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SURGE Program Expectations

Expected Scope of the Project

The central question of your SURGE project should have a scope that includes a completion that falls in the eight weeks of the summer.  The project should allow the undergraduate participants to see an end to the work that they took part in during their time with the project.  This project can be a small piece of a much larger research question, however it needs to have a beginning and end and be within the scope of ability of the undergraduates that will be working with the faculty.  This allow the students the opportunity to see a project from start to finish.  In order to ensure that all students involved in the project can see it through to its conclusion, we will not provide funding extensions for any project beyond the end of the summer semester.

Sometimes the scope of a project can be very difficult to shape.  The best central question for the project is something new; questions that are merely a continuation of a faculty member’s ongoing research can have trouble fitting with the students’ ability and the time frame for the project.  Since the project should have a multidisciplinary element, this can provide faculty members the opportunity to branch into a new area. Consider a smaller quest that fits into the larger framework of an ongoing research project.

Once summer is complete and the SURGE project is complete, the project and research can develop in additional ways.  There are other opportunities for the students to continue participating through the Federal Work Study Program and the Semester Research Assistants Program.

Mentorship Expectations

The leaders of the project (mentors) are expected to work with the students throughout the summer.  Before the summer, the mentors will need to recruit and hire the student researchers.  Half of the students must be chosen from a list provided by the Office of Undergraduate Research in conjunction with the UT LEAD program.  The mentors will have to help guide the students in preparation for the summer with any administrative of knowledge tasks. Once the summer begins, the mentors should be regularly checking in in with the students and guiding them through the summer. The mentors should be providing space and resources needed for the students to complete their tasks.  Mentors will be provided support and enrichment seminars and activities through the Summer Research Scholars Program and should plan for their students to participate in the summer programming to enhance the summer research experience.

Student Expectations

Students will be paid to participate in this experience.  As it is expected that this is the student’s full-time position over the summer, they cannot be enrolled in courses during the summer semester.  This experience will be reflected on the student’s co-curricular transcript.

SURGE Program Important Dates

11/15  Proposal Deadline

Mid January – Post-award info session

2/15-3-15 – Student hiring window

4/12 – Final list of students due to the Office of Undergraduate Research

Program Dates – June 1 – July 27

All SURGE participants will be required to present their research at Discovery Day, UT’s fall celebration of research and creative achievement that was conducted over the summer

The SURGE program is based on the George Mason University “Summer Impact Grant” Program  You can view sample projects from their program HERE