What is SURF Rose Hills Independent?

SURF Rose Hills Independent is a fellowship for eligible UC Berkeley juniors and graduating seniors seeking to fund their independent research over the summer. For juniors, the purpose of the fellowship is to fund research that will directly inform your senior honor thesis or other major capstone research project. For seniors, the fellowship allows you to further develop such research with an eye toward professional publication. 

Thanks to the generous support of The Rose Hills Foundation, we are able to offer SURF Rose Hills Independent fellows an award of $6,000 ($5,000 directed to student stipend, $1,000 directed toward research supplies). 

In addition to receiving funding, each summer fellow will be assigned to a research cluster, which will meet weekly throughout the summer. In the cluster you will find a community of undergraduate researchers with similar interests and problems, as well as a SURF Program Advisor - an experienced researcher to help guide your efforts. Primary guidance in research will come from individual faculty mentors, but most students have found it useful to meet with other students who are grappling with related research issues. The SURF program culminates with a research presentation at the SURF Conference - August 16th and 17th, 2018. The format of your presentation depends on your discipline. 

Eligibility: 

You may apply for SURF Rose Hills Independent if you meet all of the following: 

  • Currently enrolled UC Berkeley student with a minimum 3.0 GPA 
  • Junior or graduating Senior status: "Junior" for the purposes of SURF/Rose Hills eligibility means being in at least your fifth semester of college, and planning to graduate Fall 2018 or later. For transfers, you must be in at least your second semester at UC Berkeley. "Graduating senior" for the purposes of SURF/Rose Hills eligibility means graduating in May 2018.
  • U.S. citizen (Note: Although SURF Rose Hills only accepts U.S Citizens, AB540 and International students are eligible and encouraged to apply for SURF L&S
  • Your permanent residence is in one of the following counties in Southern California: 
    San Diego County 
    Imperial County 
    Orange County 
    Riverside County 
    Santa Barbara County
    Ventura County
    Los Angeles County 
    San Bernardino County
  • Sponsorship by a UC Berkeley, UCSF, CHORI, or LBNL faculty member (professor or lecturer appointed through fall 2018). Juniors proposing independent projects and working in off-campus labs must submit proof of the commitment of a UC Berkeley faculty member who will sponsor their senior thesis or its equivalent following their summer with SURF Rose Hills.
  • For juniors proposing independent projects, you must enroll in course units at UC Berkeley (senior honor thesis or the equivalent) in conjunction with your project during the 2018-2019 academic year.
  • Students must be declared in one of the eligible majors (see next section.) 
  • SURF Rose Hills fellows from previous summers are eligible to apply for summer 2018.

List of eligible majors:

There are majors in every UC Berkeley college - except the College of Environmental Design - that are elibigible for SURF Rose Hills Independent. Read the below eligible major list closely:

Life Sciences Majors: Integrative Biology*, Microbial biology, Molecular and Cell Biology*, Genetics and Plant Biology, Molecular and Environmental Biology, Earth and Planetary Science, Nutritional Science (including: Toxicology, Dietetics, and Physiology and Metabolism), Conservation and Resource Studies, Environmental Sciences, Marine Science, Planetary Science 

Math/Physical Sciences Majors: Astrophysics*, Chemical Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Mathematics*, Applied Mathematics*, Physics*, Statistics*, Geophysics 

Engineering Majors: Bioengineering, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, EECS (or the Computer Science major within L&S*), Energy Engineering, Engineering Math and Statistics, Engineering Physics, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (or Operations Research and Management), Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Nuclear Engineering

*Students in these majors may also apply for SURF L&S if they are juniors who will be carrying out a graded senior thesis or capstone project during the 2018-2019 academic year.

 

Questions about eligibility?

Want to know for sure if you are eligible for SURF Rose Hills Independent?  Complete the eligibility and obligation sections of the the application (if the application deadline has not passed). 

Follow up questions?  Please email: surf[at]berkeley[dot]edu within the Office of Undergraduate Research. Do not contact the Rose Hills Foundation.

 

Selection Criteria:  

SURF Rose Hills awards will go to students who have an interesting research question, a well-conceived research plan, and clear faculty support. Successful applicants will show promise of a quick start and the potential to complete their project within the proposed timeline, though projects may be a subset of a larger project, such as the data-gathering part of an honors thesis, or a significant extension of a topic previously explored. Students who win other substantial summer awards will be expected to decline the SURF award so that additional students may benefit from summer research.

Please note that this fellowship is for student-initiated research only. Therefore, it is not for students who are supporting the research of faculty members. Ask yourself this question: Are you free to publish results from this research? If not, it may not qualify as student-initiated. Talk to your faculty sponsor if you have doubts. For a research fellowship supporting faculty research, apply for the Rose Hills Experience Fellowship.

In addition to funding, each SURF fellow is assigned to a small research cluster which meets regularly throughout the summer. In the cluster you will find a community of undergraduate researchers with similar interests, as well as a SURF Program Advisor - an experienced researcher to help guide your efforts. Primary guidance in research will come from individual faculty mentors, but most students have found it very valuable to meet with other students who are grappling with related research issues. The SURF program culminates with a research presentation at the SURF Conference - August 16th and 17th, 2018. The format of your presentation depends on your discipline.  

 

Commitments and Responsibilities: 

Fellows are expected to work full-time on their research project for two months during the summer (specifically 8 weeks out of the 14 week full timeline of SURF). We require that you foregoe employment and summer session enrollment for that period. Eight weeks is the minimum requirement. We have found that most summer fellows get the most out of the experience by going beyond this minimum requirement. 

All research fellows are required to: attend one orientation in the first week of May RRR week options include (May 2 from 3-5pm; May 4 from 4-6pm; May 5 from 10am-12noon), two cluster meetings in mid-summer, and one meeting to prepare for the conference presentation. This preparation meeting usually happens in the week before or the week of the Conference. Fellows are urged to attend as many cluster meetings as possible. Students whose research takes them away from Berkeley may seek to be excused from attending some of these meetings in person, but will be required to attend virtually and/or regularly discuss progress with their SURF advisor and to present results at the end of the summer.

On or before June 1, all research fellows must submit a photo, a project description, and a brief statement on the personal meaning of this opportunity, to be posted on the SURF website.

All fellows will be required to make a "work-in-progress presentation" at the SURF conference on August 16th and 17th, 2018.

After the Conference, there are also a few requirements including: an online evaluation, a thank you statement to the fellow's donor, and a one page summary of progress to date signed by the faculty mentor. Rose Hills Independent Juniors must enroll in course units at UC Berkeley (senior honor thesis or the equivalent) in conjunction with your project during the 2018-2019 academic year (your senior year). Lastly, a copy of your final, completed research project (thesis) must be received by the Office of Undergraduate Research before the end of the term in which you graduate. An online exit survey is the final step in the SURF program.