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There are many ways to receive funding to support your research, through the Office for Undergraduate Research, from other institutions at UNC, and from external sources.

OUR sponsors or co-sponsors several fellowship programs which offer funding for students to do mentored research in the summer and/or academic year:

  • SURF: Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships
    SURFs are major awards (at least $3000) to enable undergraduates to engage in research, scholarship or creative performance under the guidance of faculty advisors (and possibly also graduate student mentors) for at least 9 weeks (20 hours/week) during the summer. Applications for the SURFs are considered once a year in the early spring.
  • SMART: Science and Math Achievement and Resourcefulness Track Program
    The SMART program provides an excellent, paid opportunity for rising sophomores or transfer students to spend eight weeks during the summer doing 30 hours of research per week with a faculty mentor. SMART is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and is a part of its nationwide Alliance for Minority Participation initiative to increase the number of underrepresented minority students who earn degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.
  • Summer Award for Research-Intensive Courses
    This award covers in-state tuition for one three-hour research-intensive course at UNC-Chapel Hill. The course must offer one-on-one mentorship. Such courses have a standard course number of *95 (i.e., 395, 495) and are offered in many departments already or can be added for a specific year.

If you are interested in international research or research involving a global audience, UNC’s Center for Global Initiatives maintains a funding database (as well as many support resources) at

For other sources of summer support, please visit the Carolina Internal Funding Database. Many of the programs listed on our Undergraduate Research Programs at UNC page also offer funding for undergraduate research.