Spend your summer innovating

SDSU's Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) supports student participation in undergraduate research, scholarship, creative, and performance activities through high impact practices. 

Summer Undergraduate Research Program Updates

Please be advised that the COVID-19 health situation continues to change and may impact our ability to offer the program in 2021. Visit SDSU’s central coronavirus (COVID-19) website, which is the central repository for information and updates related to SDSU’s preparedness, guidance, and decisions related to COVID-19. Visit often, as the site is updated frequently. Therefore, the proposed undergraduate-centered, high-impact activities must abide with the guidelines that apply to all other campus and Research Foundation employees.

At this time, to move forward with providing undergraduate students with a safe and virtual experience, changes will be implemented to increase the program effectiveness during these uncertain times. The following changes to the Summer 2020 proposal and the program requirements will help facilitate remote and virtually rich experiences:

  • Proposal deadline TBD
  • Award notifications on TBD

For the 2020 program:

  • Final project reports are due September 25, 2020
  • Final expense reports are due October 23, 2020

Recognizing that some research projects or creative activities may not be completed in 5-6 weeks, thus under the current and unique circumstances, developing a specific skillset, performance that can be presented virtually, or a teaching or training module may be supported. We encourage:

  • Frequent virtual mentor-mentee meetings due to the condensed time period
  • Challenging, specific, and meaningful experiences with measurable outcomes
  • Topics that incorporate virtual representation of art and communication, big data themes, or the development of a specific skill or performance


Help students build research skills

Research opportunities help students discover which subjects interest them as scholars, allow students to gain the critical skills necessary to enter graduate school, and help underscore the real-life applications of classroom teachings.

Interested participants

Priority will be given to projects that describe a rich research/creative experience for the participating student. In particular, an undergraduate student (or, in rare cases, two students) should be recruited to participate in the faculty’s research/creative efforts. 

Students shall be required to submit an end-of-project report, approved by the faculty mentor, which summarizes the research/creative project and student activities. The student will present their work or a performance activity at the Student Research Symposium in the spring of the following calendar year, if deemed ready by the faculty member and if feasible, given the circumstances of the COVID-19 health situation.

How to apply


  • Mentors should be SDSU faculty members
  • SDSU research professors with experience mentoring students may also apply
  • Students must be undergraduate students who are enrolled in a degree-seeking program at SDSU (with a graduation date after May 2020)

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

The 2-3 page proposal, written by the faculty mentor, will be graded on the following (here is the full evaluation rubric):

  • 20 points – Description and timeline of research/creative activity project that will be completed virtually
  • 35 points – Role of the undergraduate student
    • What specific skills will be gained by participating in this project?
    • How are those skills connected to the student’s professional/developmental trajectory?
    • Note: it is preferable that students be identified in the proposal
  • 35 points – Virtual student mentoring/training plan
  • 10 points – Detailed and reasonable budget


Support will be provided for the following expenses not to exceed $3,000:

  • Student salary of at least $1,500 for the summer (students are expected to work 20 hrs./week and compensated at minimum wage or higher)
  • maximum of $1,000 in supplies, equipment, software, or materials related to the research/creative project that can be used for virtual working projects
  • Student travel to conduct survey research or related activities and registration for conferences will not be supported

This program is supported by SDSU operation funds, rather than a Research Foundation program.  All expenses will need to follow guidelines for expenditure of university operating funds.

Project Requirements

  • Mid-experience review, 
  • The student needs to fill out a final report online
  • The faculty member needs to submit a final expense report
  • Unless it is not appropriate for some reason, the student should present the summer work at the Student Research Symposium in Spring 2021

We will accept only one proposal from a faculty mentor. Only rarely will awards be made for two students with the same mentor, and the rationale for needing two students should be made clear in the proposal.  

Online Submission Portal

Please submit your proposal by May 11, 2020, 5pm (Pacific Standard Time), through this online submission portal.

If you'd like a preview of the information requested in the online submission process, please feel free to view this PDF of the Google Form


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