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Director's Office

Smith SURF! Application Page


Welcome to Smith SUmmer Research Fellows (SURF!) Program at The Clark Science Center.

The summer of 2014 will be the 47th year that Smith has a formal student summer research program! Hard to believe the program started back in 1967. Hands-on research collaboration between faculty and students is a cornerstone of the science education at Smith, so the summer program has always been very important to us. We invite you to join the more than 150 students that will receive stipends to support their independent research during the summer of 2014. We have a vibrant summer community; come lay the foundation for your future Nobel Prize or at least enjoy some liquid-nitrogen-ice-cream.

Related Pages


How to Apply ...


1a. For those students interested in pursuing summer research with Chemistry department faculty, please FIRST complete a brief additional application here by noon (12:00pm EST) on Monday, February 3, 2014. The Chemistry department requires this additional application and uses it to best match students with faculty and opportunities.
A preview of the Chemistry Department application is here.

1b. A preview of the Smith SURF application is here.    Guidelines and advice for submitting your SURF proposal, including samples of past project proposals are here.

1c. Please only access this link to the electronic application form from the computer you wish to use to submit your application.

Smith SURF! Electronic Application Form

Please note: Only applications submitted via the 2014 online application form linked above will be considered. Any student who submits a paper application (2013 format) will be asked to resubmit using the 2014 electronic form.

2.  Please submit your application electronically only AFTER you have gathered all of the information required.

Your application package requires the following substantive information:

    • Research Proposal
      • Title of your proposed research project
      • Description of your proposed research project
      • Explanation of why you have selected this particular project
      • Explanation of your reason for seeking undergraduate research experience, and how that experience relates to your academic and career plans.
    • Your unofficial transcript (We will obtain your unofficial transcript from the registrar. There is a place on the application to grant us permission to access it.)
    • Advisor Recommendation Form completed and signed electronically by your advisor. Faculty members may contact for access to the electronic form. Once a student makes an application, the primary research advisor will receive a request for a recommendation accompanied by a copy of the student's completed application.
      Preview the Advisor Recommendation Form here.

    3. Submit the electronic application package by February 17, 2014.


Program Guidelines

Deadline for scholarship applications to Science Center managed funding sources: February 17, 2014. Any applications received after this deadline, and before February 28, 2014 will still be considered but will be at a distinct disadvantage to those that have been submitted on time.

  • All students performing summer research with a Smith faculty advisor are considered participants in the Smith SURF! program. Any student seeking scholarship funding in support of an independent research project (lump sum scholarship payment) should complete the SURF! application package. Students employed as research assistants are paid on an hourly basis. Departmental admins are available to help complete the necessary paperwork.
  • Applications to the Smith SURF! Program must be sponsored by a Smith Science Center faculty member. This is the advisor of your summer research project.
  • Fellowship funding is available for undergraduate students (and graduate students in the Department of Biological Sciences), who plan to work directly with a Smith College science faculty advisor. Applicants should discuss their research interests (and funding options) with their sponsoring faculty member.
  • Most applicants who applied by the deadline will be notified of the outcome of their request for summer research funding before spring break (March 14, 2014).
  • Participants are strongly encouraged to participate in the summer Lab Crawl and are required to submit a Research Abstract before the end of their summer research.

Fellowship stipend: Unless otherwise noted, fellowship stipends provided for participation in Smith SURF! 2014 will be in the amount of $3,800. Stipends are based on participation in 10 weeks of independent research working with a Smith science faculty advisor. While it is expected that program participants will complete 10 weeks of research, participants may opt, in consultation with their faculty sponsor, to complete fewer than 10 weeks. Stipends will be prorated for fellowships that are less than 10 weeks in length. Some fellowship stipends may also include a budget for research supplies. Taxes may be withheld on your stipend if you are a foreign citizen from a country that does not have a tax treaty with the US. For US residents, please consult your tax advisor; your stipend may be taxable.

Stipend payment: If you receive an award, your stipend will be transferred via Direct Deposit (if you have it set up) or mailed as a check to the address you give on your application form.

Housing: The Smith SURF! program does not include housing. You are responsible for your own housing over the summer. Please contact Student Services. They will have a summer housing application from available on their website around April 15. Around that time there will also be an email sent to all students from entitled "Summer Housing Form Information."

Questions? Come ask Margaret Lamb in McConnell 214 or Heather McQueen in Burton 117 or email:

Funding Opportunities at Smith

The following is a listing of funding opportunities available at Smith College. Please note that the listing does NOT include research opportunities associated with the grants of individual faculty members. Contact faculty members directly to inquire about such additional opportunities.

