C-SURF: Computer Science Undergraduates Research Fellows Program

THE C-SURF PROGRAM is designed to provide undergraduates with an intensive research experience in a core Computer Science research-intensive project or an interdisciplinary project leveraging core concepts in collaborative ways. This competitive program not only capitalizes on the educational benefits of Duke’s capabilities as a premier research university, but will also increase the connection of Computer Science students to the process of inquiry and discovery.

C-SURF Fellows will:

C-SURF Program Goals:



Computer Science Undergraduate Research Fellows will be mentored on research projects as part of a team of faculty, graduate students, and other C-SURFers. Fellows dedicate one summer and two linked independent studies in successive semesters as part of the program. Research projects are solicited from Computer Science faculty and from faculty in other disciplines who have projects with a computational or programming component/need. Students will apply for the C-SURF program in the Sophomore or Junior year by identifying research projects for which they have the necessary skills and interest. Selection will be a competitive process with criteria that include research interest’s match, academic record, intellectual ability, and maturity. In the selection process, attention will be given to the recruitment of underrepresented populations – both women and underrepresented minorities.

Students in the C-SURF program have both a faculty and a graduate student mentor as part of their research team. Depending on the scope of the research project, advising may include opportunities for collaborative research with faculty in other disciplines. We intend to leverage existing interdisciplinary collaborations with research groups throughout the University.



It is expected that students in the C-SURF program will use their research as the basis for a Senior Honors Thesis for graduation with distinction. All C-SURF students will present their results to an advisory and examining committee near the end of the Fellow’s senior year. At this time we will also conduct a C-SURF Poster Day event with a competition for “Best Poster” recognition. With high expectations of excellence for the C-SURF program, we expect Fellow’s projects to result in publications, presentations at national conferences, and artifacts that could be licensed under patent protect or as part of an open source or Creative Commons license.

Course credit is given in the students Computer Science major, via two semesters of linked independent studies. In addition, a nine-week paid summer research experience is required. Students in the C-SURF program completing the research experience in the sophomore year will be encouraged to seek an external summer research experience in the junior year that will give them a real-world perspective in their C-SURF area of research.



Applications are not currently being accepted. Please check back in fall 2014.


Questions about the program may be directed to: