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Summer Undergraduate Program on Energy Research

The Precourt Institute for Energy's Summer Undergraduate Program on Energy Research (SUPER) internships provide undergraduates with opportunities to work on faculty-mentored, individualized energy research during the summer. Undergraduates delve deeply into one energy topic, while also learning about energy research across Stanford University. The program is designed to inspire students to consider energy as a field of study at Stanford and to prepare them to engage as professionals in solving this real world challenge.

2018 Program Features:

  • Conduct energy research on campus with a Stanford faculty member
  • Energy research mentors, including faculty members
  • Stipend of $7,000 for a 10-week summer term, beginning on Monday, June 25th and ending on Friday, August 31st
  • Weekly seminar showcasing a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary energy research. Faculty will present their research as well as personal stories about how they decided to pursue research in energy
  • Field trips to energy companies
  • Mid-summer social
  • Students present results during fall term at the university's Symposia of Undergraduate Research and Public Service

Eligible students must be a Stanford undergraduate enrolled in the 2018-2019 calendar year. Participants funded by the program are required to:

  • Undertake a research project over the summer term
  • Meet with their faculty advisor weekly (every other week at a minimum). Postdoctoral fellows or advanced graduate students may serve as Energy Research Mentors
  • Enroll in ESS108: Research Preparation for Undergraduates, taught by Chris Field or similar research preparatory course during spring term 2018
  • Complete an on-line questionnaire on the SUPER experience
  • Complete a research summary
  • Present your research at a poster presentation in the fall
  • Meet at least every other week with the undergraduate researcher to advise and adjust the work plan. In addition to faculty mentorship, postdoctoral fellows or advanced graduate students may serve as Energy Research Mentors and meet more frequently with the student
  • Actively include the undergraduate in your lab or research community
  • Join a group lunch with the faculty director and members of the oversight team to discuss the programs, goals and ideas
  • Participate by giving a talk in the summer lunch, if invited
  • Attend the mid-summer dinner, if possible
  • Complete an on-line questionnaire on the SUPER experience

2016 Projects include the following:

  • The 21st Century Grid – An International Overview: New Markets and Policy Framework
  • Inkjet printing of CO2-sensitive nanomaterials for energy and environmental sensing application
  • An assessment of energy intensity of water processing options: Wastewater treatment in oil and gas operation
  • Optimal battery management techniques for plug-in hybrid vehicles
  • Home Energy Intervention
  • High efficiency solar cells: design, fabrication and characterization
  • Synthesizing inexpensive solar cell absorbers
  • Pd catalysts for methane combustion
  • Thermionic energy converters
  • Biosynthetic modification of cellulose in E.coli for cellulose to ethanol conversion

Please contact Katie Taflan Cerneka ( with any questions. 

Who is eligible?

Stanford undergraduates enrolled in the 2018-2019 year are eligible for the summer 2018 SUPER program. 

Am I eligible if I am currently performing research with a faculty advisor?

Yes.  Pre-existing undergraduate researchers may apply and research may proceed after SUPER concludes, however, the financial support from SUPER is fixed for the summer term.

Can I apply if I have not identified a faculty advisor or undergraduate researcher?

Yes.  We can help align pairs between interested faculty and undergraduates.  To ensure an appropriate match, please provide as many specifics on your interests or details on the research project as possible.

What type of research does SUPER support?

SUPER supports energy-related research within any of the seven schools at Stanford.

What are the selection criteria?

The projects must be related to energy and achievable on-campus. We are primarily interested in strong student-faculty pairs.

When will I be notified of my funding status?

Students and faculty will be notified of their funding status prior to spring break.

May a faculty member mentor 2 or more SUPER interns?

Depending on enrollment in the SUPER program and available funding, there is a chance that a faculty mentor may mentor more than 1 intern. This is not guaranteed, however.