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Explore Energy is a cross-campus effort of the Precourt Institute for Energy.

Summer Undergraduate Program on Energy Research

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Housed in the Precourt Institute for Energy, the Summer Undergraduate Program on Energy Research (SUPER) provides Stanford undergraduates opportunities to engage in energy research with the support of faculty mentors, educational programs, and cohort experiences. Students from across the University come from all disciplines to bring their perspective to the global energy challenges. The program prepares students to engage as professionals in tackling real world problems.

Audrey's advice: Your summers are valuable periods of your undergraduate education to engage in real world experiences. And, importantly, it's a time where you can get paid for the work you are doing. While conducting world class research at Stanford, you are supported with a $7500 stipend for 10 weeks at full time effort with a supplemental stipend available based on financial need. 

Program particulars:

  • The program runs for 10 weeks: June 24 through August 30, 2024.
  • Stanford students who will be enrolled as an undergraduate the following Fall '24 Quarter are eligible. 
  • Summer scholars will be engaged in on-campus research (field work or remote work may be an option on a case-by-case basis).
  • There are no pre-requisites to participate in the SUPER program. Priority is given to frosh, sophomores, and those who have never experienced research before.

Student Requirements

  • Participate in spring quarter research preparation activities (faculty mentor meeting & research cohort dinner)
  • Engage in full-time work effort (35+ hrs/wk) for the 10 week summer program
  • Attend the weekly seminar series during the summer, which includes lectures by faculty and workshops on scientific communication
  • Participate in cross-cohort experiences throughout the summer as availability allows, which include cohort lunches and field trips
  • Complete a 250-500 word synopsis with a figure or image summarizing your research accomplishments
  • Participate in a research symposium with a poster or oral presentation to showcase your work

Faculty Requirements

  • Provide mentorship and support for your summer scholar. For most, this will be their first time experiencing what research is like. We recommend weekly meetings with your student.
  • Participate as availability allows in the weekly sustainability seminar series during the summer if invited to speak to the students. 
  • Participate as availability allows in cohort activities during the summer, which may include occasional lunches and field trips. 
  • Attend the Fall SDSS undergraduate research symposium to support your student's research presentation as availability allows. 

The Application Process


1. Students can either:


2. Students will then develop a project proposal with the faculty member (and likely a graduate student or postdoc) who will serve as additional research mentor(s). The proposal will include:

  • Written summary: 1000 word limit (not including references; note: references are not required) ~ roughly 2 pages double spaced
    • Summarize the research question(s) that you and your mentors plan to answer.
    • Answer the question, why is this research important?
  • Proposed summer work plan: 1 page limit
    • Describe what you will be doing this summer with a rough breakdown by week.
    • Please include the skills you will be developing, types of data collection or modeling you will do, location or field site, etc.


3. The project proposal will then be submitted, and students will be notified in early spring whether their project has been funded for the summer. 

For specific details, see the timeline below. The 2024 application call will open in December 2023. Check back then for more information.


Oct - DecFaculty - research mentors submit project teasers
Dec 1Available projects proposed by research mentors posted
Dec 15Applications for SUPER open
Feb 15Applications for SUPER close
Mar 1Notification of finalists
Mar 15Acceptance deadline
Jun 24SUPER program commences
Aug 30SUPER program closes
OctSDSS Undergraduate Research Symposium
Rachael Madison

Rachael's advice: Don't be afraid to reach out to faculty to ask whether they would be interested in taking you on as a summer research scholar. Our faculty are happy to provide mentorship opportunities for students. Questions about the application process or the program in general that weren't answered on our FAQ page? Email Rachael Madison at

SUPER was launched in 2015 to:

  • Provide undergraduates with opportunities for hands-on research experience and faculty mentorship in the field of energy
  • Expose students to a range of energy research projects that may help them identify an interest area they wish to pursue further
  • Raise energy literacy to provide students with a better understanding of energy systems, opportunities, and challenges
  • Nurture interest in energy-related careers early in the students’ experience through exposure to energy research and professional opportunities
  • Develop a cross-campus community of undergraduates with an interest in energy

Today, we've supported nearly 100 SUPER scholars in pursuing energy research at Stanford.

Pascal in the lab

Apply to SUPER and see what you can do!

Check out actual student experiences with SUPER!

Avni's takeover

Avni Vats, ’26, took over our Instagram on Aug. 22 to share a day in her life as a summer undergraduate researcher. Working with John Baniecki as part of SUPER, Vats is helping develop non-volatile ferroelectric memory devices for more energy efficient computing.

Check it out!

Matt's takeover

Matthew Charles, '25, made a short Instagram story on Aug. 30 to share his experiences on our CA High Speed Rail field trip. The tour included a discussion about Caltrain electrification, a tour of the Salesforce Transit Center, and a sneak peak of the new train box for the new high speed rail in San Francisco.

Check it out!