***Updated SURE 2020 information now available. See below.***

2019 SURE Participants remove invasive plants in the native Hawaiian section of Lyon Arboretum
Photo by Scott Nishi, UH Foundation

Above: 2019 SURE participants remove invasive plants in the native Hawaiian plant section at the Lyon Arboretum. Learn more about the event on UH News.


The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) is a free 9-week program that provides supplementary infrastructure to undergraduate students conducting research and creative work at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) during the summer. SURE provides:

  • Professional development modules once every two weeks (dates TBD)
  • Cohort of undergraduate peers
  • End-of-summer SURE Symposium on July 31, 2020
  • Request for proposals: Faculty Mentoring Grants of up to $5000 per student, for up to 3 students, in support of student’s project

Note that SURE does not provide undergraduate students with research and creative work positions.

SURE offers professional development modules for students to build additional professional and academic skills outside of their research and creative work projects. Past topics include, but are not limited to how to identify and apply to graduate school, and how to prepare for oral and poster presentations. UHM faculty and administrative staff organize and facilitate these events, eliminating the need for mentors to run their own modules. This provides faculty more time to focus on mentoring student projects.

The program also provides students with a supportive cohort of peers. Most students conducting research and creative work at UHM in the summer may be working independently or in small groups, and therefore may feel isolated in their respective work spaces. Students in this situation are not benefiting from the cohort structure that other organized summer research programs offer (e.g. NSF-REU site programs). The SURE program serves as a central gathering place where students can meet each other and confer on the challenges, solutions, and rewards they experience when working on their project.

The SURE Symposium provides an end-of-summer venue for undergraduate students to present their research and creative work. It is free and open to students in all disciplines. Learn more on the SURE Symposium page.

To increase undergraduate student participation in research and creative work in the summer, UROP is awarding $75,000 in Faculty Mentoring Grants. These grants will be awarded to University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) faculty who will mentor UHM undergraduate students conducting research and creative work projects in Summer 2020. Successful faculty applicants are not mandated to register their student mentees in the SURE program, but preference will be shown to applicants whose student mentees participate in SURE. Learn more on the Faculty Mentoring Grants page. 


  • All UHM undergraduate students doing faculty-mentored research or creative work with a UHM faculty mentor* or non-UHM faculty mentor
  • Any non-UHM undergraduate student doing research or creative work with a UHM faculty mentor*

Students do not need to be funded by UROP Project Funding or a Faculty Mentoring Grant to participate.

*There are no eligibility requirements to be a UHM faculty mentor UNLESS applying for UROP Project Funding or UROP Presentation Funding, or a Faculty Mentoring Grant.


Registration is open now through May 29, 2020. Note that registration for the 2020 SURE Symposium will be a separate form available April 2020.

Register for the 2020 SURE Program

Participation Requirements

Participation is not mandatory. Students may choose which modules to attend. Students are encouraged to attend the end-of-summer symposium, at a minimum.

Program Schedule (tentative)

  • Week 1 (date TBD): Community engagement field trip to Lyon Arboretum (location tentative)
  • Week 3 (date TBD): How to identify and apply to graduate schools
  • Week 5 (TBD): Writing resumes and cover letters 
  • Week 7 (TBD): Prepare for oral and poster presentations
  • Week 9 (July 31, 2020): SURE Symposium at Imin International Conference Center, East-West Center

Contact Information

Email any questions or comments to Jessie Chen at urop@hawaii.edu

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