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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. 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 and are expected to research full-time (minimum of 40 hours per week for 8 weeks). Applicants are encouraged to have already connected with a faculty research mentor upon application to the SURE program.

SURE Program Dates:


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 2019 semester.
  • In addition, NSF KY-WV LSAMP Alliance funding will provide SURE support for an additional 5+ 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 2019 research opportunities exist for students in:

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

How to Apply

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!

SURE Student Application & printable student fact sheet.

Faculty Research Mentor Application & printable faculty fact sheet (To be completed by the faculty research mentor!)

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) Skip the eligibility quiz (click continue); (v) Apply by completing all 5 parts of the application (SURE Student Application, SURE: Invitation to Self-Identify (optional), Resume Upload, Transcript Upload, and Recommendation Request); and (vi) Review and Submit the application

Application Deadline: Review of completed SURE applications will begin March 1, 2019. The online application may be closed at midnight on March 1, 2019. Priority will be given to applications completed by/before the March 1, 2019 review date. A complete application includes the online application and the recommendation letter.

Advice to Student Applicants

Short Essay (250-500 words): Before beginning the SURE online application, we suggest you take some time to fashion your essay in Word (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.

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.