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Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

What is SURE?

SURE is a Summer Undergraduate Research Experience for students interested in graduate school and research/creative work within their discipline or a related discipline. Students potentially interested in research as a career are especially encouraged to apply. Selected students complete research at West Virginia University (WVU) for 8 weeks during the summer under the direction of a WVU faculty research mentor and a graduate or post-doctoral mentor.

Participating students receive a stipend of $4500 and are expected to research full-time (average of 40 hours per week or 320 hours over the course of 8 weeks). Applicants are encouraged to have already connected with a faculty research mentor upon application to the SURE program.

All SURE participants will be registered for a one-credit hour research class that will run for the duration of the program. This course will include online assignments as well as attendance at periodic workshops and seminars.  All SURE participants are required to pay the tuition and fees associated with this one-credit hour research class which vary depending on in-state/out-of-state and by college/school.

SURE Program Dates:
 May 30-July 28, 2023.

2023 SURE Course Program Files

SURE Syllabus (2023)

SURE Workshop Schedule (2023)


SURE participants must be:

  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and its territories;
  • undergraduates enrolled at a West Virginia higher education institution or a West Virginia state resident enrolled in an out-of-state college or university; and
  • college sophomores, juniors, or seniors as of the fall 2023 semester.
  • In addition, NSF KY-WV LSAMP Alliance funding will provide SURE support for an additional 7+ undergraduate STEM majors who are also from underrepresented populations (e.g., Hispanic, African-American, American Indian, etc.). We especially encourage these students to apply.

In SURE 2023, we expect to support research opportunities for students in:

  • Eberly College of Arts and Sciences (16);
  • Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design (9);
  • Health Sciences Center (6);
  • Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources (14);
  • College of Creative Arts (2);
  • College of Business and Economics (1);
  • College of Applied Human Sciences (1); and
  • a few opportunities within specific majors (2)

How to Apply

Application portal opens: October 1, 2022. 

Students Apply Here  Student Printable Fact Sheet

NOTE: We are using Survey Monkey Apply for SURE student applications. Students should (i) click on the SURE application link, (ii) Register for an account (unless you already have a WVU Survey Monkey Apply account), (iii) Send verification link and Verify email account (if needed), (iv) Apply by completing all 5 parts of the application (1. SURE Student Application, 2. SURE: Invitation to Self-Identify (optional), 3. Resume Upload, 4. Transcript Upload, and 5. Recommendation Request); and (v) Review and Submit the application. Be sure to hit submit!

Application Deadline: 11:59 pm on March 1, 2023 

Priority will be given to applications completed by/before the March 1, 2023 review date. A COMPLETE application includes the online application and one  recommendation letter .  

SURE offers are made until the program is filled. All applicants are apprised of their status (~mid April). Please be patient as we review applications! 

Advice to Student Applicants

Get Started Early. We strongly encourage applicants to begin their applications well before the March 1 priority date and to give recommenders at least two weeks notice of the March 1 due date.

Short Essay (250-500 words): Before beginning the SURE online application, we suggest you take some time to fashion your essay in advance of submitting (include spell and grammar check). In your essay, state your motivation in applying to the SURE program (i.e., professionally speaking, what do you hope to get out of/learn from the program? How can you contribute to research ongoing at WVU? What do you bring to the table? What area(s) of research are of interest to you and why are you interested in those specific areas and, more generally, in scientific research? Why should you be awarded a SURE appointment this summer?). A good essay is important! Use the “Personal Statement” tips available at the WVU Career Services Center  and at ASPIRE.

Faculty Research Mentor: You are strongly encouraged to find your own WVU faculty research mentor for the SURE program by: 1) searching WVU websites for faculty, within your major(s)/associated majors, with research aligned with your interests/career goals; 2) contacting and interacting with the faculty member prior to submitting the faculty member's name; and 3) discussing the SURE program with the faculty member. The faculty member must be agreeable and available to mentor a SURE participant and must complete the Faculty Research Mentor Application. Contact with questions about finding a faculty research mentor. We can help.

Faculty Recommendation Letter: The recommendation letter should come from a faculty member within your discipline (preferably from your home institution) or from the faculty member who has agreed to mentor you in research via the SURE program. The recommendation letter should address your potential/abilities/motivation for engaging in research. Your recommender and your faculty research mentor can be the same person.  We strongly encourage applicants to give recommenders at least two weeks notice of the March 1 due date.