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Sustainability and Earth Summer Undergraduate Research

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Spend your summer on science and engineering

The Sustainability and Earth Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SESUR) is a 10-week summer research program for Stanford undergraduates from any area of study who want to learn more about environmental science and the planet we live on. Students find a project - or propose one of their own - and work with a faculty member from the Doerr School of Sustainability in the lab or in the field (or remotely) through the summer. Students present their work at a fall scientific symposium.

Learn More

See what it's like

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Our program has been going strong for more than 15 years. Watch the video below of a previous cohort to get a sense of the SESUR experience.

Learn about the research findings of the 2020 SESUR students.  Due to the pandemic the normally in-person research symposium was transformed into this website where you can still learn from the SESUR students. 

Learn about the research findings of the 2020 SESUR students

2022 Research Symposium
Abstracts and Schedule

Meet some of our summer undergrad researchers

What you need to know

Available projects

See the list of projects proposed by faculty looking for undergraduate researchers. Each year these range from subjects as climate change effects on coral reefs to measuring the trajectory of mammal size growth. Remember, you are NOT limited to only the posted projects. We encourage you to reach out directly to faculty if you are interested in their research. 

All  research projects with travel or lab research will require a contingency plan if travel or access to labs is limited by University policy. 

Find a faculty sponsor

Students may apply to work with any faculty member in the departments of Energy Science and Engineering, Earth System Science, Geophysics or Earth and Planetary Sciences. Browse our faculty directory to see their research interests. If you are interested in working with someone you find there, contact them directly.


The stipend in 2023 is $7500 for 10 weeks of full time effort. There is also a needs-based supplement of up to $1500 based on financial need record.

Funding priority goes to current and prospective students in any of the departments and programs within the School of Sustainability who have not yet received departmental funding. Freshmen and sophomores receive priority, though juniors and seniors in their first research experience will be considered. Coterms are unlikely to get funded. 

Students who wish to conduct Honors research should apply for a Major Grant directly from Undergraduate Advising and Research. 

How to Apply

You will develop the project proposal with a faculty member (and likely a graduate student or post doc) who will act as your advisor(s). Your proposed faculty research advisor must approve your application. Once you submit it online, they will receive an email notification asking for approval.

Proposals are due on February 16, 2023.

Your Project Proposal
Application Form
Preview of the complete application PDF

Office Hours

Jennifer Saltzman profile

Jenny Saltzman, SESUR director, holds office hours in January-February to help with proposal writing.  Email Jenny with questions or to set up a time to talk any time of year.


FAQs for students

Find your questions answered here.

Mentor FAQ's

Mentor's questions answered here, plus tips from past mentors.

Info Sessions for Mentors in 2023 (summer 2024)

to be held in December

Contact Jennifer with your questions or to set up a meeting.

Still have questions?

Jennifer Saltzman profile
Jenny Saltzman

For more information, don't hesitate to contact Jenny Saltzman.  She is on campus usually on Wednesdays -Thursdays- Fridays and available by Zoom any day.