Stanford University

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Program Details

Program Details

(Updated for SURGE 2021) 

  • Receive $4,800 Stipend during the summer.
  •     Paid round trip travel expenses from home to Stanford. 
  •     Paid Stanford University housing and Stanford meal plan for eight weeks, which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  •     Paid health insurance for students without health insurance.
  •     Paid Stanford Summer session enrollment and access to Stanford facilities.
  •     Paid seven-week GRE Preparation course with Clear Focus Test Prep.
  •     Two paid SURGE field trips to Bay Area spots.
  • If SURGE program is conducted remotely during summer 2021, student will conduct research and attend SURGE activities remotely via zoom but will be provided the same stipend.


(updated for SURGE 2021)

  • Be an undergraduate at a U.S. university or college who, by reason of their culture, class, race, ethnicity, background, and life experiences, would add diversity to our Stanford Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences research community. We especially encourage applications from traditionally underrepresented groups, including African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Native Americans, Pacific Islander Americans, and first-generation college students. DACA students are also encouraged to apply.
  • We especially encourage applicants who are seeking a formalized research experience for the first time. 
  • While the program is geared for undergradutes, we will also consider exceptional students who have recently graduated from college but need research experience and preparation for graduate school. Recent graduates are required to notify SURGE staff if he or she has been acceptance into graduate school during the application process. 
  • SURGE focuses on recruiting prospective graduate students, and therefore targets rising juniors and seniors--and perhaps a few exceptional sophomores--from other universities. 
  • Have completed at least two years of college and have at least one semester remaining of their undergraduate education by the start of the summer program.
  • Attend an accredited public or private college or university in the U.S. or its territories, as recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Have demonstrated interest and potential to pursue graduate study toward a Master's or PhD degree in the Earth sciences, marine sciences, and energy resource engineering. We also consider students who are majors in chemistry, biology, engineering, and computer science who are specifically open to exploring the Earth and environmental sciences;
  • Be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident, DACA, or an international student enrolled in a U.S. undergraduate institution.

Application Materials

(updated for 2021)

  • Two letters of recommendation (Students are strongly encouraged to ask for letters at least one month prior to the application deadline, Feb 1st, 2021)
  • CV or Resume
  • Official transcript
  • Application form
  • Top three research project preferences (the Potential Projects for 2021 page will be updated beginning December)
  • Write four essays in SURGE application. Questions will be provided. (10,000 characters total)
  • Phone interviews (for finalists only)

Academic and Research

(updated for 2021)

  • Gain research experience as part of a Stanford University summer research group. Starting in early December, Potential Projects for 2021 page will be updated continuously until February 1st 2021.
  • Guidance/instruction by Stanford Earth faculty, post docs and graduate students.
  • Research use of state-of-the-art laboratories across the Stanford campus.
  • Take GRE course with ClearFocus Test Prep for free.
  • Graduate school application workshop.
  • Weekly lunch seminars featuring Stanford faculty presenting their latest research in Earth and environmental science to students.
  • Weekly seminars pertaining to scholars' academic and professional growth, including career panel, graduate student panel, and oral communication workshop.
  • Preparation of an abstract and power-point presentation for SURGE symposium.
  • Create your own poster for SURGE symposium and to present at national conferences.
  • Possible opportunity to co-author a scientific paper with the faculty mentor.


  • Access to Stanford facilities (library, gyms, Stanford Earth research lab, and health facilities).
  • SURGE field trips: California Academy of Sciences, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Elkorn Slough, Santa Cruz, Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, Pacheco Pass Wind Farm & San Luis Reservoir, and downtown Palo Alto.
  • Lunch with mentors and laboratory research groups.
  • Interactive web site for scholars to post their profiles, and to use as a method to keep in contact after the program has ended.
  • Membership to Stanford SURGE alumni network.

2019 Webby Award Nominee

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