Apply for SURF

How to Submit a S.U.R.F. Proposal

SURF 2022 - important dates!

Feb. 3 and 4 | 12:00 - 1:30 pm | Panel Discussion for writing grant proposals - Flyer

Feb. 20 | Submission Deadline | Flyer

Mar. 5 | SURF winners are notified

Mar. 9 (Wed) | 12:00 - 2:30 pm | SURF Awards Ceremony - see Agenda - see Winners

Mar. 24 (Thu) | 12:00 - 1:30 pm | Workshop on technical writing (Landes Auditorium) | flyer

Mar. 30 (Wed) & 31 (Thu) | 12:00 - 2:30 pm | SURF Orientation (Landes Auditorium)

This workshop is for SURF grant winners and their mentors only. The calendar of the SURF program for summer 2022 will be presented, and the paperwork for getting the grant started will be reviewed and signed. Attendance is mandatory.

Please join our special guests:
Emily Born - Research Compliance Specialist of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
Lakrystal Joubert
- Assistant Director of Compliance, Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid
Nathan Macy - Building and Lab Safety Coordinator, Office of EHS and Risk Management
Kelli Morris - Associate Buyer Purchasing, Assistant Director of Procurement Services, Office of Financial Services - Procurement & Payment Services
Marc Paine, CTPM - Senior Procurement Specialist, University ProCard Program Administrator
Jennifer Ravey - Director of the Writing Center, Department of English and Modern Languages
Shellie Richter - Sr. Director of IT Compliance - Information Management and Decision Support

Apr. 1 - May 1 | Request for SURF research support (Requisitions submitted to CP)

Apr 21 (Thu) | 12 - 1:30pm | Workshop about using library resources w/ Dr. Alyse Jordan (Landes Auditorium) | flyer

May 3 (11 to 1:30 pm) Awards Ceremony for EXPO 2022 winners (1st SURF stipend)

After May Commencement — Moving to Cardinal Village

May 31 (Tue) from 12pm—SURF 2022 Kick-off Day

mid-June (TBA) — Workshop about finding relevant literature using our Library resources w/ Head of References, Dr. Alyse Jordan


July 12, 13, or 14 — Zoom Meeting w/ SURF Director (30 minutes meeting per team)

July 15 (Fri) from 12 pm — SURF Mini-Symposium (5-7 minutes casual presentation in front of SURF peers and mentors)

mid-July (TBA) — Workshop about learning who to generate a proficient technical writing for publications w/ Director of Writing Center, Ms. Jennifer Ravey

August 5 (Fri) from 1:30pm — SURF Final Symposium - last SURF day

Aug 15 (Mon) — SURF Post-grant report (video, narrative, and 3 slides PPT) is due

Post Grant Report


Archive SURF 2021

SURF Symposium (August 10, 2021) Flyer - Agenda

2021 SURF Winners


How to Submit a S.U.R.F. Proposal

Number of Awards per Year: Up to a maximum of 15

Disciplines: All majors

Eligibility: Undergraduate students must be enrolled in spring and fall 2022 semesters as full-time LU undergraduate students.  Minimum 2.8 or higher cumulative GPA and 3.0 or higher GPA within discipline. Must have at least one faculty mentor in the discipline of the research topic.

The Office of Undergraduate Research may provide logistic support for the application process. For example, we will arrange panel discussions with previous SURF students, and we welcome face-to-face meetings between the SURF applicants and the O.U.R. staff. Our office can help applicants identify a possible mentor.

Submit all five items (cover sheet, narrative, resume, budget, and timeline and supporting letter) for the SURF proposal electronically as a single PDF file to  with the subject line “SURF Proposal 2022." The PDF file with the proposal should be named “student_name-SURF-2022.pdf”


Proposal Format


Proposal Format


Proposal Format


1. Cover Sheet (one page) - Students, all parts in red below should be copied on your Cover Page of your SURF proposal, and complete information should be provided.


