CSFN FAQs

Q: Is there an application form that I need to fill out?

A: Yes, your complete application includes the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Application Summary Sheet. Additionally, full applications include a letter of interest addressed to Dr. Hay, a copy of your transcripts (unofficial are okay), and a letter of recommendation from a faculty member who can speak to your ability to participate in the program.

Q: What are my chances of getting a SURF Fellowship each year?

A: Typically, 50% of applicants have been awarded SURF Fellowships each year.

Q: Can I do my SURF some place besides UM?

A: SURF Fellows can complete their fellowship at our affiliate institutions: Montana State University & McLaughlin Research Institute. The faculty mentor MUST be a CSFN affiliated investigator. Please contact Jen Geistfor more logistical information if you would like to work with a faculty member at MSU or MRI.

Q: I’m currently a senior graduating this spring. Can I still apply?

A: Maybe. The SURF program is intended for students who wish to continue their education in the neuroscience research field. If you will be an undergraduate student during the fall term, you are eligible to apply.

Q: How much money can I expect to earn during my fellowship?

A: Dependent on the duration of your fellowship (10 - 12 weeks), fellows can expect to earn approximately $4,000 (pre-tax) for full time work (40 hours per week).

Q: I’m a freshman. Do I have any chance of getting a SURF Fellowship?

A: The program is intended for students entering their junior or senior year of their undergraduate degree. In special circumstances, freshman level students have been accepted into the program.

Q: I was a SURF Fellow last year. Am I eligible to apply for SURF again?

A: Yes, we have accepted SURF Alumni for a second summer fellowship.

Q: Is housing available for non-UM students?

A: Housing is NOT provided as a part of the fellowship. Fellows are responsible for securing and paying for their own housing during the tenure of their fellowship.

Q: Are transportation costs reimbursed for non-UM students?

A: Transportation costs are NOT reimbursed for non-UM students. Fellows are responsible for securing and paying for their own transportation to the University of Montana.

Q: Can I take a vacation in the middle of my fellowship?

A: Yes, but you must negotiate any vacation you would like to take with your mentor and it must not prevent you from completing your research project. All SURF Fellowships must conclude by Labor Day.