FAQ

Please select any of these frequently asked questions for more information. 
  
General Program Questions
What is the SURF-IT program?
How long is the program?
If I have questions or comments about the program, whom should I contact?
  
Eligibility
Who is eligible to apply to the SURF-IT program?
Do I need to have prior research experience?
Is there a minimum GPA to apply to the program?
Are there any other requirements?
  
Application
How do I apply for the SURF-IT program and what are the deadlines?
May I apply for more than one UROP summer program?
How do I write the Personal Statement?
How do I choose my research project?
Can I work on more than one research project?
  
Program Acceptance and Preparation
When will I know the status of my application?
What happens after I am accepted into the program?
When will I receive my stipend? 
Do I have to participate in all 10 weeks of the SURF-IT program?
  
Participating in the Program
What will a normal day in the SURF-IT program be like?
Is participating in SURF-IT a full-time job?
How will I work with my faculty mentor?
How research expenses paid?
What about social activities?
What will the seminar programs be like?
  
  
General Program Questions
  
What is the SURF-IT program?
The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship on Information Technology (SURF-IT) at Calit2 provides a unique 10-week summer research opportunity for UCI undergraduates to become immersed in information technologies (IT) research. Participants will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of challenging projects. 

How long is the program?
The program lasts for 10 weeks during the summer. All participants must be available to attend the full 10 weeks of the program. 

If I have questions or comments about the program, whom should I contact?
We welcome any questions or feedback about the program. Please select the Contact Us section of this site, and complete the form. A program administrator will follow up with you to address your inquiry. 
  
  
Eligibility 
   
Who is eligible to apply to the SURF-IT program? 
Applicants should be highly motivated and high-achieving UCI undergraduates in any discipline who have a strong drive to pursue research and careers relating to information technologies. Applicants should also have achieved at least junior standing, be a continuing student after the program, and have compelted at least one quarter of faculty-mentored research before the beginning of the summer. Eligibility does not depend on nationality or citizenship. Seniors scheduled to graduate in June 2014 are given lower priority.

Do I need to have prior research experience?
Applicants should have completed at least one quarter of research under the guidance of a faculty mentor prior to the start of the program.

Is there a minimum GPA to apply to the program?
GPA is one of many factors considered in selecting the participants, but there is no minimum GPA to apply. All applicants should be in good academic standing and able to demonstrate high levels of academic achievement. 

Are there any other requirements?
Participants are required to show proof of valid health insurance for the entire fellowship period, either through UCI's student health insurance or another carrier. Participants are covered by Workers' Compensation.
  
  
Application
  
How do I apply for the SURF-IT program and what are the deadlines?
Submit the SURF-IT application online. The online application allows you to complete a personal profile, upload a personal statement, select and rank the projects you are most interested in, and register two individuals who have agreed to be your references. You must also provide permission for us to review your transcript. All applications must be submitted by the posted deadline.

May I apply for more than one UROP summer program?
Yes. You may apply for any or all of the summer programs, but will not receive full awards from more than one. Depending on your applications, you might be eligible for limited funding from a second program if you receive partial funding from a first.

How do I write the Personal Statement?
As part of completing the online application, you will be asked to upload a personal statement in MS Word or PDF format. The personal statement is an important component of the application, and should tell us who you are, why you want to pursue this research, and what impact you expect this experience to have on your future career. The personal statement should elaborate on the SURF-IT research projects you have selected, why you chose them, your experience relevant to the projects, and how the projects will help you meet your long-term education and career goals. You may include any other relevant experience or related coursework that you feel has helped prepare you for this program. Your personal statement should be 2-3 pages, double-spaced. 

How do I choose my research project?
As part of completing the online application, you will be asked to select and rank five projects that interest you the most. To help you choose your top five projects, read the project overviews, along with information on related faculty, facilities, prerequisites and publications. Every effort will be made for selected participants to work on one of their selected projects.

Can I work on more than one research project?
No. Your time will be spent immersed in one project throughout the program. You will be able to learn about other projects by interacting with other students and listening to their presentations and discussions in seminars and the SURF-IT Symposium. 
  
  
Program Acceptance and Preparation
  
When will I know the status of my application?
Notifications will begin in mid-May and continue through early June. All applicants will be notified of the status of their application within that time. 

What happens after I am accepted into the program?
After being accepted as a SURF-IT participant, your faculty mentor will contact you to discuss the project, address any questions you may have, and recommend literature for you to review before the program begins. 

When will I receive my stipend? 

You receive half of your stipend at the beginning of the program. The second half of your stipend is awarded midway through the program, based on your progress and your faculty mentorís evaluation of your efforts. 

Do I have to participate in all 10 weeks of the SURF-IT program? 
If you are accepted into the SURF-IT program, you must participate in the full 10 weeks of the program. Please review the program dates carefully to ensure your availability.

  
  
Participating in the Program
  
What will a normal day in the SURF-IT program be like?
The day-to-day schedule and the pace of the work may vary to meet the needs of the research. You can expect to have devoted research time with your faculty mentor and other members of the research team. The nature of the work also depends on the project: you may be writing software, analyzing molecular structures, testing network hardware in the field, or doing library research. You are likely to have periods of highly structured training and of working on your own.

Is participating in SURF-IT a full-time job?
While SURF-IT is not considered to be employment, and your working hours may vary day to day, Calit2 and your mentor expect you to make a full-time commitment to the program. You may not take classes or a job while participating in SURF-IT. In previous years, over half of the student participants spent more than 40 hours on their projects every week.


How will I work with my faculty mentor?
Your faculty mentor will provide training and guidance on your research project. You will also meet to discuss your progress, to ask questions, and for guidance regarding your graduate school, career, and research goals.

How are research expenses paid?
Your mentor's lab or department provides the materials and other expenses necessary for your research. Calit2 covers the costs of the seminars and the concluding symposium.

What about social activities?
Some group activities, possibly including barbecues and/or beach outings, are being planned. Seminars and the symposium provide social times as well. In addition, individual lab groups may have get-togethers, and some projects may involve more than one SURF-IT fellow. All participants will be UCI students, and many will be working in the Calit2 building, making it easier to get acquainted. We also intend to establish a program blog to help you keep up with program activities.

What will the seminar programs be like?
Seminars will be held throughout the duration of the program. Attendance is required, but seminars include free lunch. Each seminar session will feature two short presentations by SURF-IT faculty, often from different fields. We intend for the seminars to provide breadth to complement the depth of your work experience.