SURF Program Details


Contact Information


Participant Stipend

There is no cost to participate in the SURF program. Participants receive a $6000 stipend, on-campus housing, and travel. 

Eligibility Requirements

Participation is limited to current undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Students who will graduate before the start of summer 2023 are not eligible.

Applicants of any race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, dis/ability or veteran status are welcome. Students who are members of a group that is historically under-represented in earth and ocean sciences, including students who are Hispanic/LatinX, Black or African American, Asian, Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaska Native, and LGBTQIA+ are strongly encouraged to apply.  Students who are first-generation, nontraditional, economically disadvantaged, veterans, or parents and students with disabilities are also strongly encouraged to apply.

No prior research experience nor formal coursework in earth or ocean sciences is required to apply.  Students who have previously participated in an ocean sciences REU are generally NOT eligible, although some exceptions may apply. Please ask if you're interested (

Participants must be available for the entire duration of the anticipated program dates, June 25, 2023 through August 25, 2023, and must be available and willing to participate full time (approximate 40 hours/week) in the program.


SURF fellows will typically spend eight hours a day, Monday - Friday, engaged in their faculty-led research projects. In addition to research training, the SURF program provides mentoring and workshops to prepare participants for success in pursuing careers and graduate school in earth and ocean sciences. Fellows also attend weekly research seminars, career panels, and give a formal presentation of their results at the SURF Research Symposium at the end of the program.  The SURF program also includes local field trips and social events.


Housing is provided for all fellowship recipients in shared apartments on the UC San Diego campus. The apartments are furnished and equipped with a kitchen, outdoor patio, dining room, living room and double or single bedrooms. It is highly recommended that Summer Fellows live in the provided housing in order to more fully appreciate their Summer Fellowship experience. In special circumstances, a housing allowance can be provided in lieu of on-campus housing. While on campus, students can also take advantage of UC San Diego facilities, such as dining halls, libraries, swimming pools and other recreational amenities.  COVID-19 statement: We plan to offer on-campus housing in summer 2023.  However, final decisions on housing availability will be made in accordance with campus guidelines closer to the start of the program. Reopening of many campus facilities for summer 2023 will also be subject to campus health and safety guidelines. 


Meals are not included in the SURF program. All on-campus apartments are equipped with kitchens. The UC San Diego campus operates multiple dining halls and restaurants that are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and several small markets on campus where students can shop for staples. There are also several breakfast/lunch and coffee facilities located at Scripps. Full-service grocery stores are located in a large shopping center less than 0.5 miles away from the on-campus housing.


Round trip travel to and from San Diego is provided by the program. SURF fellows will work in research labs and facilities at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which is located about 1 mile from the UC San Diego campus. Courtesy shuttles between main campus and Scripps run every 30 minutes from 6:30 am to 7:00 pm on weekdays. Students can also easily walk or bike between the UC San Diego campus and Scripps. Beautiful La Jolla beaches, full-service grocery stores, restaurants, and movie theaters are located within an easy walk or a bus ride from the main UC San Diego campus. Students will find it convenient, but not necessary, to have access to a car to enjoy the San Diego region in the evenings and on the weekends.

La Jolla and San Diego

La Jolla is a beautiful seaside community along 7 miles of curving coastline in Southern California. Surrounded on three sides by ocean bluffs and beaches, La Jolla is located within the northern city limits of San Diego, and is 12 miles north of downtown San Diego. With a mild climate (an average daily temperature of 70 degrees) and access to public beaches, parks and the ocean, La Jolla and the greater San Diego region provide myriad opportunities for outdoor recreation, cultural pursuits, dining, and shopping. Additional information about the San Diego region can be found at: