Program Activities

Program Timeline

Students will arrive in Irvine on Sunday, June 25. The I-SURF program officially begins on Monday, June 26, and concludes with the I-SURF Symposium on Friday, August 25. Students check out of their housing on Saturday, August 27.
Preparing for the I-SURF Program

After being accepted as an I-SURF Fellow, we will contact you to coordinate your housing, transportation and other program details. Based on your interests, you will also be advised of the research project you will be working on. Your faculty mentor will contact you to further discuss the project, address any questions you may have, and recommend literature to prepare for your upcoming involvement.
What will a typical day be like in the I-SURF Program?

Your normal day will start at 8:00 and end at 5:30, with an hour break for lunch. Each day will be unique, and may include a variety of activities such as tours, seminars and workshops. You will also spend time working under the guidance of your faculty mentor and graduate students on your research project. Social activities throughout the program will give you a chance to get to know other students, faculty, and administrators. 
After 5:30, your time is free to explore on and around campus. Planned with your I-SURF Fellows or by the Program, several weekend activities will give you the chance to make the most of your experience in Southern California.
Program Components

Each week will provide you with a variety of unique academic and social experiences to further develop your knowledge and skills and enhance your experience within the program. Program components include:

Orientation Sunday You will arrive on the UC Irvine campus on Sunday and spend the afternoon exploring the campus and settling into your housing. That evening, a Kick-Off Barbecue will be hosted for all the I-SURF Fellows to get acquainted and get ready for the first week of the program.

Seminars I-SURF Fellows will meet as a group each Wednesday for faculty-led seminars to discuss research and career development. Fellows will also hear presentations from outside speakers, including representatives from industry, national labs and defense research agencies. Additional seminars will focus on relevant applications and ethical implications of research. 

Workshops UC Irvine faculty and outside professionals will make a series of presentations geared towards helping students prepare for graduate school opportunities, explore career options, and develop their writing and presentation skills.

Mentoring Students will meet at least once a week with their faculty mentors to discuss progress. Faculty and graduate students will also continue to guide students towards further developing their communication skills and provide support regarding student goals, including graduate school and career options. Students will also have the opportunity to meet several times with the program's directors to discuss their experience. 

Tours Students will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of tours of the campus and individual research areas. UC Irvine's Science Library will also provide in-depth tours and workshops on how to conduct literature searches.

Research Projects Under the guidance of their faculty and graduate student mentors, students will be fully immersed in the facilities related to their assigned research projects. Students will gain hands-on experience and be responsible for carrying out their assigned research roles and responsibilities. 

Project Presentations & Research Symposium Students will use their first week to develop their research project plan and formally present their abstracts to faculty and fellow students. Halfway through the program, students will present a formal project update. The program will conclude with a Research Symposium where students will have the opportunity to present the results of their work over the course of the program. Students will deliver a formal 15-minute oral PowerPoint presentation to program participants, faculty mentors, and on- and off-campus guests. 

Social Activities Each week, I-SURF Fellows will have several opportunities for social interactions with faculty mentors and senior administrators. Planned with I-SURF Fellows or by the Program, several weekend activities will give you the chance to make the most of your experience in Southern California, including:

Corona del Mar State Beach: Just minutes from campus, enjoy a sunny day at the Beach with faculty and fellow students. Coronal del Mar is a 1/2-mile stretch of sandy beach, framed by cliffs and a rock jetty, making it extremely popular with surfers and divers. Students will enjoy a team barbecue, followed by a bonfire into the evening.

Disneyland: Join fellow I-SURF participants for a trip to "The Happiest Place on Earth," Disneyland and California Adventure ( Both parks feature thrill rides, shopping, and unique entertainment experiences. Next door is a lively entertainment district, Downtown Disney, filled with shops, restaurants, live entertainment, and the famous concert hall, House of Blues.

Six Flags Magic Mountain: With more than 46 rides to choose from, Magic Mountain ( is famous for its roller coasters and unique thrill rides.

Sea World San Diego: Join us for a trip south of campus to Sea World ( Located on beautiful Mission Bay in San Diego, Sea World is a 190 acre, premier marine life park, famous for its amazing interactive shows and marine life exhibits, and theme rides.

Note: For Theme Park excursions, transportation will be provided, but participants will be responsible for paying a discounted entry fee.

What happens after the program?

After the program, you will be encouraged to continue your research efforts under a faculty mentor at your home university. Additionally, you will continue to receive e-mail updates and will be encouraged to present your research findings at undergraduate research conferences, as well as other professional conferences related to your research.  You will also be encouraged and assisted with your application to pursue graduate studies at UC Irvine.