Agnes Shedd Andrea Fund
To support student research and internship opportunities within the Environmental Science and Policy field.
Department Eligibility: Environmental Science and Policy
Program Criteria/Requirements: Available to students in the ES&P program to support participation in research and internship opportunities.
Contact: Anne Wibiralske x3332, Bass 107 If you are applying for Agnes Shedd Andreae funding through the ES&P program, you do NOT need to submit a SURF! application. Please contact Anne Wibiralske for an ASA Fellowship application.

B. Elizabeth Horner Fund Research Fellowships.

Purpose: To encourage field studies and research into the biology of plants or animals within the Department of Biological Sciences or the Program in Environmental Science and Policy.

Department Eligibility: Biological Sciences (undergraduate and graduate students).

Criteria/Requirements: Funding to be used for supervised independent research by Smith College students. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible.

Contact: Professor Virginia Hayssen (SR 236, ext. 3856). Applications are reviewed by the Horner Research Fellowship Committee.

Detail: The fund supports supervised independent research by Smith College students focused on field, museum, botanic garden, or captive study of plants or non-human animals that is neither disease-oriented nor predominantly molecular biology. The research should focus on understanding how plants and animals interact with their environments. This focus includes the kinds of projects that Drs. Horner and Burk worked on and published about during their many and productive years at Smith: conservation of plants and animals, animal welfare, animal behavior, plant and animal ecology, plants in the landscape, vertebrate and plant whole organism biology. Students may apply for funds to cover supplies, equipment to support summer research up to 20% of the value of that current year's fellowship. Money will reimbursed or paid as expenses are incurred and not given as a lump sum. An itemized budget with rational for each expense must be supplied and approved with the summer fellowship proposal.

Blakeslee Fund in the Biological Sciences.

Purpose: To encourage student/faculty research in the field of genetics.
Department Eligibility: Biological Sciences (undergraduate and graduate students).
Criteria/Requirements: Open to students interested in conducting genetics research with Biological Sciences faculty or research associates. Genetics research is interpreted in its broadest sense and includes developmental and microbial genetics, as well as gene expression.
Contact: Applications are reviewed by the Endowed Funds Committee, Biological Sciences.

Frances Baker Holmes Internship Fund

Purpose:  To provide support for internship opportunities with preference for those within the psychology department.  Fund may also be used to pay expenses associated with students’ internships.
Department Eligibility:  Psychology

Criteria/Requirements:  Open to students interested in conducting research with Psychology faculty, and to students interested in other internships in psychology.

Contact:  Chair, Psychology Department


Nancy Kay Holmes Fund in the Biological Sciences

Purpose: To provide support for continued research for graduating seniors in the Department of Biological Sciences.
Department Eligibility: Biological Sciences (graduating undergraduate students)
Criteria/Requirements: Open to students interested in continuing research with Biology faculty.
Contact: Applications are reviewed by the Endowed Funds Committee, Biological Sciences Department

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellowships

Purpose: Faculty sponsored student research.

Department Eligibility: Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Neuroscience, Physics, and Mathematics as they relate to the biological sciences.

Criteria/Requirements: This program was initiated by HHMI to strengthen college programs in biology and other scientific disciplines as they relate to biology, and to attract and retain students in scientific research and academic careers.

Margaret A. Walsh Grantham Fund Research Fellowships.

Purpose: To encourage research in field and whole organism biology within the Department of Biological Sciences.
Department Eligibility: Biological Sciences (undergraduate students).
Criteria/Requirements: Funding to be used for independent research by Smith College students in collaboration with Biology Department faculty advisor.
Contact: Applications are reviewed by the Endowed Funds Committee, Biological Sciences.

Schultz Foundation Undergraduate Research Fellowships.

Purpose:  To provide Smith science majors with faculty sponsored research opportunities.

Department Eligibility:  All science departments are eligible.

Criteria/Requirements:  Internships available on a competitive basis to science majors and prospective majors, sponsored by a science faculty member.

Susan M. Rambo Fund.

Purpose:  Established by Catherine Crook Ritchie, Class of 1931, in memory of Susan M. Rambo ’05. This fund provides support for summer student research in mathematics, with a secondary preference for summer student research in physics.

Department Eligibility: Mathematics (Physics)

Criteria/Requirements: Open to students interested in conducting research with Mathematics faculty.

Contact: Chair, Mathematics Department


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