About the SDSU Undergraduate Research Program

The SDSU Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) promotes, broadens and supports student participation in undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activities (RSCA) through high impact practices.

Fall 2024 SURP - Applications Open!

Monday August 5, 2024: Due date for mentors to submit applications for Fall 2024 SURP projects

August 5 - August 12, 2024: Students can submit applications for Fall 2024 SURP-Match

Week of August 19, 2024: Fall 2024 projects will be selected

Wednesday August 28, 2024: Student selection for Fall 2024 SURP projects completed

Friday August 30, 2024: Communication of Fall 2024 SURP awards to colleges

August 30 - September 16, 2024: Hiring and onboarding of students

Monday September 16, 2024: Fall 2024 SURP Kickoff Meeting

Friday November 8, 2024: Fall 2024 SURP Mid-Report Due


Mentor and Mentee Criteria

  • SDSU faculty, research professors, and lecturers who have student mentoring experience and are engaged in research, scholarship, and/or creative activities.
  • Only one proposal per mentor. Faculty can apply to support one or two students, but only one proposal per mentor is allowed. Faculty may only request two students if one of these students will be selected from the SURP-match pool of students who do not have a faculty mentor, and the faculty member has no outstanding material due from DRI programs.
  • Faculty must propose a research, scholarship, or creative experience for undergraduate students who are enrolled in a degree-seeking program at SDSU (with a graduation date of Spring 2025 or later).
  • Student mentees must be paid $18/hour and will be supported with a salary of up to $3,600 or a total of 200 hours.
  • Student employment for this opportunity must not conflict with any other appointments (TA, GA, ISA, SDSURF, etc.). For example, a student cannot work more than a maximum of 40 hours/week during the summer from combined funding sources per university policy.
  • We do not require a budget in your application. All funds from the Division of Research and Innovation will support student salary at the rate of $18/hour.

Application and Evaluation Criteria

The following elements are required for the application:

  • Project title
  • Project abstract: A non-technical abstract (2000 character limit) of the proposed work for the student. This should be understandable to an educated reader, who is not an expert in your field. This abstract should include an overview of the central theme of the work, specific details about the undergraduate student(s) roles and student learning objectives, and your mentoring activities. If you are applying for SURP-match, we will share this project description with the SURP-match applicants, who will select their top three project choices.
  • Application type (1 or 2 students, see below for examples)
    • One undergraduate mentee: You will mentor one student that you identify yourself. For example. you may have a student currently working with you or intend to recruit a specific student.
    • One SURP-match undergraduate mentee: You will mentor a student mentee through SURP-match. Mentors participating in the SURP-match program will have access to a pool of students.
    • Two undergraduate mentees (one undergraduate mentee + one SURP-match undergraduate mentee): You will mentor two students, where one undergraduate student is from your current research group or you recruit a specific student outside of SURP-match. The second student must be selected from the SURP-match pool. Mentors participating in this application type will have access to a pool of students from the SURP-match program.
    • Two SURP-match undergraduate mentees: You will mentor two student mentees through SURP-match. Mentors participating in the SURP-match program will have access to a pool of students.
  • Project description (review the SURP application rating rubric)
    • Project overview: Provide a brief overview of the project goals, objectives, questions or inquiries relevant to your research, scholarship, or creative activities. We recognize these may vary based on discipline and we encourage all disciplines to apply.
    • Mentorship and training plan: Provide a detailed description of your application type, student role(s), training, and mentorship plan to engage student mentees in an intentional and meaningful experience in undergraduate research, scholarship, or creative activities. Include specific elements of training you plan to provide (i.e., specific technical skills, communication skills, analysis or visualization of data, production design, archival research, as well as professional development and training) and skills the student is expected to have to ensure successful completion of the project. Additionally, provide strategies for students who do not have the skills that you need for the project and strategies to mentor and encourage student engagement and interaction during the program.
    • Planned activities: Describe specific research, scholarship, or creative activities-related objectives and student roles/tasks you have planned for your mentee(s) during this program under your mentorship. Describe the role of the undergraduate student(s) on the project (What specific skills/experience will be gained by participating in this project?) and how those skills/experiences are connected to the student’s professional/developmental trajectory.
    • Timeline: Provide a timeline of your proposed mentorship, training, and project activities for your student mentee(s) and any relevant deliverables. You should also be aware of and observe recognized holidays during the program period and include participation in SURP events (welcome meetings, professional development seminars, the end-of-program social and the SDSU Student Symposium) and tasks (mid-experience review and final review).

The page limit is 2 pages, including budget and timeline. This should be written and submitted by the mentor and will be rated using the updated evaluation rubric (100 points total). If you do not include the required application elements or adhere to the page limit, we will not review your proposal.

SURP Program Requirements

  • Hiring/onboarding process (February-May depending on program track): You must hire your student and wait for confirmation before your student is able to begin working. Please refer to this document “Student Employment Authorization Action Complete” for more information. Students can only start working if they have completed their hiring process. Note: If the mentor’s project is selected for funding, funds will not be disbursed until the mentor has completed a form confirming the award and indicating the student's/students' relevant hiring information in a timely manner.
  • Mid-experience review: students will complete a set of brief questions about their experience, progress, challenges, and plans for the remainder of the program. Students will also provide a figure, photo, graphic, etc. and caption of their ongoing work. The SURP program administrators will provide email communications about approaching deadlines.
  • Final material (due at the end of the program; reminders will be sent about approaching deadlines):
    • Students will complete a brief questionnaire about their experience, progress, challenges, and products. In coordination with their mentors, student mentees will also provide an abstract (in preparation for S3), figure, and caption that highlights the work completed.
    • The faculty mentor is responsible for submitting a brief questionnaire about their experience and final expenses.
  • Presentation at SDSU Student Symposium: The student is expected to present their SURP work at the SDSU Student Symposium (S3) in the spring semester following their participation in the program (Spring 2025) unless for some reason it is not appropriate or feasible. Imperial Valley students are encouraged to participate; transportation support to and from Imperial Valley will be provided.


Why participate in undergraduate research? Getting additional experience might be necessary to help you be competitive for the best jobs or graduate school programs. Learning by doing is a great way to get more out of your degree. Being mentored by professors or graduate students is valuable and can provide hands-on applications outside of the classroom. You might learn something that will change your perspective and ignite a passion for discovery and your future career choices. Your work can contribute to discoveries, interventions and creative works that make a positive impact on the world.

The SURP-match is intended to pair mentors and students to work together on a research, scholarship or creative project. If you have never participated in research or do not currently have a mentor, we encourage you to apply to SURP-match. 


Please contact Dr. Alicia Kinoshita, Director of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities ([email protected]), if you have any questions or would like additional information.

List of 2024 Summer SURP Projects

Previous Projects