Applicants to SURF are strongly encouraged to attend an information session, a research proposal workshop, and a drafting workshop in January and February 2024.

Resources to Support Applying to SURF

To register for information sessions and workshops, please go to the OURS events pageRegistration is REQUIRED.

Info Sessions 

The dates for information sessions are as follows: 

  • Tuesday, January 9th, 11 am
  • Thursday, January 18th, 12 pm

Information Session Slides
Information Session Recording

Please Note: In order to access any session’s materials (both recordings and slides), you must login from a bMail ( account.

Research Proposal Workshops

Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend a research proposal workshop in the winter. 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. It helps orient students with an understanding of how their research proposals will be assessed.

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. 

The dates and times for the January research proposal workshops are: 

  • Tuesday, January 30, 3pm
  • Wednesday, January 31, 11am

Research Proposal Workshop Slides
Research Proposal Workshop Recording

Draft Workshops

The SURF Draft Workshops offer valuable opportunities for students to get advice 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. Students should register for a draft workshop that is most closely aligned with their major.

The dates and times for the future draft workshops are:

  • Math & Physical Science
    • Tuesday, January 30, 5:30 pm
    • Thursday, February 1, 5:30 pm
    • Thursday, February 8, 5:30 pm
    • Tuesday, February 13, 5:30 pm
    • Thursday, February 15, 5:30 pm
    • Tuesday, February 20, 5:30 pm
    • Thursday, February 22, 5:30 pm
    • Tuesday, February 27, 5:30 pm
  • Arts & Humanities
    • Wednesday, January 31, 12 pm
    • Monday, February 5, 11 am
    • Wednesday, February 7, 12 pm
    • Monday, February 12, 11 am
    • Wednesday, February 14, 12 pm
    • Wednesday, February 21, 12 pm
    • Monday, February 26, 11 am
    • Wednesday, February 28, 12 pm
  • Social Sciences & Human Subjects
    • Wednesday, January 31, 11 am
    • Thursday, February 1, 11 am
    • Wednesday, February 7, 11 am
    • Thursday, February 8, 1 pm
    • Wednesday, February 14, 11 am
    • Thursday, February 15, 1 pm
    • Wednesday, February 21, 11 am
    • Thursday, February 22, 1 pm
    • Wednesday, February 28, 11 am
  • Biological Science
    • Friday, February 2, 3 pm
    • Monday, February 5, 3 pm
    • Thursday, February 8, 3 pm
    • Monday, February 12, 3 pm
    • Thursday, February 15, 3 pm
    • Tuesday, February 20, 5 pm
    • Thursday, February 22, 3 pm
    • Monday, February 26. 3 pm

Research Consultations

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.

  •  Institutional Review Board (IRB) Fundamentals
    • Friday, February 16, 9 am
  • Human Subjects Research Consultations
    • Monday, February 12, 10 am
    • Tuesday, February 13, 2:30 pm
    • Monday, February 19, 10 am
    • Tuesday, February 20, 2:30 pm
    • Monday, February 26, 10 am
    • Tuesday, February 27, 2:30 pm

Previously Successful SURF Proposals

Note: The following proposals will be listed by Major(s), Fellow, and the Title of Project. To access the files linked, you must be logged into a valid UC Berkeley email address.