Graduate Division

SURF - Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship


UC Irvine’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program offers undergraduate and master’s diversity students an opportunity to work closely with faculty mentors on research projects and provides an intense course of graduate preparation workshops. SURF is designed for students who plan to pursue a Ph.D. or M.F.A. degree and enter academic careers, provides the tools needed to facilitate application, admission, and enrollment to graduate school. The SURF program is open to virtually all academic fields at UC Irvine. Qualified students with interest in pursuing their graduate program at UC Irvine are especially encouraged to apply. 

2021 program dates: June 20 – August 13, 2021*

** Program dates are subject to change due to COVID-19.


Research Mentorship Experience
Scholars secure summer mentorship with UC Irvine faculty members whose special expertise and interests matches those of the student’s research interest and career goals. Faculty members serve as advisors and mentors and assist the scholars in developing and completing a research action plan.

Graduate School Preparation

Scholars participate in a graduate preparation component to provide special training in areas critical to academic success. This includes workshops and sessions on the following:

  • Successfully applying to graduate school
  • Successfully applying for fellowships
  • GRE preparation courses
  • Academic writing
  • Preparing academic presentations
  • Academic career planning

2021 scholars will have the option to participate in the GRE preparation course.

Summer Research Program Symposium
SURF culminates with the Summer Research Program Symposium. All summer participants will present either an oral or poster presentation on their summer research. Preparation for participation in the symposium focuses on building effective oral communication to a range of audiences and helps participants hone their public speaking skills.

Networking Opportunities

Throughout the Summer Research Program, SURF participants will have the opportunity to share information and experiences with participants of other diversity programs including UC LEADS California Pre-Doctoral Program  and the DECADE Competitive Edge Program. Participants will also be assigned to a Graduate Student Mentor who will help facilitate their participation in the program, and will serve as a peer mentor and point of reference for the student. This is a great opportunity for participants to gain insight into the life of a UC Irvine graduate student.

Expectations of Student Participants

  • Scholars reside in assigned University housing for the duration of the program
  • Scholars attend and participate in all activities
  • Scholars must commit to working full-time in their assigned labs (35-40 hours per week) for the full 8 weeks of the program
  • Scholars will have individual academic and research obligations with their faculty mentor/advisor
  • Scholars should expect to meet at least once a week with their research mentor/advisor, or more often, depending on the project and the mentor's arrangement
  • Scholars will be expected to meet with the program coordinator during regularly scheduled meetings to discuss the progress of their research project
  • Scholars will be required to submit weekly assignments including program evaluation.
  • Scholars will be required to present their research at the University of California, Irvine Summer Research Program Symposium
  • Scholars will be required during the program to take the GRE course, as well as the actual GRE exam, and submit scores


  • U.S. citizens, permanent residents, AB540 eligible
  • Juniors, seniors or master’s students interested in pursuing a Ph.D.
  • Students who will be enrolled full-time at a college or university during the Spring and Fall 2020 terms
  • Students with a 3.0 cumulative grade point average or better (on a 4 point scale)
  • Students interested in attending UC Irvine for graduate studies
  • Students from educationally disadvantaged or underserved backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply
  • SURF is open to students in virtually all academic fields (e.g., arts, humanities, social sciences, social ecology, biological sciences, engineering, education, computer sciences, and physical sciences)
  • International students are not eligible for SURF
  • UCI students are not eligbile for SURF

Funding Package for 2020 Virtual Program:

  • Participants will be awarded a $4,000 research stipend. (*Note: Stipend is subject to income tax).
  • On-campus assigned housing for the summer. Program participants are required to live on campus.
  • Roundtrip travel costs to UCI will be covered within program limitations (up to $500.)
  • Optional GRE preparation course (GRE exam will be required)


Frequently asked questions available for download HERE.  

Summer 2021 application will open November 2020.

Graduate Student Mentors 

Mentorship Overview

Graduate Student Mentors will have the opportunity to mentor diverse undergraduates in the areas of academic writing and graduate preparation. This eight-week program runs from June 20th - August 13th, 2021. Graduate Student Mentors will commit 5 to 7 hours of work each week. Students from all disciplines (STEM and non-STEM) are encouraged to apply

Benefits and Compensation 

  • Engage with diverse undergraduate students and play a significant role in helping them achieve graduate readiness 

Eligibility and Requirements

  • Doctoral students currently in their second year or beyond are preferred (first-year students will be considered)
  • Completion of the Mentoring Excellence Program (MEP) is required - If not yet completed, applicants must enroll and successfully complete the MEP certificate program this summer

Responsibilities and Expectations 

  • Provide mentorship to assigned participant(s) via virtual platforms such as zoom.

INTERESTED IN APPLYING? Application will become available Winter 2021

  • The completed application must be received by the deadline to be considered
  • Please upload your resume/CV directly to the application 

For questions please contact:

Mariela Menendez
Outreach and Recruitment Coordinator