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About SURGE (Summer Undergraduate Research in Geoscience and Engineering)

SURGE 2015 visits the California Academy of Sciences

                         Apply here to be part of Stanford University's 2016 SURGE Program

                                            Application deadline is January 29, 2016  

SURGE provides undergraduates from an U.S. institution the opportunity to gain mentored research experience at Stanford University in the geosciences and engineering during the eight-week period of June 17th, 2016  to August 13th, 2016.  The underlying philosophy of SURGE is to train students by creating a supportive and rigorous work environment. We set high expectations for our scholars: to prepare them for a potential career in the field of geoscience and engineering, and to ensure that they get the most from their stay at Stanford. Each SURGE scholar is matched with a Stanford faculty member and has the opportunity to work in a research group or laboratory. The scholar is assigned an interesting and challenging project from a broad range of science and engineering topics that are accessible within the eight-week summer period. SURGE also includes workshops on preparing for the GRE, applying to graduate school, and understanding geoscience and engineering careers. The program culminates with a research symposium at Stanford, where scholars present results from their summer projects to faculty, mentors, and colleagues.


  • SURGE focuses on recruiting prospective graduate students, and therefore targets rising juniors and seniors--and perhaps a few exceptional sophomores--from other universities. Any student who will add diversity to the population of Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (SE3) students is eligible to participate.
  • Applicants must be in good academic standing with a GPA of 3.5 or better in their STEM courses;
  • Have completed at least two years of college and have at least one semester remaining of their undergraduate education by the start of the summer program;
  • Attend an accredited public or private college or university in the U.S. or its territories, as recognized by the U.S. Department of Education;
  • Have demonstrated interest and potential to pursue graduate study toward a Master's or PhD degree;
  • Be a documented U.S. citizen, a permanent resident in possession of an alien registration card (I-555), or an international student enrolled in a U.S. undergraduate institution;
  • Be an undergraduate at a U.S. university or college who, by reason of their culture, class, race, ethnicity, background, and life experiences, would add diversity to our Stanford graduate programs in the Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. We especially encourage applications from African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders.

Academic and Research

  • Gain research expereince as part of a Stanford University summer research group.  See list of current Potential Projects;
  • Guidance/instruction by Stanford faculty, post docs and graduate students;
  • Individual counseling on academic careers and future course recommendations;
  • Research use of state-of-the-art laboratories across the Stanford campus; 
  • GRE and college application preparation workshops;
  • Featured research presentations by Stanford faculty, post docs and graduate students;
  • Weekly seminars pertaining to scholars' academic and professional growth;
  • Preparation of an abstract and research paper;
  • Poster presentation at the end of the program.
  • Possible opportunity to co-author a scientific paper with the faculty mentor;

Departments and Programs


  • Scholar lunches and dinners;
  • Access to campus facilities (library, athletic, and health facilities);
  • Bay Area outings including: San Francisco day trips, California Academy of Sciences, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Elkorn Slough, Santa Cruz, Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, Pacheco Pass Wind Farm & San Luis Reservoir, and downtown Palo Alto.
  • Lunch with mentors and laboratory research groups;
  • Interactive web site for scholars to post their profiles, and to use as a method to keep in contact after the program has ended
  • Membership to Stanford SURGE alumni network


  • $3,200 Stipend;
  • Paid round trip travel expenses;
  • Paid Stanford University housing and meal plan for eight weeks;
  • $500 funds to use for national conferences such as GSA, AGU and SACNAS;
  • Health insurance subsidies;
  • Books and supplies subsidies;
  • Paid seven-week GRE Preparation course with Clear Focus Test Prep


 SURGE Calendar of Activities