Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF)

Purpose of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) Program

To provide funding for Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships for outstanding undergraduate organic chemistry students attending colleges and universities in the United States.


These competitive fellowships ($6,000) are awarded on the merits of students’ research proposals, academic records, faculty recommendations and their passion for laboratory science. SURF fellowships will provide support for undergraduates in organic chemistry to carry out research at their respective colleges/universities in the summer between their junior and senior year. In addition, the program will provide financial support to enable recipients to visit an industrial campus in the fall for a dinner, award session, scientific talks, a tour of the campus and a poster session, where the results of the summer research investigations would be presented. Information on the program and application forms are available below.


The program was established in 2009. The complete list of Previous DOC SURF Awardees is available


Donations from companies and individuals for the Organic Division’s SURF Program is strongly encouraged. Please contact Karen Draths and Katelyn Billings make an inquiry on how to support this rewarding program.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships fr the 2023 Awardees
The 2023 SURF awardees.

2024 Sponsors:

Pfizer Logo
BMS Logo
Genetech Logo
GSK Logo
Merck Logo
Lilly Logo
BioPharmaWorks Logo
Biohaven Logo
Amgen Logo
WuXi Apptec Sales Inc Logo
Takeda Logo
Janssen Logo
Biogen Logo
Sanofi Logo
Relay Therapeutics Logo

Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-racism, and Anti-Harassment

Racism, bias and hate have no place in the DOC, the ACS, in science, or anywhere. The DOC has Adopted an Anti-Harassment Policy.

Selection Criteria for Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships:

Fellowship recipients will be selected by an Advisory Committee using the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated interest and talent of the student in organic chemistry
  • Merit and feasibility of the research project
  • Commitment of the faculty mentor to support the student in his/her work
  • Academic record, particularly in organic chemistry and related sciences.
  • Demonstrated importance of the award in facilitating the personal and career plans of the nominee.
  • A Faculty research mentor may not have two awardees within a three year period

Nomination process

Nominations from women and minorities who are typically under-represented in chemistry are especially encouraged.

The faculty mentor (who must be a member of the Organic Division) must submit the completed SURF Application and the requested documents through the online application form as a single PDF file consisting of the following items in the following order:

  1. The completed “Student Application Cover Sheet” (page 1 of the SURF Application as a docx file)
  2. A statement from the nominee describing the importance of this opportunity to his/her personal and career plans (typically 1-2 paragraphs). Indicate how a summer research project fits into your long-range plans. Provide any background about yourself and/or your personal or professional goals that you would like us to know.
  3. A description of the proposed research project, authored by the student in collaboration with the faculty mentor (typically 2-5 pages). Describe the project you propose to undertake next summer. Describe your background that has prepared you to do this work and your proposed methodology. Provide as much detail as possible.
  4. An unofficial transcript (with overall GPA) of the nominee and a list of courses to be taken during the rest of the current application year.
  5. The completed “Faculty Mentor Cover Sheet” (page 2 of the SURF Application as a docx file) – A Faculty mentor may not have two awardees within a three year period
  6. A letter of recommendation from the faculty mentor on the qualifications of the nominee to carry out the project successfully.
  7. The completed “Department Chair/Head Cover Sheet” (page 3 of the SURF Application as a docx file)
  8. A brief letter from the Department Chair indicating that the student is a departmental nominee (there may be no more than 2 nominees per department, and no more than 1 nominee per research group) and that the department will provide the necessary equipment, space and administrative support to the project. In the event the faculty mentor is also the department chair, then the faculty member’s immediate supervisor should complete this form.

Student nominees should be U.S. citizens or permanent resident visa holders at the time of application. Applications from minorities are especially encouraged. This program targets current Juniors and they will be given preference. While two nominations are allowed per department, preference will be given to spreading awards out across different schools. Student may not hold a DOC Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship concomitantly with a similar fellowship from another source. The student nominees are required to be members of the ACS and the Organic Division (their ACS number will be requested). Information on becoming a member of the Division can be found here. Please be sure the nominated students do not have fall travel/study commitments (i.e. study abroad) that conflict with the poster session, scheduled for September/October.

Applications are to be submitted by the Faculty Mentor who must be an Organic Division Member as a single PDF file (named using the format: StudentNominee’sLast Name_First Name-SURF.pdf i.e. Smith_Jane-SURF.pdf) through this online form SURF

Application Deadline is Wednesday, February 14, 2024.

Applications submitted late, via mechanisms other than the online form, or out of order (as described above) will be disqualified.

Announcement of the awards is typically made in March.

Funding Usage Policies

  • A maximum of $1000 may be used for supplies and materials related to the project.
  • Funds cannot be used for Indirect Costs (Facilities and Administrative).

