Undergrads: Build Confidence, Learn Skills with an ASPB Summer Research Fellowship

Submit an Application for an ASPB Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships


Undergraduate students seeking opportunities to develop their research skills this summer can get support from ASPB.

ASPB’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURFs) provides promising undergraduate students who are researching topics in or closely related to plant biology a $6,000 summer stipend, $700 for materials, and an ASPB membership. Additionally, awardees are invited to present their research at Plant Biology 2024, taking place in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The SURF Experience

Person smiling at the camera with flowers in the backgroundAmanda Dee

“My experience as an ASPB SURFer taught me how to concisely summarize my research and personal experience, which later helped me with graduate school applications. Through ASPB’s SURF program, I got to talk to many researchers at PB2022, which changed the scope of what graduate schools and professors I wanted to work with. Since I participated in SURF, I have applied to grad school and finished my senior year capstone project!”

Person smiling at the camera with a building and trees in the backgroundHarper Lowrey

“I applied to be an ASPB SURFer because I am passionate about plant biology research and I wanted the opportunity to further explore it while working full time. I gained further research experience and confidence in presenting it to others. My participation as an ASPB SURFer has been fundamental to my confidence as a researcher and helped cement my desire to pursue research as a career.”

Person smiling at the camera

Annie Gilland

“My experience as an ASPB SURFer taught me how to be an independent researcher. My critical thinking and problem-solving skills were strengthened, just as my knowledge in plant biology has grown. I gained the resources and uninterrupted time I needed to take my research to a higher level of investigation. The ASPB SURF program was invaluable to my work and my experience as a plant biologist. I enjoyed the experience wholeheartedly and I strongly encourage others to apply!”


Applicants must be full-time undergraduate students in their freshman, sophomore, or junior year of college. International and students following non-traditional academic calendars are welcome to apply.

Applicants will write a research project statement and a personal statement, as well as provide their undergraduate transcripts. A research and mentoring statement from the applicant’s faculty mentor and a letter of recommendation from another faculty member are also required.

Selection Criteria

Applicants must display high academic achievement as well as career objectives relevant to plant biology. Students are required to work with a faculty mentor, and work on the proposed research project in the mentor’s laboratory.

SURF awards will only be provided to those without other sources of stipend or salary for proposed research.

Faculty Mentor

Mentors must be an ASPB member and will be required to attend Plant Biology 2024 with their SURF student.

Reviewers will consider the contribution of the proposed project to the mentor’s research program, as well as the mentor’s commitment to undergraduate research, as a factor in applications. The financial needs of the lab are also considered in distinguishing between top competitive applicants.

Contact ASPB for additional guidance on mentors.

Start Your Application Today

The deadline to submit your SURF application is March 15, 2023. Want to learn more? Discover more SURF eligibility, application, and timeline information.

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