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Bailey College of Science and Mathematics

Enhancing lives through learning, discovery and innovation

Website Update

Frost Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)FAQs

Frost Research faculty and student in labThis information is for students and faculty who will participate in the Frost Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP). If you have questions about applying for Frost SURP, please contact your department.

View Bailey College Directory for department contact info.


What do I need to complete in order to participate in Frost SURP?

Your department will provide instructions for you to complete the following:

  • Environmental Health and Safety Volunteer Form
  • Frost Research Fellow Student Agreement
  • Enrollment in the first summer session of UNIV 421, a zero unit, zero cost course.
  • Sign up for direct deposit (strongly recommended but not required)

Can I take classes or work while participating in Frost SURP?

We expect that Frost Research Fellows will participate in Frost SURP full time during the 8-10 weeks of the program. Students taking summer classes (except for the required zero-unit UNIV 421 course) are not eligible to participate. 

How should the Frost Fund be acknowledged on posters, presentations and papers?

Please use the acknowledgment sentence below:

This research was generously supported by the William and Linda Frost Fund in the Cal Poly Bailey College of Science and Mathematics.

The above sentence is also included in the student agreement.

What is the difference between Frost Research Fellows, Frost Research Scholars, and Frost Scholars?

  • Frost Research Fellows are participants in Frost SURP who are paid a Frost Undergraduate Research Award.
  • Frost Research Scholars are recipients of a $10,000 scholarship for continuing students that includes the guaranteed opportunity to participate in Frost SURP, which comes with the $4,500 award. For more information, please see Frost Research Scholarship FAQs.
  • Frost Scholars are recipients of a previous scholarship for incoming students, which has been replaced with the Frost Research Scholarship. The final cohort of Frost Scholars was admitted in Fall 2021.


When are Frost Undergraduate Research Awards disbursed?

The $4,500 student awards are disbursed by the end of July. The timing is also listed on the student agreement each Frost Research Fellow signs. Most awards are posted by the end of the third week in July, but end of July is when we commit to having them posted.

Is it possible to receive Frost Undergraduate Research Award more quickly?

We are not able to disburse the awards more quickly because we are unable to begin processing the awards prior to July 1, the start of the fiscal year. After that, it takes about 10 business days for the award posting process to be completed by Financial, plus 3-5 days for Student Accounts to “refund” the award to the student. If a student is not signed up for direct deposit, this will add several days to the process.

How do I sign up for direct deposit?

Sign up for direct deposit for student accounts refunds via the Cal Poly Portal ( Money Matters Tab, using the "Direct Deposit for Refunds" link that can be found in under Self Service.

How will I receive the award if I don’t sign up for direct deposit?

For students not signed up for direct deposit specifically for Student Accounts refunds, payment checks will be mailed to the address in the student’s portal. If opting for this method of payment, please ensure the address is correct, and anticipate that the processing will take several extra days.

Student Accounts shows my award will be less than $4,500. Why is that?

When Financial Aid posts the awards to Student Accounts, it may temporarily appear as though future tuition and fees will be deducted from the award amount. However, this is not the case, and it will self-correct. The only instance when the award amount may be reduced is if the awardee has past due tuition and fees, which is rare.

Will registering late for UNIV 421 delay award payment?

Yes, late registration for UNIV 421, the required zero unit and zero cost course, may delay award payment. It may also result in a late registration fee.

Is the Frost Undergraduate Research Award taxable?

Students who receive the Frost stipends receive a 1098-T with the amount they received in a calendar year listed on Box 5.  Please see Student Accounts for information on how students can access their 1098-T.  Whether an award is taxable depends on each student’s specific annual income, and is best answered by the student’s tax preparer or tax accountant.  For more information, please visit the offical IRS webpage on "Scholarships, fellowship grants, and other grants" at


How much are the faculty mentor payments?

  • 1 student = $1,500  
  • 2 students = $3,000  
  • 3 students = $4,000  
  • 4 students = $5,000
  • 5 students = $6,000 (this is the maximum)  

When will the faculty mentor stipends be paid?

Faculty Service Payments for Frost SURP will be issued at the end of August if the required Academic Personnel AdobeSign form (AP131) is signed and received by Academic Personnel for e-signature by August 5. Forms signed August 6-September 5 will have payments issued at the end of September.

How will the faculty mentor stipend payments be paid?

Faculty signed up for direct deposit for reimbursement-type payments will receive the stipend in their direct deposit bank account. Faculty not signed up for direct deposit for reimbursements will have a check issued and generated and sent to the department office, which may delay payment significantly.

How do faculty sign up for direct deposit for the faculty stipend?

  1. Log into My Cal Poly Portal.
  2. Click “Personal Info”tab in the top nav bar.
  3. Click “My Job Tasks” near the bottom.
  4. Click “Enroll in Direct Deposit for Employee Reimbursements and follow instructions.

Can a faculty mentor split a stipend with a colleague if they are co-mentoring a student?

Yes, but please make sure you communicate this to your department’s Frost SURP faculty coordinator before June. 

Who is eligible to receive a Frost SURP faculty mentor stipend?

Full-time continuing academic-year faculty who will be on pay status in Fall Quarter and continuing graduate students are eligible to receive a Frost faculty mentor stipend. 

Who is not eligible to receive a Frost SURP faculty mentor stipend?

Twelve-month employees, such as chairs or Frost Postdoctoral Research Fellows, are not eligible. In addition, faculty who will be taking a leave of absence or will otherwise not be in full time pay status during the start of the upcoming academic year are not eligible to receive a mentor stipend. 

Can a Frost Research Scholar have a different faculty mentor than usual for the summer? 

Yes, if for some reason a faculty member is unable to fulfill their commitment to mentor a Frost Research Scholar during the summer due to unforeseen circumstances, another faculty member can fill in. Please communicate this by email to help ensure the mentor stipend goes to the correct faculty member.

Can an incoming faculty member receive a mentor stipend?

No, faculty mentor stipends can only go to current faculty. 

When and how are the Frost SURP Department Faculty Coordinator stipends issued?

Frost SURP Department Faculty Coordinator stipends of $1,000 are paid at the end of October though a Faculty Service Payment.  


Can a graduate student receive a faculty mentor stipend if they are co-mentoring an undergraduate research student?

Yes, this can be done if the faculty member provides the department Frost SURP coordinator with these details prior to June, and the Frost SURP coordinator enters this in the department spreadsheet tab:

  1. Name of graduate student co-mentor
  2. Name(s) of undergraduate student(s) they will co-mentor

Can a faculty mentor split a stipend payment with a graduate student?

No, the graduate student can only receive the full amount ($1,000-1,500) per student mentored.

When and how are graduate students’ co-mentor stipends issued?

Stipends for graduate students are split into three equal monthly payments, with the first payment typically taking place at the beginning of August. Graduate students should refer to the AdobeSign form (AP101-S) they sign for their graduate assistant appointment for the exact payment amounts. Graduate students who have not received payment by mid-August should contact Payroll Services directly to find out the status of their payment.

Can an incoming graduate student receive the co-mentor stipend?

No, because the stipend is paid via graduate assistant appointment, it cannot be paid to incoming graduate students.

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