LIGO Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF)


Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

June 18 - August 23, 2024
Caltech  ·  LIGO Hanford  ·  LIGO Livingston

Project Reports

Guidelines for Caltech LIGO SURF project reporting are the same as those for all Caltech SURFs.

Students are required to submit a project proposal (by May), two written progress reports, an abstract, a final technical paper, and a final oral presentation. These reports help students develop good communication skills, focus on progress toward their research goals, and synthesize the work done over the ten-week period.

Summer requirements and expectations

Project proposal:

You will work with your mentor to develop a project proposal by May 15.

Progress reports:

Follow these progress report writing requirements. These must be signed by your mentor.


Abstracts are compiled in an abstract book for each of the scheduled seminar days. Please follow these abstract writing requirements.

Final reports:

Follow these final report writing requirements. Please read and follow them carefully. Deadline is 4th Friday in September..

Final oral or poster presentation:

All students are required to give an oral or poster presentation on one of the regularly scheduled seminar days. Most or all LIGO SURF students will give their presentation during the last two days of the summer program; so you should expect to be present on those last two days. However, some students may arrange to give their presentations at other times.

The SURF presentation guidelines provide assistance in the preparation of the oral presentation. Their purpose is not a speech textbook providing useful information for all types of speaking presentations, rather its focus is for undergraduate students presenting highly technical information to a general audience. For the guidelines, see the final presentation page.

Seminar Day in October is the first round of the Doris S. Perpall SURF Speaking Competition. Presentations by Caltech students will be evaluated, and the students giving the best talks in each session will advance to a semi-final round.

Failure to complete all of these requirements by the deadline will jeopardize future applications, recommendations, and the posting of SURF on a Caltech transcript.

Students are strongly encouraged to present their work when they return to their home institution, and at regional conferences such as The Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research (SCCUR), or the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR).