SFP programs operate under the Caltech
Honor Code. Please be sure to review the Honor Code prior to the start
of your project.
Requirements for applicants and fellows are few but extremely
- Meet the eligibility requirements.
- Applications are due by the stated deadline; there are no
- Students awarded a fellowship are expected to work hard on the project and to participate in the full ten-week period.
- Students must submit two progress reports.
- They must write and submit an abstract for publication in
the annual abstract book.
- They must give an oral presentation on one of the scheduled
seminar days (or another time mutually agreed upon with mentor and Student-Faculty
- Participants are required to submit a technical paper by the
Future applications, recommendations, or acknowledgement of SURF
on transcript for Caltech students will be jeopardized by not completing all requirements.
The staff of the Student-Faculty Programs office is here to assist you with questions or problems that arise during the summer. If you need help, please do not hesitate to contact us or come in. The summer passes very quickly, so it is better to address issues sooner than later! We can be reached at 626.395.2885 or at email@example.com.
Like most any opportunity, students will get out of the summer what they put into it. Those who work hard on their projects, ask questions, delve into the subject and reflect on what they are doing and why they are doing it, will learn a great deal. They will gain self-insight about what they like (or don’t like) to do. They may get strong recommendations from their mentors for graduate school or jobs. Participants can develop good communication skills, which will benefit them throughout their careers. Mentors and co-mentors expect students will commit themselves fully to the research.
SFP programs are designed to be an educational and professional research
experience. Students should devote full effort to the project during the ten-week
period and are strongly discouraged from holding other jobs, taking classes, etc. Students
should have their own small projects that are part of the ongoing research
in the mentor’s lab. Students should become colleagues with other members
of the group.
Students are expected to participate fully in the life of the research group, respect the work of all members of the laboratory and attend and participate in laboratory meetings or other gatherings. Students should work as much and as long as other members of the group work. Often students work directly with a co-mentor, a graduate student or postdoctoral scholar or a member of the technical staff at JPL, who will have day-to-day supervision. The co-mentor’s responsibility is to guide and assist the student, provide expertise, and answer questions.
Students should ask questions! For most students, this summer is an introduction to research. It is a chance to learn a lot, and it is important to ask questions about things you don’t understand. Participants should also communicate their expectations to their mentors and/or co-mentors, just as mentors/co-mentors should discuss expectations with students. Most problems that arise during the summer come from misaligned expectations.