Purdue University Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program

Dear Dr. Rockstraw,

Good afternoon.

Purdue University’s College of Engineering has been collaborating with faculty and staff members at your institution on a program designed to encourage talented underrepresented minority engineering students to consider graduate education and a faculty career in engineering.  This program, known as “Pathways”, has three components.  The first is to invite faculty members from minority serving institutions to give seminars on their research here at Purdue, explore possible collaborations with Purdue faculty, and discuss opportunities to co-mentor students who want to become faculty members.  Second, members of Purdue’s faculty visit minority serving institutions to discuss their research with colleagues and students and to talk with students about graduate school and faculty careers. 

This e-mail is primarily about the third component of our program, which provides underrepresented minority students with an opportunity to participate in Purdue’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program.  For Summer 2018, Pathways can fund SURF participation for up to 10 outstanding juniors in Engineering at minority serving institutions who want to pursue faculty careers.  Students participating in SURF will

  • be matched with an Engineering faculty member here at Purdue to work on a research project of mutual interest,
  • attend weekly professional development seminars,
  • and receive free housing, up to $500 for travel to and from Purdue, and a stipend of $4,500 for the summer.

When they return to their home institution, students will continue to have access to their Purdue faculty mentor, and we hope they will be co-mentored by a faculty member at your institution.  The primary goal of the co-mentoring will be to help the student progress toward a faculty career.  Mentors can help students identify potential graduate schools, understand the application process, apply for graduate school (at any institution of their choice,) and apply for fellowships.

Students can learn about the Pathways program at https://engineering.purdue.edu/Engr/Research/pathways.  A link is available on that website to the SURF program’s website where an application can be found.  Students who are interested in the Pathways program should indicate that interest in their application to SURF.  Our team will make every effort to match those selected for the Pathways program with a faculty member working on a research program of mutual interest.

Attached is a flyer describing the Pathways program.  We would appreciate your help with distributing this flyer to students you think might be good candidates for graduate school and a faculty career in engineering.

If you or your students have any questions about Pathways, please do not hesitate to write to me atfentiman@purdue.edu .


Audeen Fentiman

Crowley Family Professor in Engineering Education

Purdue University College of Engineering


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