What is SURF L&S?

SURF L&S provides undergraduates in the College of Letters and Science with funding to undertake concentrated summer research in preparation for a senior thesis or other major capstone project. Fellows receive a summer stipend of $5,000. SURF L&S fellows must be entering their final year or final semester and have no other research funding. 


Eligibility for SURF L&S is contingent on the following criteria. You must:

  • Be a matriculating student at UC Berkeley, currently enrolled in the College of Letters and Science (L&S). Visiting and Extensions students are not eligible to apply.
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA at UC Berkeley
  • Have standing as a junior or senior according to your Cal Central profile. 
  • Submit a well-written and compelling research proposal for an independent project to be completed during the summer months and will culminate in a senior thesis or other capstone project. Students who are supporting the research of faculty members are not eligible for SURF L&S.
  • Devote yourself to research full-time for a minimum of eight weeks during the summer
  • Have the full support of a UC Berkeley faculty member (professor or lecturer) who has committed to mentoring your project. Students carrying out independent research in UCSF, CHORI, or LBNL labs must also have the co-sponsorship of a UC Berkeley faculty member who will supervise their senior thesis or capstone project
  • Intend to enroll for course credits for a senior project that will be evaluated during the academic year following the summer’s programming
  • International and AB540 students are eligible and encouraged to apply to SURF L&S. 


Recipients of the SURF L&S award will have an innovative research question of relevance in their discipline, a well-conceived and feasible research plan, and clear evidence of faculty support. 

Projects involving human subjects must be kept below the threshold of full-committee review. Students should consult with their mentors about these requirements before submitting an application; mentors should address the feasibility of the proposal in their letters of support. Click here for more information about the Human Research Protection Program.