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Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

University of California, Berkeley

The SURF Program is made up of five different fellowships


The SURF L&S fellowship allows UC Berkeley undergraduates in the College of Letters and Science to spend the summer doing concentrated research in preparation for a senior thesis. Fellows receive $5000. These fellowships are generously supported by a number of private donors.

SURF Rose Hills Experience

The SURF Rose Hills Experience fellowship allows UC Berkeley sophomores and juniors to immerse themselves in full-time summer research supporting a research project that is designed and directed by a faculty member. Students must have permanent residence in Southern California and be part of certain STEM majors (review "Fellowships" tab above for details). Fellows receive $5000. This program is generously supported by the Rose Hills Foundation.

SURF Rose Hills Independent

The SURF Rose Hills Independent fellowship is for UC Berkeley juniors in the summer before their senior year who are intending to do research projects of their own design as part of a senior thesis for a major. Students must have permanent residence in Southern California and be part of certain STEM majors (review "Fellowships" tab above for details). Graduating seniors are also eligible. Fellows receive $5000. This program is generously supported by the Rose Hills Foundation.

SURF Math Team Fellowship

The SURF Math Team Fellowship is for a team of four UC Berkeley undergraduates to propose a summer research project under the mentorship of a UC Berkeley math professor. At least two of the team members must be declared math majors. Each team member will receive a $5000 fellowship, and the faculty mentor will receive $2500 in research funds.


The SURF-SMART (Student Mentoring and Research Teams) is a program that enables doctoral students to create mentored research opportunities for undergraduate students at UC Berkeley. The program provides summer funding for both graduate and undergraduate participants and opportunities to share research results on campus and at national conferences. Each SURF-SMART undergraduate fellow will receive a $5000 fellowship, and the graduate student mentors receive a stipend from the Graduate Division.

Each fellowship has particular eligibility requirements, and each fellowship has certain obligations that fellows agree to if they receive the award. 

If you are interested in applying for summer 2022, we encourage you to do the following during 2021 fall semester and early 2022 spring term:

  • attend an info session before applying. See “Resources” Tab for info sessions specifics or the OURS calendar
  • attend a workshop on how to write a research proposal. See OURS calendar for time and place.
  • You are also encouraged to meet with the SURF advisors to discuss your project and application. Starting in January, sign up for Kayli Martinez (STEM- Life Sciences), Claire Hilburger (STEM-Math and Physical Sciences ), or our Humanities & Social Sciences advisor (TBA) via the advisor information under the “Resources” tab.

Benefits of these fellowships

In addition to receiving funding, summer fellows from all five programs will be assigned to a small peer group, which will meet regularly throughout the summer. In the peer group you will find a community of undergraduate researchers with similar interests and problems. Each group is led by a SURF Graduate Student Advisor – an experienced researcher to help guide your efforts. Primary guidance in research will come from individual faculty/graduate student mentors, but most students have found it very valuable to meet with other students who are grappling with related research issues. SURF fellows also have the opportunity to present their research via slides at the online SURF Conference in August 2021. Conference attendance is required for all fellows. 

Annual Conference

Each August, all SURF Fellows present their research at a two-day, interdisciplinary academic conference. SURF fellows are encouraged to invite family, friends, mentors, and colleagues to watch them present. Conference attire is business casual. 

Past conference programs can be found in this PDF 

Surf Conference


2422 Dwinelle Hall
Questions for prospective undergraduate applicants: email –

Questions concerning SURF-SMART graduate student mentors: email –

SURF is a program run by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarships, located on Level “B” of Dwinelle Hall near Ishi Court. Specifically, the SURF Advisors’ offices are in 2422 Dwinelle Hall.