Program Description and Requirements | Eligibility Requirements |
Please read all sections of this page before you begin the application
Applications are encouraged from students who wish to work in
a modern academic research laboratory under the guidance of experienced scientists
and engineers. The program will expose students to the excitement and opportunities
of a research career. This experience will provide excellent preparation for
in subsequently pursuing a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.
Students apply for MURF by submitting an online application. They must also
request three letters of recommendation from faculty in relevant disciplines
or former research mentors. Students must also upload an unofficial transcript.
Applications will be evaluated by a faculty committee, which will select prospective
fellows from the applicant pool. Selected students will be matched with a mentor.
Fellowships will be offered when the match has been confirmed.
Students awarded a MURF fellowship will be required to submit a project plan
after consultation and collaboration with the mentor. The submission of the
project plan and fellowship forms by the deadline will constitute acceptance
of the award.
All documents will be submitted directly to the SFP online
system. The application includes:
- An online application
- Three letters of recommendation from faculty (at least two
in the relevant discipline)
- The applicant’s unofficial transcript.
Recommendation requests are completed online with the application
form. The online application will request recommender contact information
from the student. The recommender will then be emailed directly and asked
to submit his or her recommendation into the online system. Students
are required to submit three letters of recommendation. At least two
must be from faculty in the relevant fields at the student’s
college or university. The third may be from a former employer or faculty
outside the field.
Students are required to submit an unofficial transcript through the online
Applications are judged on the following criteria:
- Student has sufficient academic preparation to undertake a research project
- Application provides a clear description of
research interests, what the student has done to foster his/her interests,
student’s academic and career goals
- References are supportive
- Student’s research interests are aligned with
those of a mentor at Caltech or JPL
- Student is interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.
Notification of awards will be sent on a rolling basis in mid-March. Students will receive e-mail
notification of the outcome of their applications.
A vital part of the MURF process is the interaction between student
and mentor. MURF students are required to consult and collaborate
with their mentors immediately after the award has been offered to
discuss the project on which the student will work over the summer.
Students must submit a Project Plan outlining the project, what he/she
will do, and provide a timeline for accomplishing project goals.
This is the best time to find information about the project, the laboratory,
and the student’s role in the group. During the discussion, MURF
students should develop their expectations of what it will be like to
work in this group as well as the nature of their research projects. Guidelines
for consultation can be accessed here.
MURF is not "just a summer job"; a project should have significant
intellectual and creative content and the student should demonstrate
that he/she has taken intellectual ownership of the project.
Students receiving a MURF award will be required to write a project plan
after collaboration with their mentors. The project plan ensures communication
between you and your mentor and/or your co-mentor prior to the start
of your project. If well done, it shows that you have an understanding
of what you will do and why the work is necessary or desirable. It outlines
the approach you will take to carry out your task. It provides a schedule
or timeline for accomplishing the individual steps and overall goals
of your project, and it encourages your mentor and his or her staff to
make the arrangements necessary to accommodate you and your needs before
your arrival. See Guidelines for the Project Plan here.
Caltech is committed to equal opportunity for all persons without regard to sex, race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, pregnancy, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as disabled veteran, or other eligible veteran, for otherwise qualified individuals with a disability, or any other condition protected by the state and federal law. It is the policy of Caltech to provide a work and academic environment free of discrimination as required by federal and state law, including Title IX which prohibits discrimination based on sex in Caltech’s educational programs and activities. Caltech will take all reasonable steps to eliminate discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence in its work and academic environment. Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX may be referred to Caltech’s Title IX Coordinator who can be reached at TitleIXCoordinator@caltech.edu.
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