KNI SURF-the-WAVE Fellowships

KNI SURF-the-WAVE fellowships image header

The Kavli Nanoscience Institute at the California Institute of Technology established the SURF-the-WAVE Prize Fellowships program to offer opportunities for motivated undergraduates interested in carrying out a summer research project in nanoscience. Working in conjunction with Caltech’s Student-Faculty Program office and its summer undergraduate research fellowships programs, KNI SURF-the-WAVE Prize Fellowships are designed for non-Caltech undergraduates who plan to pursue a PhD in science or engineering. The KNI is an active supporter of diversity and inclusion on campus; students from underrepresented backgrounds in the sciences are encouraged to apply.

It is highly recommended that candidates reach out to individual faculty members or KNI technical staff with whom they would like to work prior to submitting SURF applications. You may find more information about KNI faculty board members and KNI-affiliated faculty members on our website.

Successful candidates will develop and conduct a research project and work alongside Caltech faculty, staff, graduate student researchers and/or postdoctoral scholars throughout the 10-week period. During the course of the summer, SURF-the-WAVE Prize fellows will participate in activities within the KNI community as well as other events sponsored by Caltech’s SURF and WAVE programs office.

This prize fellowship covers the SURF or WAVE full salary, as well as up to $2,000 to defray housing expenses.


Caltech SURF and WAVE Program Information

Caltech's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program is one of the “crown jewels” of Caltech. Since 1979, SURF students have had the opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of experienced mentors working at the frontier of their fields. Students experience the process of research as a creative intellectual activity from beginning (defining and developing a project) to end (presenting their results at SURF Seminar Day).

Caltech's WAVE program was designed to promote diversity within its educational programs 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.


Applications for Summer 2020 Fellowships are closed. Please check back in late Fall for next Summer 2021 program details.

Please direct any inquiries about the KNI SURF-the-WAVE Prize Fellowships program to: kni@caltech.edu.

Read about our 2020 cohort of KNI SURF-the-WAVE Prize fellows here and our 2019 KNI SURF-the-WAVE Prize fellows here.