Summer Undergraduate research program (SURP)

Quick Details:

Organizer: College of Engineering

Award Cycle: Summer 2024

Project duration: 8 weeks @ ~20 hours/week plus time to prepare and participate in SURP symposium in Fall 2024. Faculty wishing to support remote-projects may do so.

Project Costs:

$6000 for a single project with one student (add $5000 for each additional student on the project)


Phase 0: Faculty Interest List Due Oct 13th CENG Faculty, please fill out SURP project interest list.  Note – filling out the interest list does not guarantee project acceptance.

Phase 1: Faculty Applications Open March 4th, 2024 and are due April 3rd, 2024 on InfoReady. Faculty projects selected by April 12th, 2024

Phase 2: Student Applications Open April 15th, 2025 on Handshake and are due April 29th, 2024. Students are selected by May 10th, 2024

Info Session for students  : Wednesday, April 24th 12:10-1 on Zoom

CENG SURP follows a 3 phase Application Process.  In Phase 0, faculty provide initial project ideas to be circulated among potential donors.  Faculty need not participate in this phase in order to submit project proposals in Phase 1.  In Phase 1, faculty members propose projects.  In phase 2, students apply to awarded projects.  Awarded projects will be listed on this page under SURP 2024 Project Abstracts (2023 Project abstracts currently showing).  Within each abstract will be Application link, where students will be directed to Handshake to apply for the specific project.  Students need not be in the same department as the faculty advisor and can apply for up to 3 projects (but can only be selected for one).  

There will be an InfoSession hosted by the College of Engineering and Multicultural Engineering Program on Wednesday 4/24/24 from 12:10-1 on Zoom to discuss the program and application process.  

Student qualifications for the program are:

  • Be a student in the College of Engineering.
  • Have at least a 2.5 higher ed cumulative GPA.
  • Are registered for the Fall 2024 Quarter.
  • Be available to work 20 hrs/week, mostly ON CAMPUS (unless approved by project advisor for remote work) over 8-weeks over Summer 2024.
  • Be eager to learn, capable of self-direction, and willing to solve open-ended problems where the answer is not in the back of the book!

The College of Engineering (CENG) initiated a Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) in 2017. The purpose of the program is to provide research experiences for our undergraduate students working alongside our faculty during the summer. This program also supports the scholarly efforts of our faculty through engagement with undergraduate students. Projects lead to student-faculty authored publications in venues appropriate to the area of research conducted during the summer. Further, the program invites industrial and other external sponsors to provide university-industry collaborative research and project activities.

This program supports Cal Poly’s educational mission as both faculty members and students are provided a significant opportunity for their professional growth. SURP students gain valuable training in research methods and practices, professional experience, have opportunities to apply classroom knowledge and theories in a research setting, and work in a team environment. Through collaboration with faculty members and external sponsors, SURP students gain “Learn by Doing” research experience that will support their growth as a student and set a foundation to build on as they pursue their career goals. Depending on the project, students may have tangible products such as data sets, hardware prototypes, software code, other forms of intellectual property, abstracts and/or research posters, and co-authored publications. SURP faculty participants are able to implement the teacher-scholar model while making progress in their area of research. Partnerships with industrial and external sponsors through SURP support the California State University’s mission of preparing significant numbers of educated and responsible people to contribute to California’s economy, culture, and future. Industrial and external SURP project sponsors gain a head start in cultivating professional relationships with talented and motivated SURP students.


SURP award winners with Prof Bob Crockett