project or interested in working with a specific faculty member may request that project and/or faculty member on their application form.

Applicants are selected by the faculty member supervising the individual projects. Once selected, the student and faculty adviser establish a schedule of work time and goals for the project. Students may apply for either part-time or full-time positions.

Eligibility: UW undergraduate students in good academic standing who are interested in research in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM fields) are eligible to apply. Applicants must be U.S. citizens (but do not need to be Washington state residents).

Students who attend schools belonging to the Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium may be admitted on a space-available basis.

Program Dates: Summer quarter annually

Research Schedule: Each faculty member-student team will develop a schedule that fits their particular time constraints and project needs.

Award rates: Part-time researchers will receive $2,750 for the nine-week program; full-time researchers will receive $5,500. Awards will be disbursed throughout the summer.

Program Requirements:

  • Attendance at the SURP orientation meeting in June (time TBA).
  • Responsible adherence to the schedule of work set up between student and research adviser.
  • A written project abstract due at the end of the eighth week of the program.
  • Respond to requests for research project updates.
  • Attendance and participation in a weekly two-hour seminar meeting.
  • A 10-minute presentation to seminar participants on the student’s research
  • An “action photo” of the student researcher working on their project.
  • A research poster summarizing the student’s project, due upon completion of the program

SURP students will display their posters at the annual Space Grant poster session and reception held during Fall Quarter and will apply for acceptance to the campus-wide Undergraduate Research Symposium the following spring. Their action photo will be displayed in the SURP public slideshow during the Space Grant event.

As part of NASA’s requirements for training awards, SURP students will be enrolled in a longitudinal tracking program, used by NASA in the evaluation of SURP and Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium. Student participants and their mentors may also be contacted in the future for information regarding any publications or proposals that result from the students’ research experiences.

Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium partners with other organizations and programs to maximize the summer opportunities available to students. This year SURP awards may be supported by our past partners including the Pacific Northwest Louis Stokes Alliance (PNW LSAMP), Washington Sea Grant, Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS), or others. All participants are considered Space Grant Scholars.

Application: The following materials complete the application process:

  • A completed SURP application form — due April annually
  • A current, unofficial copy of your transcripts
  • A brief resume outlining your skills and relevant activities
  • A letter of recommendation addressed to the SURP selection committee from an instructor familiar with your course work or prior research experience

(Applicants already working with a faculty mentors do not need a letter of reference but the faculty member must complete a Faculty Request form.)

Please note: Any housing or tuition fees are the responsibility of the student participant and are not arranged or funded by SURP or Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium.

Questions should be directed to the undergraduate services coordinator via email to nasa@uw.edu.