Title of the Proposal:

Area of Research: Choose either HASBSEB (Humanities, Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Education and Business) or STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Please consult with your mentor regarding your choice. You may also look at the attached rubric to learn more about the specific requirements for each of these two areas. 

Student Information

Email Address:
Student’s Major:
Departmental affiliation:
(repeat this block for each student co-participant on the same OUR grant)

Specific Research Topic: (e.g. microbiology, water treatment)

The Department/Center/School/Makerspace where the research project will be carried out. The location should not necessarily be the same with the department associated with the student’s major and can be located outside Lamar. The choice for this location should be done wisely and approved by the mentor(s) in his/her letter of support, so credit for research can be correctly attributed to the deserving department, center, makerspace, etc. In case the research will be done outside Lamar, an acceptance email or simple written notification sent to the mentor, should be provided by the host institution or person, and should be included in the proposal. Lack of such evidence of support disqualifies the proposal.

Faculty Mentor(s)' Name:
Faculty Mentor(s) Department(s):
Faculty Mentor Email:

(repeat this block for each mentor)

Is an I.R.B. approval needed for running the project (choose the correct answer): Yes or No

Eligibility Criteria

CGPA (should be greater than 2.8):
Major GPA (should be greater than 3.0):

Enrolled in spring 2022 (coursework hours)*:
Enrolled in fall 2022 (coursework hours)*:

  • If lower than 12 but greater than 9, then a brief explanation (letter or email) for the reasons of this situation is needed from the Chair of the Department. This explanation needs to be added to the proposal submission file.


 2. Narrative (on four pages maximum)
  • An abstract of the proposed research project or creative activity project (maximum 100 words).
  • A brief narrative describing the rationale for the project should be provided. Use font Arial or Times New Roman of size 12. The narrative should be written at 1.5 line. The narrative may include the significance of the proposed work and goals. Please indicate the development of any potential/expected products. Please indicate the intellectual merit and the broader impact of your project if the case.
  • Tables, figures with figure captions, and bibliography list do not count toward the four pages, and they should be included at the end of the narrative.
  • Any SURF grant proposal written in a peer-reviewed professional journal format is not acceptable and will be rejected without review


3. One-page resume of each student applicant.


4. Budget Justification and timeline (one-page maximum for each)
  • A detailed Budget Justification (on one-page maximum) including all categories of anticipated expenditures must accompany the proposal. Shipping and handling fees should be included in the budget.
  • All additional funding sources previously involved in the proposed project, if any, must be disclosed on the Budget page.
  • Proposals must also include a brief Timeline (on one-page maximum) for accomplishing the project’s goals.
  • The Timeline should indicate the interval when the request for research support will be processed. By default, this is considered between April 1 and May 1. If a project requires placing the research support (partially or totally) past May 1, then this should be clearly indicated in the Budget Justification and the Timeline, and a clear reason for this planning should be presented. It is expected that all research support requisitions to be completed by May 15. It is mentor(s) and student researcher responsibility to respond to comments to the requisition addressed in Cardinal Purch.
  • If student(s) must print posters for presentation at other conferences other than OUR sponsored conferences, please encumber the poster printing cost in the budget section. The posters for OUR conference will be printed by O.U.R. using a different budget.


5. Supporting Letter/Letter of Recommendation (LOR)
  • Each faculty mentor must write one supporting letter for each proposal that he or she sponsors. A proposal without supporting letter(s) from each mentor will not be reviewed. The letter should be sent by the mentor to cristian.bahrim@lamar.eduby the submission deadline, with the subject line “student's_ lastname_firstname_SURF_LOR_2022”. For example: Smith_ John_SURF_LOR_2022. This letter should include a clear statement about student’s ability to carry on the proposed work and another statement about mentor’s involvement in the project, including his/her support offered with lab space, computer access, and/or direct supervision. For more specific details, please see the Faculty Mentor Guidelines.
  • The mentor is requested to enforce the research ethics during the writing of the proposal, as well as during his/her mentorship of the whole project, if accepted. Also, he/she should take care of having the appropriate I.R.B. approval for the project. If an I.R.B. approval is needed to run the project this should be stated in the Supporting Letter.

