Summer Undergraduate Research Experience

What is it? A summer research intensive for students to conduct research with a faculty member
Who is eligible?
  • Students who have completed their first year
  • Students who have a cumulative and in-major GPA of at least 3.0
Is there funding? Yes, students and mentors both receive a stipend

Accepted students may also apply for SURE grants to purchase research materials

Student housing in double-occupancy rooms on campus is covered for the 8 weeks

When is the deadline? December 1, 2023, 5 pm eastern
How do I apply? SURE 2024 Application – (most students will use this)

SURE Away 2024 Application – (for students traveling for research)

Here is the link to submit SURE application.

SURE dates SURE 2024 Datestentative as of September 2023

This year SURE will be between Monday June 3rd and Thursday July 25th, 2024.

Want feedback on your application? Go to the Writing Center workshop Thursday November 16th and Monday November 27th, 2023 at 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm. Sign up by clicking here and visiting the Writing Center website.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (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 4998/4999 for the same student. However, faculty may consider applying for stipends and/or other research expenses through Elon’s Faculty Research and Development Committee.

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.


  • Participation by both students and mentors in certain activities is required. Before submitting an on-campus SURE application, please ensure that you will be able to attend ALL SURE activities by checking the calendar on the application (last page).
  • SURE research stipends are available to full-time students in all disciplines.
  • SURE scholars receive a stipend of $3,000 for an 8-week, full-time summer session.
  • To be eligible to be a SURE scholar, students must have completed their first 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 (including an internship) while participating in SURE.
  • Also due to the expected intensity level, students are discouraged from pursuing additional employment while participating in SURE.

Students do not earn credit for participating in SURE, but they do earn 2 ELRs. The UR program also pays for double-occupancy on-campus housing for the 8 weeks of SURE for those students who need it. In addition, students can apply for SURE grants to support their summer research projects.

Note: To receive any support from the Undergraduate Research Program, applicable approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) must be in place before any data collection from human subjects takes place. In alignment with Federal guidelines, beginning June 1st, 2024, all investigators within our institution—comprising faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students, principals, and co-investigators—must have completed CITI training. For what you must complete for CITI training, please click here.

Students may not serve as a PI for an IRB study. They should work with a faculty mentor who will serve as PI and be responsible for the oversight of the study. If you have any concerns or questions or want to discuss this policy further, please email the IRB Chair, Marna Winter at

All equipment and software purchased with SURE grant funds become property of Elon University. We do not pay students or Elon faculty for their labor (e.g., transcription, inter-rater reliability) but we do reimburse for gift cards for participants and professional transcription like

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 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
  • Description of the planned mentoring relationship
  • 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

Important Links

Reimbursement Guidelines

Non-Elon Summer Experiences

Are you looking for a summer research experience but don’t think that SURE is right for you? We have compiled a list of national and international summer research experiences for you!

Non-Elon Summer Experiences List

“Being able to pursue a passion of mine with a mentor who supports me in both my academic and personal endeavors has been the most rewarding aspect of my undergraduate career. I am so thankful for the opportunities that have been afforded to me through my participation in undergraduate research at Elon.” 
Sydney Brown ’18