December - February 8: First priority applications accepted online
February 9 - March 1: First priority applications reviewed.
March: Candidates references may be contacted and interviews will be scheduled.
May - September: SCEC/SURE program. Interns participate for 8-10 consecutive weeks in this time frame, with specifics dependent upon mentor and project.
June 11 - August 3: SCEC/USEIT 8 week program.
September 9 - 12: SCEC Annual Meeting

Program Overview

The Southern California Earthquake Center/Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SCEC/SURE) pairs a student, one-on-one, to conduct research with a pre-eminent earthquake scientist or specialist. Many SURE interns also have the opportunity to work alongside graduate students and post-doctoral researchers, and thus gain the special perspective of these early career professionals.

Since 1994, SCEC/SURE has supported students to work in a very wide variety of fields related to earthquake science, including paleoseismic field investigations, remote sensing, risk mitigation, seismic velocity modeling, effects of earthquakes on natural resources such as groundwater, science education, information technology, and earthquake engineering.

View the list of projects from previous years for examples of research conducted by previous SURE interns. Projects from previous years can be accessed HERE. This will help us to match you with appropriate scientists and projects. Most projects for SURE interns require some knowledge of geology, geophysics, or geotechnical engineering, and thus most SURE interns are juniors or seniors majoring in those fields; however, mentors do sometimes have projects without required coursework or other restrictions.

There are typically numerous applicants interested in every project. A review committee matches finalists with appropriate projects and then each mentor selects among those finalists.

Program Goals


SCEC/SURE was established to:

  1. provide hands-on research experience for undergraduates and expand student participation in the earth sciences and related disciplines
  2. encourage students to consider careers in research and education
  3. interest, train, and retain talented students, including women, members of underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and students outside the earth sciences

Student Compensation


Each SCEC/SURE intern is paid a stipend of $6500 for 8-10 weeks of research. The length of the internship depends on the project and on the internship schedule that each mentor and intern will create in late spring. This stipend must be used to pay for food, housing, and incidental costs.