Guidelines for Reviewers

The O.U.R. reviewers will use the following guidelines to assess the O.U.R. grant proposals. Therefore, these guidelines should inspire and guide all students to prepare his/her research proposal.

  • The proposal should have a research hypothesis or question/thesis or creative idea that is interesting, new, appropriate, and significant for an undergraduate project. The potential for future development of the project is a factor the reviewers will take into consideration.
  • The applicant describes research methods that are appropriate to the discipline and the project.
  • Literature review of relevant existing similar methods or/and interest in the field of research.
  • Applicant explains his or her ideas in an organized and compelling way with a detailed budget and timeline.
  • The faculty mentor’s support letter strongly indicates that the research project is significant and gives strong evidence that the applicant has the qualifications to carry out the project successfully within the allocated time period. The mentor should clearly indicate his/her level of mentorship for the respective project. The mentor will be requested to enforce the research ethics during writing the proposal, as well as during his/her mentorship of the whole project, if accepted. In addition, the mentor is responsible for ensuring appropriate IRB approval is obtained as applicable.
  • Any proposal written in a peer-reviewed professional journal format is not acceptable and they will be rejected without review.
  • The two criteria of eligibility, which are GPA/CGPA and enrollment Fall/Spring, should be verified. If any of the criteria are not fulfilled, the reviewer should make a remark in this sense in his/her report (eventually in the rubric, under the line Grand Total Points (Part 1+Part II)).

Student Stipend

$2,000 paid in two installments. One-half will be paid at OUR Awards Ceremony in May upon completion of the paperwork package (offered at the SURF Orientations) and also, bringing all the necessary clarifications to the research support requested in the proposal, including placing requisitions in the Cardinal Purch. We intend to handle the first half stipend to the SURF winners as a check at the O.U.R. Awards Ceremony organized on May 3 (from 12 to 3pm) in Landes Auditorium of the Galloway bldg.; the second half stipend will be paid in August at the SURF Symposium, upon the submission of a complete Post-Grant Report.

Research Support

Up to $1,000 will be awarded for research support, which may include supplies, disposable, small equipment, software, analytical services, books, research-related travel or services, etc. Lamar University retains ownership of any equipment (including computers, tablets, electronic equipment or any other item with LU tag) purchased with these funds.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The research support listed in the Budget should be requested to O.U.R. staff by May 1.  Each request should include the exact quotes (with shipping and handling) and the items description from vendor’s webpage. With this info, the O.U.R. office will place a requisition in Cardinal Purch. Please be aware that it takes at least 3 weeks from submitting the request to O.U.R. till Lamar processes it.

Benefits for SURF Students

  • A $2,000 stipend. In case there are two or more students on the same SURF project, the stipend will be divided equally among the students.
  • A $500 travel support will be available during the following academic year for each SURF team.
  • Certificate of recognition for completing the SURF program will be offered to each SURF student at the SURF Symposium.
  • Free housing during the ten-weeks of summer at Cardinal.  [  In case of a team project, only one student from the team will obtain the residence allowance on Lamar Campus in each of the two five-weeks summer terms.  For example, one student from the team can stay in Cardinal Village for the first five-weeks summer term and another student can stay for the second five-week summer term. ]
  • Recognition as SURF Alumni (name, picture and post-grant report will be available on the OUR website).

