Summer Undergraduate Research Experiences

The Summer Undergraduate Research Experiences (SURE) represents undergraduate research at its best. Student researchers earn a stipend while spending eight weeks working full-time on a project in collaboration with a faculty mentor with substantial and recognized expertise in the discipline. The purpose of the SURE program is to enhance learning opportunities for students while encouraging collaboration in learning and research between faculty and students. The work of the student, therefore, must be research-oriented and not clerical or bibliographical in its primary emphasis. 

Faculty members also receive a stipend as part of the SURE Program, and as such faculty mentors may not receive both the SURE stipend and salary for teaching 499 in the summer. However, faculty may consider applying for stipends and/or other research expenses through Elon's Faculty Research and Development Committee (note: this committee has a November deadline for its application).

Research projects supported by this program should exhibit the potential for scholarly publication or presentation. It is anticipated and encouraged that students will subsequently register for research credit during the academic year to continue their SURE research project and/or embark on a different research project. Submission to the Spring Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF) is required and, if accepted, you are expected to present your work.


  • Participation by both students and mentors in certain activities is required. Before submitting a SURE application, please ensure that you will be able to attend ALL SURE activities. SURE research stipends are available to full-time students in all disciplines.
  • SURE scholars receive a stipend of at least $3,000 for an 8-week, full-time summer session. 
  • To be eligible to be a SURE scholar, students must have completed their freshman year at Elon and should have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 as well as an in-major GPA of 3.0.
  • Because of the expected intensity level, students may not be enrolled in a summer school course while participating in SURE.
  • Also due to the expected intensity level, students are discouraged from pursuing additional employment while participating in SURE.

Note: To receive any support from the Undergraduate Research Program, including being accepted to SURF, applicable approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) must be in place before any data collection from human subjects takes place. View the IRB Web site for more information about this requirement.

Selection criteria

Proposals will be ranked according to quality on each of the following criteria (not listed in order of importance).

For students:

  • Past academic performance.
  • Suitability of the student for the project.
  • Educational value of the project.

For faculty

  • Please review the SURE mentor guidelines posted here prior to applying.
  • Collaborative nature of the project.
  • Potential for gaining new knowledge and/or insight within the disciplines.
  • The match between project and mentor's area of expertise.
  • Availability of the mentor to the student during the SURE period.
  • If you are applying to mentor a Lumen Prize recipient in the SURE program, please look over the mentor information provided by the Lumen Prize program by clicking here.

Related documents


View the tentative SURE 2018 schedule

Note for students: A student who wishes to be considered for the SURE program must be nominated by a faculty member who will serve as their mentor. Proposals, which are prepared jointly by student and mentor, must be submitted by Friday, December 7, 2017 for Summer 2018 to Dr. Meredith Allison. Awards will be announced by early February for summer 2018. All application materials must be sent to Meredith Allison (click here for email) in PDF format.

Housing: The UR program will provide double-occupancy, on-campus housing in a residence hall for the duration of the SURE program for students that require it. Housing needs that fall outside of the SURE program dates are the responsibility of the student to arrange. The UR program will not pay for any other housing arrangements.