The Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program offers Randolph-Macon College students the unique opportunity to conduct nine weeks of full-time research during the summer months, under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Each summer, SURF allows students to delve deeply into an original research question and benefit from 1-on-1 interactions with faculty mentors who support them throughout all steps of the process, from formulating a hypothesis to the culminating presentation of their work.

Alumni often cite their SURF experience as instrumental in exposing them to focused, professional research and writing. SURF participants gain experience that is often reserved for graduate students at other institutions and sets them up for success if they choose to pursue graduate school after RMC.

Two people studying physics equations in a classroom.

applying to surf

Randolph-Macon students apply to the SURF program by writing a proposal in which they articulate the objective and process of their project. Proposals are evaluated by two faculty members, one in the discipline of the project and another outside the discipline who has related expertise. Approved SURF participants receive a $3,500 stipend and live free-of-charge in College housing for the summer.

At the conclusion of the SURF program each year, student researchers submit a written report and participate in a day-long symposium sharing their findings through oral, and poster presentations.


The SURF program was established in 1996 through a generous gift made by Ben ’64 and Peggy Schapiro. The Schapiros, along with many other friends of the College, continue to support this exceptional program, which promotes scholarly research by RMC students in all disciplines and cultivates an intentional learning community for students from different disciplines and programs based on their common endeavors of inquiry and discovery.

Ben '64 and Peggy Schapiro stand with President Lindgren at a presentation of SURF projects

SURF Co-Directors

Evie Terrono headshot

Evie Terrono


Serge Schreiner headshot

Serge H. Schreiner

The Dudley P. & Patricia C. Jackson Professor of Chemistry