Bookmark and Share
  • Text +
  • Text -

Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Research Presentation Videos

Watch Parth Patel '15 discuss his biology research project.

For more videos, visit our Research Video section.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) enables students to conduct extended, focused research in close cooperation with a Pomona faculty member. Research projects, which receive funding from Pomona and from public and private foundations, take place both on campus and in the field. Although the natural sciences account for the largest number of projects, the humanities, social sciences and interdisciplinary disciplines are also well represented.

The strength of our program lies in its rigor, accessibility, and strong and active participation of our students and faculty on faculty-driven projects (faculty research) and student-driven projects (independent projects). Although the latter are usually carried out beyond Claremont's borders, these participants are actively mentored by Pomona College faculty. The summer is an excellent time for students to focus on experiential learning in the laboratories and in the field for a sustained period of time. The lack of interruption from our usual college activities gives students and faculty the luxury of time and the opportunity to ponder great thoughts, plan intricate studies and disentangle the many variables that affect our scholarship/research.

SURP engages about 200 students each summer. A large number of students carried out research in the laboratories of their faculty mentors and a significant number of students also participated in projects away from Claremont in various states, as well as international sites such as Bangkok, Bangor (Wales), Barcelona, Belfast, Bogota and Buenos Aires.

As a culmination of of their efforts, students make a presentation of their work to the College community at the Pomona Summer Poster Conference each September and may apply for College support to present their project at a national conference. While projects are rarely completed in the summer, they have laid the critical groundwork for continuing study. For many of our seniors, these projects often “morph” into senior theses. Research work may also result in co-authored articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Participate in SURP

  • View past SURP research through 2007. Use the navigation on the left to view projects by year and discipline. 
  • Alumni: Tell us where your project led you. To contribute your own SURP success story, visit our Facebook page or email Laura Tiffany.
  • Students: Apply for a project. For information on how students can participate in a summer research project, please visit the Academic Dean's website.
  • Help support future projects. Give to the Annual Fund and Campaign Pomona to support student researchers.

Sample Projects

  • Art History: Exploring Strategies of "Chineseness" in Contemporary Art in China
  • Biology: Phylogeny of Purple Sulfur Bacteria in Lakes of the American Midwest
  • Chemistry: Developing a BPA-responsive riboswitch through dual genetic selection
  • Classics: Sicilian Culture and Myth of Romanization
  • Computer Science: Mapping Data Trends in Seinfeld
  • Economics: Bank Lending to Young Firms During Financial Crises
  • Environmental Analysis: Innovation or Inundation: The Economics of Sea Level Rise in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Geology: Investigating the geochemical weathering of continents as a potential trigger for the Cambrian Explosion
  • History: WWII Diaries of Japanese Youth
  • Linguistics and Cognitive Science: Neural Substrates of Imagining the Future: Multivoxel Pattern Analysis
  • Mathematics: Mathematic Modeling on DNA Segregation
  • Media Studies: Diverse or nah: A visual collective of public events in the City of Chicago
  • Molecular Biology: Identification of Sulfur Metabolism Products in Microbes Using Cyclic Voltammetry
  • Music: Put Me In, Coach! Music's Changing Role in the Cultural Experience of Baseball
  • Neuroscience: Effects of childhood adversity on addiction-related function and circuitry
  • Physics and Astronomy: A Study of Cyclones and Anticyclones in Jupiter's North Tropical Zone
  • Politics: Troubled Peace: Ecclesiastical and Political Reconciliation in Northern Ireland
  • Psychology: Verbal Fluency and Reading Ability in Deaf Adults
  • Romance Languages and Literatures: The Voice of a Young Woman During "La Violencia" in Colombia
  • Sociology: The Inhumane Treatment of Incarcerated Women in the Zimbabwe-Prison Industrial Complex

Thank You to...

We are deeply grateful to the generous donors who make the SURP program possible. Our special thanks go to the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, Class of 1971 SURP Fund, Kenneth Cooke Memorial Fund, Evelyn B. Craddock-McVicar Memorial Fund, Elgin Fund, Faucett Catalyst Fund, Fletcher Jones Foundation, Donors to the History and English Department SURP, Corwin Hansch and Bruce Telzer Undergraduate Research Fund, Hart Institute for American History, HHMI, Koe Family Fund, Linares Family SURP for Chemistry, NEH, NIH, NSF, Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, R. Nelson Smith ’38 and Corwin H. Hansch Fund for Summer Undergraduate Research in Chemistry and Biochemistry, Christopher Rand Asian Studies Support, Pomona Alumni SURP Fund, Paul K. Richter and Evalyn E. Cook Richter Memorial Fund, Dale N. Robertson Fund, Rose Hills Foundation, Schulz Fund for Environmental Studies, Aubrey H. and Eileen J. Seed Student Research Fund, Sherman Fairchild Foundation, Sontag Endowment for Physics Fund, and the Brian Stonehill Memorial Fund for Media Studies.

To learn more about SURP and why the program needs your support, visit the SURP page on our Campaign Pomona: Daring Minds site.