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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.

2019 Program Features:

  • Conduct energy research on campus with a Stanford faculty member
  • Energy research mentors, including faculty members
  • Stipend of $7,500 for a 10-week summer term, beginning on Monday, June 24th and ending on Friday, August 30th
  • 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
  • Opportunities to connect with other undergraduates conducting research on-campus research through the SESUR, MUIR, and SURGE programs
  • 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 2019-2020 calendar year. Participants funded by the program are required to:

  • Enroll in ESS108: Research Preparation for Undergraduates, taught by Chris Field or similar research preparatory course during spring term 2019
  • Undertake a research project over the summer term
  • Write a blog post during the summer about their research
  • Meet with their faculty advisor weekly (every other week at a minimum). Postdoctoral fellows or advanced graduate students may serve as Energy Research Mentors
  • Complete an on-line questionnaire on the SUPER experience
  • Complete a research summary
  • Present their 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

2018 Projects included the following:

  • Examining Digestibility of Phosphoethanolamine Cellulose for Cellulosic Ethanol
  • Low Cost, Clean Energy Produce Dryer for Use in Rural Indian Farming Communities
  • Synthesis of Colloidal Silver Nanoparticles and Their Catalytic Potential in the Conversion of Propylene to Propylene Oxide

  • Designing the Know Your Energy Numbers Program

  • Watching the Flag: Training a Neural Network to Predict Wind Speeds

  • Global Warming Survey Methodology

  • Unlocking Google’s Street-level Visual Data

  • Detecting Natural Gas Leaks in Bay Area Homes and Quantifying Leakage From Natural Gas Water Heaters

  • Fabricating Stretchable Batteries Using Ion-Conducting Elastomers (ICE)

  • Limiting Voltage Violations in an Electrical Network with Distributed Energy Resources


Applications for SUPER 2020 will open in winter quarter.

Please note that students who participate in SUPER must enroll in a research course during Spring Quarter. For the application, be ready to provide:

  • Your name
  • Your Stanford email address
  • Your major and graduation year
  • Your area(s) of interest. A list of suggestions is available for selection, and you can also write in your own ideas.
  • One paragraph about why you are interested in SUPER
  • Your resumé (as an attachment)
  • (Optional) Description of a project you would like to complete

Faculty applications are available here. Please be ready to provide:

  • Your name
  • Your Stanford email address
  • If you have a mentee in mind, their name and email
  • If you want us to suggest mentees to you, list what qualifications you would like them to have
  • Your project's area of interest. A list of suggestions is available for selection, and you can also write in your own.
  • One paragraph describing your project

Please contact Sarah Weaver ( with any questions. 

Who is eligible?

Stanford undergraduates enrolled in the 2019-2020 year are eligible for the summer 2019 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.

What's the timeline for the application process?

The following are key dates for applying to SUPER:

January 31, 12:00-1:00pm -- Information session in Y2E2 room 382

February 10, 11:59pm -- Deadline for faculty and student applications

February 18-22 -- Possible interviews between faculty and students

Last week of February -- Initial offers sent out