KNI SURF-the-WAVE Fellowships

KNI SURF-the-WAVE Prize Fellowships

The Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI) at the California Institute of Technology established the SURF-the-WAVE (STW) Prize Fellowships program to provide opportunities for motivated undergraduates who are interested in carrying out cutting-edge summer research projects in nanoscience at Caltech. In partnership with the Student-Faculty Programs (SFP) office and its WAVE summer program, KNI STW Prize Fellowships are awarded to undergraduates at non-Caltech colleges or universities who plan to pursue PhDs in science or engineering.

Successful candidates will develop and carry out research projects under the guidance and mentorship of Caltech faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students. Throughout this 10-week program, STW prize fellows participate in educational and social events sponsored by SFP, as well as additional specialized activities with the KNI community, to gain new technical skills and experience life as a researcher at Caltech.

This prize covers the full $7,100 WAVE salary, $2,300 to defray housing expenses, up to $500 in travel support, and complimentary access to the KNI Laboratory for their research. The KNI strongly encourages students from all backgrounds, races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities, and abilities to apply. In order to be considered for the KNI SURF-the-WAVE prize, students must complete and submit a WAVE application through the Student-Faculty Programs website. Note the application deadline is January 9, 2023. Read full instructions and details here:

Successful WAVE applicants will be matched with faculty mentors and will develop the timeline and details for a summer research project together during the Winter/Spring term. The KNI SURF-the-WAVE (STW) prize will be awarded to selected incoming WAVE fellows, and will be notified of the supplemental award in late January/early February.

The 10-week in-person WAVE program officially begins in June 21 and runs until August 25, 2023.

We highly recommend that candidates learn about and reach out to individual faculty members with whom they would like to work prior to submitting their WAVE application. You may find more information about the KNI-affiliated faculty members on our website; however, candidates may work with non-affiliated KNI faculty as well, so long as the research project is related to nanoscience, e.g. quantum information, photonics, bio- or medical-engineering, sustainability, etc..

Caltech is now accepting applications for the 2023 WAVE Program. In order to be considered for the 2023 KNI SURF-the-WAVE Prize, you must submit a WAVE application before the Jan. 9 deadline.

If you have questions, please contact Tiffany Kimoto at

Caltech WAVE Program

Caltech's WAVE program was designed to promote diversity within STEM and activities and strives to ensure that differing cultural, ethnic, social, geographic, and economic perspectives are represented. The program is extended, but not limited, to underrepresented minorities, women, first-generation college students, geographically underrepresented students, educationally or financially disadvantaged students, and students with disabilities. Please visit the WAVE webpage for full details, application requirements and timelines.

Learn more about our previous KNI SURF-the-WAVE cohorts!

2022 Cohort

2021 Cohort

2020 Cohort

2019 Cohort