The College encourages the active participation of students in research projects either working with faculty members on their research programs or working on projects of the student’s own design with extensive faculty consultation and oversight. Many talented students gain invaluable inquiry, library, laboratory and/or field training while working on research projects during the academic year and the summer break. Student research activities like these are made possible through external research grants obtained by individual faculty members, programmatic support to the College from gifts and outside funding sources, and College-supported research assistantships or grants.
The Summer Undergraduate Research Program, or “SURP,” enables students to conduct extended, focused research in close cooperation with a Pomona or collaborating faculty member, either on or off campus. Projects range across all disciplines.
The College supports students’ SURP work with research funds of up to $5,000 each for the summer project. A majority of the support for the SURP comes from donor funding. As a culmination of the students’ efforts, they will make a presentation of their summer research endeavors to the College community at the Intensive Summer Experience poster conference in the fall. In addition, students may apply for College support to present their results at a national conference. SURP projects frequently form the basis of a senior exercise project. Titles of a few recent SURP-projects include: “Developing the Relationship Between Cinema and Corporeal Mime,” “Documenting Wanga Syntax,” “Synthesis of Isotopically Labelled Dopamine,” and “Tracking and Characterizing the Orbits of Near Earth Asteroids.”