The Summer Undergraduate Research Program at Simmons (SURPASs)

SURPASs is a paid, intensive summer research experience for undergraduate students and faculty mentors across a variety of disciplines.

Accepted students receive a $3,000 stipend, a supplemented budget of $1,000 for materials and supplies, residential campus housing during the summer intensive, and Simmons meal points. SURPASs faculty mentors receive a stipend of $2,000 and Simmons meal points for the duration of the summer intensive.

SURPASs is made possible by generous gifts from many alumni like Trustee Regina Pisa and Trustee Pamela Toulopoulos '73 as well as support from the Office of the Provost.

The application cycle for the 2021 SURPASs program will be announced in late 2020. For more information, send us an email.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible?

Full-time undergraduate students with good academic standing are welcome to apply. Graduating seniors are ineligible for the SURPASs grant.

How long is the program?

The SURPASs summer research intensive begins the Monday after graduation (May) and concludes on the last day of the month of June. Students typically conduct the majority of their research during the intensive weeks; occasionally, projects may continue throughout the academic year.

Participation in a weekly Wednesday seminar is required during the summer intensive. Students working off-campus will be able to participate in the weekly seminar online.  In addition, SURPASs students are invited and encouraged to present their research and capstones at the annual Undergraduate Symposium in April.

How do I propose a project?

Students interested in the SURPASs program are responsible for identifying a faculty mentor with relevant expertise in the topic, to supervise their project.  Students are encouraged to contact their desired faculty mentor early in the process.

A complete submission will include the following components:

Questions about the application process may be directed to [email protected].

What kinds of research do Simmons faculty members do?

Check out faculty and research to learn about recent publications, presentations, exhibits, fellowships, grants, awards and other information that recognizes our faculty's scholarly and creative work.

What projects have other students done?

SURPASs projects allow students and faculty to work in a variety of disciplines. Here are some samples:

  • Emmaline Ashe and Ainsley Wilson: “Measuring the Effectiveness of Laundering Methods on Bacterial Presence on Scrubs: A Collaborative Study” 
    Mentors: Liz Scott, Susan Duty 
  • Nina Chen: “Study of the Photodimerization of 4-Vinylbenzy Thymine and 4-Vinylbenzyl Trialkyl Ammonium Chloride Using UV-Vis Spectrophotometry and Gel Permeation Chromatography.”
    Mentor: Nancy Lee
  • Anne Crockett: “An Investigation of American Identity in the Needlework of New England Women in the Decades Prior to and After the Revolutionary War.”
    Mentor: Laura Prieto
  • Lindsey Johnson: “Analyzing the Use of Social Media as Methods of Political Action and Organizing Among African-Americans”
    Mentor: Catherine Paden
  • Sidney Jean: “Mixed Messages: The Conflicting Messages Women Receive about Weight through Family, Peers and Media”
    Mentor: Valerie Leiter

How many students will be selected?

Between 14 to 18 students are accepted into the SURPASs program each year.

What are some tips for preparing a successful application?

Students and faculty can attend one of the SURPASs information sessions to ask questions and learn more about the program. Students are encouraged to identify and work with their faculty mentor early on in the process (several weeks prior to the application deadline) to prepare the application components. In addition, the Writing Center offers valuable one-on-one tutoring assistance.