Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows in Chemistry (SURF-C)

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows in Chemistry (SURF-C) Program

The Department of Chemistry offers a research experience program for both Princeton and non-Princeton undergraduate students who are currently or plan to major in Chemistry. 

This selective program provides unique laboratory experiences for qualified undergraduates, placing each student into research groups directed by our well-respected Faculty. For nine weeks the undergraduate summer researcher becomes part of the group, working side-by-side with post-docs, graduate students, and other undergraduates. Each student has the opportunity to play a part in cutting-edge research and be a contributing member of the research team.
In addition to the valuable laboratory experience, each summer student participates in research discussion groups and safety training, and has the opportunity to participate in social activities with SURF students from other departments, summer field trips, including an industrial chemistry laboratory tour, and an end-of-summer research poster session.
This program will run for nine weeks, from 31 May 2021 - 30 July 2021. All program participants are expected to complete the full nine weeks of the program, including all mandatory activities. 
Students interested in participating in this program can apply through one of three application systems based on eligibility:

For Princeton University Freshman and Sophomores

For Princeton University Rising Seniors & Early Concentrators

For Non-Princeton Undergraduates



For Princeton University Freshman and Sophomores: The Charles H. Leach, II Summer Scholars Program 

The application for the Charles H. Leach, II Summer Scholars Program is available by clicking here.

The Department of Chemistry offers a research experience program for Princeton freshmen and sophomores during the summer of 2021. The program is supported through the Charles Henry Leach, II Endowment Fund for Student Research in the Sciences.​​

Due to the ongoing international pandemic, an in-person laboratory experience may not be available during the summer of 2021. A successful virtual program for the Leach Summer Scholars was conducted during summer 2020, and we expect to build on that program if we are not allowed to bring students to campus this summer. 


The eligible student must be an enrolled freshman or sophomore at Princeton University and have an interest in majoring in chemistry. 


An educational stipend is provided. Details on the stipend will be provided in the award letter upon acceptance into the program. 


Summer housing for Leach Fellows will be provided in on-campus air-conditioned facilities. Students are responsible for their own dining arrangements and meal planning.


The application for summer 2021 will be available through the University Global Programs System Portal. Applications for internal students will be due on 26 February 2021

Leach Summer Scholars Program 2019:

Front Row, from left: Ananya Vinayak '22, Adam Boukind '22, John Rezk '22, Mansi Totwani '22, Dr. Henry Gingrich, Director 
Back Row, from left: Sophia Goldberg '22, Quinn Rademaker '22, Vinh Ton '22, Bingjian Li '22, Cole Sandvold '21




Summer Research Internships - For Rising Seniors & Early Concentrators

Due to the ongoing international pandemic an in-person laboratory experience may not be available during the summer of 2021. We will continue to monitor the health and safety guidelines provided by Princeton University and the state of New Jersey, and the Department will make a decision later this spring regarding undergraduate access to the laboratories. 

Establishing a summer internship:   

The first step is to speak with your faculty mentor to discuss your interest in working on your research project during the summer. The full nine-week commitment is required and written confirmation of your arrangement should be sent to the program administrator by your faculty mentor. ​


Summer plans must be in place, including all required paperwork, no later than May 1.


Arrangements for housing are left up to the student. Each intern is welcome to live off campus or on campus, taking full responsibility for housing agreements and payments. 


Funding for internships may be available through one of the sources listed below. Support must be in place for your internship.   In some cases, opportunities will also offer funding for materials for your project. Please contact the department Undergraduate Administrator regarding funding requirements.

  • S.A.F.E. (Student Activity Funding Engine) - The various University funding resources are posted on the S.A.F.E. website, each opportunity specifying the type of project it will support. Be careful to choose opportunities listing guidelines that are a good fit with your project. A single application is required; you will then indicate all of the opportunities for which you are applying for that application. The coordinators of the opportunities will work together to decide whether your application will be funded and, if accepted, the total amount of the award you will receive. Do not submit more than one application/project proposal or you will jeopardize your eligibility for support. 
  • Outside Resources - Some online diligence may produce a source of funding for your internship. The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an example. Such opportunities tend to be few, but may be worth the time spent to identify them and apply. A discussion with your faculty mentor may help you identify funding resources used by prior undergraduates in your lab.
  • Faculty Support - In some instances, your faculty mentor may be able to provide an educational stipend. In such cases, written approval of that agreement should be sent via e-mail to the Undergraduate Administrator by your faculty mentor.


Leadership Alliance - Summer Research Early Identification Program (for non-Princeton Students)

The Princeton University Department of Chemistry strongly believes that intellectual and demographic diversity drive science and discovery. We are pleased to partner with The Leadership Alliance to prepare students from historically underrepresented groups for future roles as leaders in the academy, scientific industry, and the public sector.

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing international pandemic, the decision has been made to suspend the Leadership Alliance SR-EIP in Chemistry for 2021. Current university operations prohibit undergraduate participation in a laboratory environment and significantly limit access to campus. We look forward to a time when we can welcome students from other universities back to campus--hopefully in summer 2022. 


Undergraduate students from outside Princeton University may apply for summer internships in the Department of Chemistry through the Leadership Alliance Summer Research - Early Identification Program (SR-EIP). In order to participate in SR-EIP, a student must: 

  • Be currently enrolled full-time in an accredited public or private college or university in the United States or its territories, as recognized by the U.S. Department of Education 
  • Be in good academic standing with a GPA of 3.0 or better 
  • Demonstrate a committed interest to pursue graduate study toward a Ph.D. or M.D.-Ph.D. 
  • Have completed at least two semesters and have at least one semester remaining of their undergraduate education by the start of the summer program 
  • Be a documented U.S. citizen or non-citizen national, or permanent resident in possession of an alien registration receipt card (I-551) or other legal document of such status at the time of application. International citizens studying in the United States with an F-1 or J-1 visa are not eligible for the SR-EIP. Individuals seeking asylum or refugees are not eligible. 

Requirements & Procedure:

Students who wish to apply for the SR-EIP at Princeton University should apply through the Leadership Alliance portal. 


The SR-EIP program is fully funded and provides housing, travel reimbursement, and a stipend for living expenses.