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Student Research

Summer Research Fellowship (SURF) Program


Funded by the University of Washington Morell Endowment and the UW School of Dentistry Office of Research, the Summer Research Fellowship (SURF) Program offers an opportunity for UW School of Dentistry student to work on a research project under the direction of a faculty member. A stipend and allowance for research expenses is provided.

What is Offered?

  • Opportunity to work on a research project under the direction of a faculty member.
  • Stipend ($4,000 for 2024) + $500 allowance for research expenses.
  • Students making a presentation at a national meeting may also receive an allowance for travel to the meeting if selected based on their papers.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Dental students in good academic standing at the University of Washington (including entering students).

Students who have previously successfully participated in the SURF program. Successful completion of SURF defined as 1) submitted paper, 2) presented at Research Day, and 3) recommendation by SURF mentor to participate again.

Who is Not Eligible?

Students with heavy clinical obligations during the summer.

Time Involved

Three months full time equivalent spread between March – December.

Conditions and Explanations

  • The SURF Program is the principal research opportunity for dental students.
  • Application Procedure: a) students discuss research opportunities with faculty preceptor; b) student and preceptor submit a letter of intent and write a proposal; c) proposals are submitted early Jan.; d) proposals are reviewed for suitability by Research Advisory Committee; e) fellowship awards announced by early March.
  • Students conduct all aspects of research: literature review, data collection, data analysis, and presentation of the results.
  • Students participate in a seminar on Research Design and Methods (DENTEL 530 – Research Methods Seminar)*. Students’ own projects are used as examples for discussion.
  • Elective Credits: 6 elective credits are awarded for the research project, 1 credit for the seminar.
  • Students write an abstract of their project and give a presentation at Research Day, January/February 2025 (TBD).
  • A written report describing results of the research project must be submitted to the Office of Research at prior to Research Day.
  • *Students who are participating in the SURF program more than once are not required to complete DENTEL 530 – Research Methods Seminar after year one.


Submit an application

2024 SURF Application Form (PDF)

First time applications must be submitted as a single pdf file to by January 12, 2024.

2024 Recurring SURF Application Form (PDF)

Recurring SURF applications must be submitted as a single pdf file to by March 1, 2024.

For additional information contact:

SURF Mentors

Please consider becoming a mentor to a SURF student. More information is available in this video (UWNETID required to view). If you are interested, please ensure your information is up to date on the Faculty Research Interests page (updates can be sent to

New this year: the SURF program will have a formal evaluation process after the end of the SURF period. A small discretionary fund will be made available to all mentors that have a SURF student successfully complete their project (i.e. paper turned in on time and poster presentation at research day) as well as completion of the program evaluation.