Summer Undergraduate Research Program through the Statistics Department (SURP-Stats)

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program through the Statistics Department (SURP-Stats) matches students with faculty across campus doing research that includes statistics and/or data science. This is an in-person (on campus) experience. It is 10 weeks long, starting on June 24, 2024, and ending on August 30, 2024.

SURP-Stats is an undergraduate research experience that allows you to use statistical methods and thinking in a variety of fields. I would recommend the program to people who are interested in strengthening their quantitative skills and statistical work beyond class. The benefits of SURPS-Stats is a small program with many levels of support, and the opportunity to work with and learn from professors on exciting projects.
2023 SURP-Stats Participant


  • This research opportunity is for current Stanford University undergraduate students only. To participate, students must not have conferred their undergraduate degree (even if they are a coterm student).
  • To ensure that students are eligible, please review VPUE’s eligibility requirements.
  • Stanford undergraduate students from any department who meet the prerequisites are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to students in the Mathematical & Computational Science (MCS) and Data Science (B.S. and B.A.) programs.
  • Students should have taken some coursework in math, probability, statistics, data science, and/or computer science. Some course examples include:  MCS/DATASCI 120, DATASCI 112, 154, STATS 32, 48N, 60, 101, 116,  117, 118, 141, 191, 195, 200, 202, 216, 217, 229, MATH 51-53, 104, 113, 151, CS 106A/B, 103, 107, 109, MS&E 120, 125, 226.
  • More specific prerequisite classes or skills are listed for each project.

 View the 2024 Project List. 

Faculty mentors will select which students are a good match to join their project. 

Program Expectations

Students should expect to do the following:

  • Take DATASCI 120 (Data Narratives) in the spring quarter to prepare for the summer research experience.
  • Do research on campus (in person) for 35+ hours per week for a full 10 weeks during the summer. This should be your primary activity this quarter.
  • Attend regular group meetings (tentatively planned as lunch meetings every week), where students will informally share about their research experience.
  • Attend talks, seminars, or professional development activities to learn about research.
  • Prepare a poster and lightning talk, and present at a final poster session during the last week of the program.


Students will receive a stipend of $7,500, with a needs-based supplement (of up to $1,500) for eligible students.

How to Apply

Applications will be due by February 4, 2024, at 11:59pm (PST).

We strongly recommend that students concurrently apply to the Data Science for Social Good program to maximize opportunities. Those who would like to do so need to complete a separate application here.

Apply Now!

Questions about SURP-Stats may be directed to datasciencemajor-inquiries [at] (datasciencemajor-inquiries[at]lists[dot]stanford[dot]edu).

What are students saying about SURP-Stats?

We surveyed participants at the end of the Summer 2023 program. All respondents reported that their research experience was intellectually interesting, meaningful, and beneficial, and they all said they would recommend SURP-Stats to a friend. 

“[SURP-Stats] is a program to allow students to apply many of the statistical concepts they may have learned about (and some they haven't) to completely new situations that require more problem solving and understanding. I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in any field that data science could be applied in, and it allows for people to gain real experience from a data-based side of whatever field they're working in.” 

-- SURP-Stats 2023 Participant 

“SURP-Stats is a great opportunity to conduct statistical research and/or work on statistics-related projects under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Students interested in focusing deep into a particular subfield or continuously working on a specific project should apply to the program. A major benefit of the program is the cohort of students participating as well as the associated technical and general programming for the program, including multiple speaker sessions and a close relationship with the Data Science for Social Good program.” 

-- SURP-Stats 2023 Participant 

“Throughout the experience, I got better at reworking problems. Usually, your first approach doesn't work, and as the summer progressed, I got better at finding alternative angles to approach the problem. I also got better at formalizing my thoughts in writing.” 

-- SURP-Stats 2023 Participant 

One of the most rewarding parts of SURP-Stats was “being able to learn how certain concepts, while first taught abstractly, apply in the real world!” 

-- SURP-Stats 2023 Participant