Resources to Support Applying to SURF
Fall & Spring info sessions will be held online via Zoom.
The dates for 2022-2023 information sessions are as follows:
Please Note: In order to access any session’s materials (both recordings and slides), you must login from a bMail (berkeley.edu) account.
Research Proposal Workshops
Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend a research proposal workshop in the spring semester. This presentation helps orient students to the SURF application, reviewing the different sections of the SURF research proposal, the strategies that make for an effective proposal, and describes how the research proposal is assessed.
Writing a SURF Research Proposal
Your research proposal is the heart of your application. Start early so that you have time to incorporate feedback from faculty, fellow students, and others. Here are slides from the 2022 research proposal workshops.
The SURF Draft Workshops offer valuable opportunities for students to get advise and feedback about their SURF research proposals. To get the most out of these sessions it is important to come prepared, not only with specific ideas about the research project you are proposing, but also some rough (or not-so-rough) drafts of the key sections of the research proposal. SURF Graduate Student Mentors lead each session, so students may attend multiple sessions and receive different feedback.
After attending a research proposal workshop, you may request a research consultation with SURF staff or an OURS Peer Advisor. You may schedule an appointment during their regularly scheduled office hours once you have a full draft of your application and need input about how to revise your essays and application materials.
If you have not yet made substantial progress on your application materials, you should first consult with either an OURS Peer Advisor or a UROC Peer Mentor.
Human Subjects IRB Workshops
The decision to submit an IRB protocol should be made in close consultation with your faculty mentor. Although SURF funding is not contingent on completing a protocol by summer, you must notify us if you are planning to submit a protocol.
Please be advised that if you do submit a protocol in the coming month and it is flagged by CPHS as requiring a full-committee review, your application will not meet the feasibility standard for receiving SURF funding, and even if your application is selected for funding, you will be placed on a waitlist until your protocol is approved. Please also note that SURF staff will not supervise the submission of student protocols.
To support SURF applicants, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarships (OURS) will provide a series of workshops in the coming weeks to help undergraduates who want to better understand what it means to undertake human subject research. Undertaking human subjects research entails specific skills and knowledge–ethical awareness related to informed consent, privacy, and interactions with vulnerable populations as well as methodological and procedural issues related to the design and implementation processes. For students planning to submit protocol, it is especially important that you seek out support in developing these competencies and fully understanding what is entailed in the CPHS review and where your project could potentially run into trouble.
Previously Successful SURF Proposals
Note: The following proposals will be listed by Major, Fellow, and Title of Project. To access the files, you must be logged into a valid UC Berkeley email address.
- Bioengineering, Joanna Veres, A Novel Computational Model For Bovine Intervertebral Disc Joint Level Mechanics
- Classical Languages, Phee Marcial, Catullan Journeys: Mapping Gender-fluidity in Trans*lation
- English, Mathematics, Mallen Clifton, Beyond the Screen: Examining Spatial Structure in Hypertext Fiction
- Geology, Yueyi Che, Comparison of Glacier Vertical Thinning and Horizontal Retreat in Yosemite During the Last Glacial Maximum
- History, Annabella Long, Marguerite Dice and Anti-communist Clubwomen
- Molecular and Cell Biology, William Lin, Identifying and Characterizing a Genetic Modifier for Cataracts
- Molecular Environmental Biology, Geography, Heidi Yang, Investigating the Role of Transposable Elements in the Adaptive Radiation of Hawaiian Tetragnatha Spiders
- Physics, Mathematics, Orion Ning, Compactification of a Nonlocal 6D Quantum Field Theory Toward Exploring Anomalies
- Rhetoric, Molecular and Cell Biology, Jonathan Kuo, Historicizing the Personal Belief Exemption to Vaccination in American History