Questions regarding the program should be directed to Karen Draths and Katelyn Billings

2024 Students


Abraham Ellenbogen

School: University of Rochester (NY)
Mentor: Rose Kennedy
Research: Visible-Light-Mediated, Nickel-Catalyzed Decarbonylative Etherification of Esters
Sponsor: Biohaven


Aiden Ward

School: University of Rochester (NY)
Mentor: Benjamin Partridge
Research: Bifacial Nucleobases for Specific DNA Mismatch Recognition
Sponsor: Biopharmaworks


Alex Browning

School: Ouachita Baptist University (AR)
Mentor: Sharon Hamilton
Research: Covalent Bonding of Amoxicillin to Chitosan-Based Hydrogels
Sponsor: WuXi Biologics

Amari Howard

Amari Howard

School: Rowan University
Mentor: Gustavo Moura-Letts
Research: A Roller-Coaster Ride with Cascade Reactions
Sponsor: GSK

Bella Albano

Bella Albano

School: Northeastern University
Mentor: Steven Lopez
Research: Multiconfigurational photodynamic simulations for mechanistic insights into the photochemical 4πœ‹- electrocyclization of tropone
Sponsor: BMS

Christopher Rapala

Christopher Rapala

School: Northwestern University
Mentor: Christian Malapit
Research: Selective Electrochemical Aromatic C–H Amination via Anodic Generation of Nitrogen-Centered Radical
Sponsor: Pfizer

Cole Balintfy

Cole Balintfy

School: University of Michigan
Mentor: Corey Stephenson
Research: Nitrogen-centered radical reactivity of acyl sulfinamides
Sponsor: Genentech

Dasomie Kim

Dasomie Kim

School: Hamilton University
Mentor: Max Majireck
Research: Highly Productive Assembly of a Disulfide Bond Peptide Macrocyclization Using Sound
Sponsor: Pfizer

Eliza Anderson-Lefort

Eliza Anderson-Lefort

School: Macalester College
Mentor: Dennis Cao
Research: Rapid Construction of Electron-Deficient Aromatics by Cycloadditions of 3-Arylmaleimide with Maleimides
Sponsor: BMS

Emma Scher

Emma Scher

School: Stony Brook University
Mentor: Jeffrey Lipshultz
Research: Titanium Photocatalysis as an Enabling Tool for Molecular Functionalization
Sponsor: Merck

Henry Schrecker

Henry Schrecker

School: George Washington University
Mentor: Cynthia Dowd
Research: Characterization of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis PPCS Binding Pocket via P-Pan- CMP Analogs
Sponsor: GSK

Jesus Botello

Jesus Botello

School: Brigham Young University
Mentor: Steven Castle
Research: Novel Iminyl Radical Microwave-Promoted Cyclization of O-Aryl Aldoximes
Sponsor: Genentech

Lynleigh Thompson

Lynleigh Thompson

School: William & Mary
Mentor: Jonathan Scheerer
Research: Synthesis of Xylanigripones A and B from 1,4 Oxazinone Intermediates
Sponsor: Pfizer

Presley Simmons

Presley Simmons

School: Columbus State University
Mentor: Kerri Taylor
Research: Synthesis and biological activity of N,N’-bis-substituted-triazolium salts against the cell proliferation and cell viability of NCI-H1299 carcinoma and WI-38 cells
Sponsor: Lilly

Rohil Dhaliwal

Rohil Dhaliwal

School: Harvard Medical School
Mentor: Amit Choudhary
Research: Linker Development for the Haptenizing Chimeras Platform to Increase the Efficacy of Cancer Drugs
Sponsor: Amgen

Samantha Mayer

Samantha Mayer

School: University of California, Davis
Mentor: Jared Shaw
Research: Donor-Donor Polyinsertion Chemistry – Primed to Reshape the Synthetic Landscape of Oligostilbenoid Natural Products
Sponsor: Takeda

Testimonials on Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

2022 SURF Awardee-Nathan Tang
2022 SURF Awardee-Nathan Tang
Nathan Tang

Northeastern University

Mentor: Roman Manetsch

Sponsor: BMS

The ACS DOC SURF program was an incredible privilege to participate in. It had a little of everything: resources to support summer research, opportunities to meet leading chemists in the industry, insightful talks to increase chemical horizons, and multiple presentations to develop communication skills. I was so glad I decided to apply to this prestigious program since I came away from the dinner and poster session with new connections, friendships, and knowledge.
Due to the fellowship’s selective nature, everyone we engaged with during the dinner and poster session was able to dedicate their attention to meeting us as people and offering advice and wisdom from their accomplished careers. It was inspiring to be around so many people who spoke the language of chemistry and cared about aiding the development of the next generation of organic chemists. From the mentor I received through my industry sponsor to the tours of industrial technology, the only wish I had is that we could have stayed together longer!


2022 SURF Awardee-Daniel Hubin
2022 SURF Awardee-Daniel Hubin
Daniel Hubin

Kansas State University

Mentor: Socrates Munoz

Sponsor: BioPharmaWorks

The SURF program is so much more than just funding for summer research. Although it is nice to receive financial compensation for all those hours spent in lab doing what I love to do, being a part of this fellowship is so much more rewarding.
Throughout the summer, the opportunities to meet with likeminded peers and professional chemists alike are numerous. Getting to take part in conversations with these people throughout the summer makes the research so much more fun and fulfilling. Presenting my research at the end of the summer was by far my favorite part of the fellowship. Everyone who is a part of SURF truly cares about the research we did over the summer and their interest is obvious through their insightful questions and insight. The presentation and poster session were opportunities to actually engage in discussion with very smart and inquisitive chemists, and I learned so much through those presentations alone.
It is humbling to be a part of such a group of talented and smart people and I appreciate the SURF committee for giving me the opportunity to do so.