Application Information

  • Deadline
  • Eligibility
  • Selection Criteria
  • Application Materials

Application Deadline
Review of applications will begin February 21st, so we strongly urge having all materials in by that date. Participant selection will begin in early March.

We may continue to accept applications past the target date, until all 12 positions have been filled.

DSC02204cropCitizenship. The SURFO program is limited to U.S. citizens or foreign students who are permanent residents of the U.S. or U.S. possessions.

Academic Standing. All undergraduate students are welcome to apply, but the SURFO program is primarily targeted for students completing their junior year. The SURFO program may also accept talented students completing their sophomore year or seniors who will be graduating after the fall semester.

Selection Criteria
The selection of SURFO participants is based upon:
– academic achievement in the basic sciences, math or engineering
– possible career interest in oceanography or ocean engineering
– recommendations from undergraduate professors or research advisors
– research potential
– ability to articulate, in writing, reasons for applicant’s interest in the program.

Analyzing zooplankton samples with a video plankton recorder

Analyzing zooplankton samples with a video plankton recorder

NSF mandates that all REU sites in oceanography do not demand a response (acceptance or rejection) from the students before March 15, to give them an opportunity to choose among potential offerings. We try to match students’ interest(s) with advisors’ areas of research by April 1st, juggling acceptance / rejection, students / advisors. Most applicants are notified of their acceptance into the program by April 1st. Our goal is to complete the whole process by April 15th. Any student who is asked to accept or reject an offer prior to March 15th should contact the Division of Ocean Science’s REU Program Director, Lisa Rom at or 703-292-7709.


Application Materials
We offer two application methods, including:

There are five basic components to a SURFO application:

1) Statement of Interest (to include)
– Career Interests
– Research Experience (if any)
– Reasons for Interest in this Program
2) Letters of Reference (2 required)
– from people who are familiar with your academic capabilities
3) Resume (to include)
– Education
– Relevant Coursework
– Honors
– Work Experience
– Other Activities
4) Computer Experience (to include)
– Systems, Platforms and/or Languages used
– Code writing experience
– Hardware & Software familiarity
5) College Transcripts
– for each college attended
– we accept unofficial transcripts

On Narragansett Bay

On Narragansett Bay