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Physics & Astronomy Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)

The Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah offers a Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) where students work closely with a faculty mentor and their research group on an individual project. All interested students are invited to apply for this 10-week summer program. The 2022 SURP program will run from May 26 – August 5. 

Program participants will gain direct experience by working in ongoing experimental or theoretical research programs in the following fields:

  • Astrophysics & Observational Astronomy
  • Astrophysics: Relativity & Cosmology
  • Biophysics
  • Cosmic Rays
  • Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
  • Particle Physics
  • Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics Education Research

All students will attend weekly seminars on current research in physics in addition to machine shop training and Physics GRE workshops. The experience culminates with the writing of a report and a poster presentation of findings at a closing Symposium.


SURP is open to all undergraduate majors in physics or astronomy who have not previously received funding from the University of Utah Physics & Astronomy program formerly known as research experiences for undergraduates (REU). To be eligible:

  • Applicants must be matriculated UofU physics/astronomy undergraduate students
  • Applicants must be eligible for university employment and must report their earnings when applying for other sources of financial aid.


Application deadline: March 18th, 2022

Online applications are available:

All applications should include:

  • Personal Statement
    • Part 1: Discuss your interest in participating in the SURP program; how it will fit into your goals (e.g. pursuit of graduate- or professional-level work in a specific discipline or area); the scientific questions that intrigue you and why; and the area in which you would like to conduct research. Be specific about your interests, as this will help facilitate your placement.
    • Part 2: Discuss your relevant background – academic, personal, and service; the special strengths, interests and personal qualities that you bring to the program; and what you hope to gain from participating in the program.
  • Biographical Sketch
    • Provide a short summary (200 words maximum) of your academic background; research and other interests; extracurricular and volunteer activities; and other items of possible personal interest that will help other students, faculty and staff to get to know you.
  • Unofficial Transcript (Please email your transcript to 
    • Please write SURP Transcript: Your Name in the subject line

All documents should be saved in the format of Last Name, First Name-document title.pdf

Applicants can start working on their Personal Statement and Biographical Sketch before completing the online application.


Participants will be hired as undergraduate research assistants at $12 per hour for the summer. They may work up to 40 hours per week with total earnings not to exceed $4,800.


  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Department of Physics & Astronomy
  • Center for Science and Mathematics Education (CSME)
  • The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)
  • College of Science


If you have any questions, please contact us at: