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Research Experience for Undergraduates

Engaging in independent research under the direction of a faculty member can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of your undergraduate career. The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program is designed to give undergraduates the opportunity to work with faculty and their research groups on advanced research projects. Whether you are well into your major or still testing the waters, all engineering students are strongly encouraged to consider taking advantage of the REU program. The REU program is coordinated jointly by the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE) and the Office of Student Affairs in the School of Engineering


The Mechanical Engineering (ME) Department Summer Undergraduate Research Institute (SURI) is the ME Department’s REU offering. Students work for ten weeks on a research project under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Students accepted into SURI receive a fellowship stipend sufficient to cover on-campus housing or the equivalent. Participation in SURI is not a guarantee of room and board and therefore students are responsible for keeping track of summer housing application deadlines. Living on campus is not a requirement for SURI participation.

While SURI participants are compensated for their efforts with a $7,500 fellowship stipend, participation does not constitute a traditional employment agreement (no W-2 or 1099 will be issued).

If a faculty  member wants their SURI student to begin training or research during spring quarter, the student will need enroll in ME191 for research credit in spring quarter, or be hired as an hourly employee.  (malucas 3-9-20 kburns)

Eligibility and Program Requirements

The SURI program has a participant limit of 34 students, with first priority given to declared ME and related (Product Design, Biomechanical Engineering, etc.) majors.  SURI participants must be Stanford undergraduate students who have not received a bachelor’s degree prior to the summer quarter in which they are participating. Students who have not yet declared as an ME major must work with an ME faculty member in order to be eligible.
Students are required to perform research in the lab for a minimum of 30 hours per week, throughout the duration of the 10-week program. Students are also required to attend weekly cohort meetings with the other SURI participants. During the final week of the program students will participate in a mandatory poster session, attended by faculty, staff and students, to present their final research project. In addition to the poster session, students are required to submit a two-page summary of their research experience, which will be used to evaluate the SURI program.
We understand that some students may wish to take courses or participate in other activities during the summer. SURI students are able to take up to five units of coursework or work another job up to ten hours per week with prior approval from their SURI faculty sponsor and the SURI Coordinator, Jessie Mohsen.

Appointment Dates

The SURI program begins on June 16th, 2020 and runs through August 21st, 2020. Attendance is required throughout the duration of the program and any unexcused absences can constitute removal from the program. Any absence longer than two days, not including the mandatory kick-off and poster session, must be pre-approved by the SURI Coordinator, Jessie Mohsen. 
Students unable to attend the Kick-Off on June 16th or the poster session on August 21st are not eligible to participate in the program.


How to Apply

Students who are interested in participating in SURI should seek out research opportunities directly with affiliated ME faculty. While securing a commitment with a faculty member is not required to apply, priority is given to students who have already secured a faculty match. 
All interested applicants, with or without a faculty match, must complete the SURI Summer 2020 Application before March 1st. Upon submission, ME Student Services will work to either confirm your listed faculty match or use your listed research interests to match you with a faculty advisor. 

With the limited space availability, priority will be assigned in the following order:

  1. Declared ME majors* with a secured faculty advising commitment
  2. Undeclared students with a secured faculty advising commitment
  3. Declared ME majors without a secured faculty commitment
  4. Undeclared students without a secured faculty commitment
*Coterminal students on graduate billing are not eligible for SURI
Once the slot capacity is met, the remaining applicants will be placed on a waitlist. Decisions will be released by the end of March.

Any questions about the SURI program, eligibility and application process should be routed to the SURI Coordinator, Jessie Mohsen (