Terms and Conditions for Mentors

  • The mentor is requested to enforce the research ethics during his/her mentorship of the whole project.
  • The mentor should take care of having the appropriate I.R.B. approval for the project.
  • If research is to be done outside of Lamar, then the mentor is requested to bring evidence from a person in charge of the other facility that the proposed research is welcome at that location, and all the safety measures and procedures will be enforced for the protection of our students, mentors, as well as of their equipment and property. In such a case, a written form will be generated by mentors and approved by the Director of O.U.R.
  • The mentor agrees that all research support included in the proposal will be requested only in the research support window April 1 - May 1, unless the Budget Justification of an accepted proposal clearly states that the project requires research support that should be budgeted after May 1 (for e.g. to participate to a conference or workshop, to travel to another place for running an experiment, or to take an interview, etc.) and provides in the Budget Justification the rationale for the need of an extended timeline in receiving research support.
  • Only in exceptional situations a request for research support which was NOT included in the Budget Justification of the proposal can be submitted to O.U.R. after May 1, and will need the Director of O.U.R. approval for being processed by the O.U.R. staff.
  • Any supplemental need for research support (not included in the Budget Justification of the proposal) should be formally requested by the mentor (not by the student participant) to the Director of O.U.R. A strong rationale in support of the request (with emphasis on the impact to the proposal) should be offered in the request letter.
  • If a sponsored student makes the request for supplemental funds, then the mentor should endorse this request and provide the rationale for. The request will be approved for the same dollar amount or less, based upon available OUR funds from unused research support of the OUR grant cohort of that year.
  • The mentor will enforce all the necessary strategies and offer all the possible support and guidance to the mentee for his/her successful participation to the fall conferences organized by O.U.R., with a poster or talk about his/her OUR sponsored research project.

Benefits for SURF Mentors

  • Any full-time tenure or tenure-track faculty can be a SURF mentor.
  • Any instructor or adjunct hired at Lamar in summer 2022 can be co-mentor with a tenure or tenure-track faculty on the same SURF proposal.
  • A $1,000 faculty stipend. In case there are two or more mentors on the same SURF project, the stipend will be divided equally among the mentors. The stipend will be received at the end of the summer upon completion of the SURF research project.
  • A $500 travel support will be available per SURF project for the mentor(s) during the following academic year.

Attendance at OUR Events

  • The list of MANDATORY OUR events, where all SURF winners should participate to:
SURF Grant winners' Orientation (March 29-31,2022),
OUR Awards Ceremony (May 3, 2022),
OUR Kick-off Day (early June, TBA).
  • The first SURF stipend will be offered only upon completion of two OUR activities: preparation of EXPO 2022 (please contact Ms. Jenna Erwin) and the presence for at least 3 hours at EXPO 2022, on April 13.
  • During the summer, the awardee must attend three events sponsored by O.U.R. A list of OUR events will be provided at SURF Kick-off Day in early June.
  • The students are welcome to join the Lamar Undergraduate Research Association (LURA). The members of this forum will identify the best events appropriate for O.U.R. grant recipients. If you are interested in joining the Lamar Undergraduate Research Association, please email:
  • After the completion of the O.U.R. grant, each student winner should be available for at least one panel discussion organized by O.U.R. in the next university year, for motivating the next student cohort to apply for grants or present to conferences. Failure to have such participation disqualifies the student for receiving a $500 travel support from O.U.R. funds.

Travel Support

After the completion of their work, O.U.R. grant recipients are encouraged to travel and to present to student or professional conferences in one’s discipline, outside Lamar. Travel to present to such conferences requires to fill out a “Request for Funds to Support Student Travel Involving Undergraduate Research/Creative Activity” (OUR_Form_T1_2019) with our office.  Please send the request to travel to the Director of O.U.R. For more information please call at 409-880-8290, visit Chemistry 115B office, or send an email to If the project presented requires an I.R.B. approval, then this I.R.B. approval should be attached to the travel request. An I.R.B. approval is in the responsibility of the student and mentor(s).

Mandatory presentation at the O.U.R. Fall Conferences (Texas STEM and HASBSEB in the next fall semester) and Post Grant Report

Awardees must submit a post-grant report on the project’s results by August 15, 2022. If a complete report is submitted before the SURF symposium on August 5, 2022, then the student will receive the second stipend for the SURF Symposium. Please read the Post Grant Report Instructions on the sidebar of this page.  This post-grant report should be sent by email to the Director of O.U.R., cc to the mentor(s), and approved by the mentor(s) through an email response to the Director of O.U.R. Based on this report students will receive the second-half stipend of $1,000.

Mandatory presentation at the Texas STEM Conference or HASBSEB Conference in fall 2022.