Summer Science Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program

The SURF Program is an 8-week program held on-campus every summer (typically starting in early June). SURF's mission is to provide students with their first immersive research experience. Students in the SURF program work closely with a STEM faculty mentor on a research project which culminates in a poster presentation during the start of the Fall Session.

  • The 2023 SURF application will open on January 31, 2023.
  • To apply to the program, you must be a currently enrolled Amherst College Student (first- and second-years only).
  • The 2023 program will run from Monday, June 12th through Friday, August 4th, 2023.

Eleanor Lee, Fiona Yohannes, and Dorothy Nketia hold a poster describing their summer research project.

2022 Summer Research Poster Session


See photos of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program’s poster presentation, showing projects from nine STEM departments. Students from all disciplines were invited to present on their summer projects.

Watch our video to learn what students and faculty say about their SURF experience:

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Exterior of a Residence Hall on the campus of Amherst College

Stipends, Housing, and Meals

SURF Fellows conduct research for 8 weeks, typically starting in June. Fellows receive a salary of $480-510/wk (based on minimum wage and hours reported) as well as on-campus housing and a meal plan. We try to house summer fellows in a dormitory with kitchen facilities.

a gloved hand holding a pair of tongs over a dry ice container

Safety and Ethics Training

Each SURF student is required to attend a group discussion on research ethics, and complete Amherst’s lab safety and RCR online ethics training before beginning research. Learn more about CITI RCR training.

Exterior view of the Science Center

Research Description Submission

As part of the terms of a SURF Fellowship, students are required to submit a research description at the end of the summer with their research results. The abstract may be posted on Amherst's web site or in some cases, shared with donors who have supported your research. 

Andres Nino

Program Assessment

SURF Fellows are also required to complete an online program assessment at the conclusion of their fellowship experience. Completing this survey should take approximately 15 minutes and offers important feedback for Amherst College on the success of the SURF program. 

A student presenting at a SURF poster session

Fall Poster Presentations

Each fall, SURF Fellows share their research findings with the campus community through a poster session.

Students: See tips and guidance for developing your poster presentation.


SURF Program Administrative Director: Jess Martin,