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Make a Donation

We depend upon the generosity of our friends for annual gifts and for contributions to the SURF endowment. Your support helps to build a robust financial base to ensure that Caltech undergraduates continue to have a full range of opportunities to engage in research with faculty mentors. We appreciate your support and partnership.

You can conveniently make an online gift.

  • After entering your donation amount, select "Choose specific designations."
  • In the pop-up designations window, scroll to the "Research Support" section and select "SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships)."
  • Click on "Continue" to close the pop-up.

Mail contributions can be sent to the SFP Office, California Institute of Technology, MC 330-87, Pasadena, CA 91125.

Funding SURF

Each SURF student receives an award of $6,350 for the ten-week summer period, a total budget of over $2 million. Most of the funds are raised annually from a variety of sources including gifts from individuals; foundations and corporations; faculty grants and other Institute sources; and NASA funds (for students working with mentors at JPL).

The Student-Faculty Programs Office, in partnership with the Development Office, raises funds to support Caltech SURF students. Typically mentors pay half the award, and funds raised from private external sources—individuals, corporations and foundations, and the endowment—are used as matching funds.

How Your Gift Can Make an Impact

Every gift helps support students' research and summer enrichment activities.

$6,350 supports a one-time SURF stipend in full

$3,175 provides for one stipend (with equal cost-sharing from a faculty mentor)

$1000 allows for 100 students to attend a faculty seminar luncheon

$600 subsidizes the cost of ten students to present at SURF Seminar Day

$100 assists one student to attend the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research to present his or her findings

$25pays for a student to have a networking dinner with a faculty member

SURF Endowments

Individuals or groups may establish an endowment for $125,000 to support one student annually in perpetuity and may be named as the donor designates. There are several ways to establish endowments—they may be paid in full at creation, funded in installments over a period of three to five years, or specified in the donor’s estate plans.

Endowment donors receive special benefits. Each year a student will be selected to bear the endowment name, and the contributor will receive a letter introducing the student and describing the project. If they choose, donors may have the opportunity to meet the students supported by their gifts, and they often receive letters of appreciation from “their” students. Donors are invited to attend SURF Seminar Day to hear the student’s final oral presentation. The Student-Faculty Programs Office notifies endowment contributors when students they have supported win special recognitions or publish papers. Endowment contributors can be proud of the investment they have made in the future of Caltech’s bright and talented students, and they gain the personal satisfaction from playing an important part in the formation of young people, many of whom will make significant contributions to the nation and the world. 

For information about establishing a SURF endowment, contact Candace Rypisi, Director, Student-Faculty Programs, 626.395.2886.

Annual Gifts

We deeply appreciate the gifts from the friends of SURF who make donations in all amounts to support our students in the undergraduate research enterprise. Annual gifts allow us to offer important enrichment activities such as our Whitney Academic and Professional Development Workshop Series, the Wednesday Faculty Seminar Series, Seminar Day, and CURJ. Each gift is important in helping students get the most out of their research experience!