Summer Undergraduate Research Grants

Summer URGs provide a $3,500 stipend to cover living and research expenses for eight weeks of full-time independent academic and creative work, in all fields of study, under faculty supervision.


The Summer 2016 application deadline has passed. Congratulations to all of our 2016 SURG winners! 


Northwestern University undergraduates from any major are eligible, including students working in the creative arts. Seniors may not apply to conduct projects the summer following graduation. Students can only be awarded one Summer URG during their academic career, but they can hold both a Summer and an Academic Year URG.

Finding Summer Plans - Grant Man, Episode 1

Undergraduate Research Grants

Documentary Film - Henry


What It Is: 

A grant to work on your own project, full-time (40 hours/week) for eight weeks. The eight weeks do not have to be consecutive.

A $3,500 lump-sum grant paid to you up front to cover your living and research expenses, and 50% of the airfare if your project involves international travel.

While your project may relate to a faculty member’s research or develop from work within a lab, you must design and execute the project independently, with advisory assistance from your faculty mentor.  

Applications center on a two-page research grant proposal, and we have many resources, including one-on-one advising, to help teach you this new skill.

Proposal Writing

Advising Request

How to Apply

Research involving Human Subjects will require additional steps.

You will submit a two-page final report at the end of the grant period.

What It Isn't: 

The grant may not be used for language study, established institutional research programs, or study-abroad programs.

Grants cannot be used to pay for internships or participation in volunteer activities.

This program is for new, original research only. Grants cannot be applied retroactively to cover expenses for research already completed.

You may not work at a job or take classes while you do your project.

You receive a single lump-sum living stipend so do not submit an itemized budget with your application and do not need to turn in receipts at the end of the summer.


Eight weeks of full time (40 hours/week) research anytime during the summer.  Weeks do not necessarily have to be consecutive.

Students receive notification of award approximately four weeks after the deadline.


Conduct your research project wherever you like: on campus or almost anywhere around the country or the world.

When you apply, you can request extra money for international projects.

Read international projects for important travel restriction information.

Faculty Role: 

Faculty members are resources to you in exploring your research interests and in developing a good project. You will identify a faculty sponsor/advisor, and this person will help you develop your application materials and oversee your project if you are awarded the grant.

See Contacting Faculty and Working with Faculty.


Your faculty sponsor/advisor will submit an online endorsement of your research grant proposal within 72 hours after the application deadline. Unendorsed projects will not be considered. 

See Info for Faculty.

Approval of Final Report

If your project is awarded funding, your faculty sponsor/advisor is required to approve the two-page final report which you will submit after your project is done.


Selection Process: 

Your research grant proposal will be evaluated by a faculty review committee. The committee looks for quality projects, and they can award as many grants as they want. We call this a merit-based, non-competitive process.

Students typically receive notification of award approximately four weeks after the deadline.

Group Projects: 

Group projects are allowed. Explain why this project needs to be done with multiple people. Group members collaborate to create a single grant proposal that clearly articulates the different roles, responsibilities, and qualifications of each member.  We recommend that all groups work with an Office of Undergraduate Research advisor.