Summer Undergraduate Program for Engaging with Research (SUPER)

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Welcome! Thank you for your interest in the SUPER fellowship program, sponsored by the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics (The Sanford School). As part of the Diversity and Inclusion Science Initiative (DISI), SUPER is interested in broadening our conception and understanding of diversity to include human characteristics seldom considered. As such, DISI especially welcomes students that will bring diversity to the program through characteristics such as race/ethnicity, gender, family structure, sexuality, income, religion, disabilities, language, and politics to name a few, as well as the intersection of these characteristics (e.g., people of color with disabilities, republican women, etc.).

The SUPER Fellowship program is designed to provide underrepresented (broadly defined) undergraduate students with exposure to research and careers related to the social sciences. We want to inspire students' engagement and future involvement in social science research.

The SUPER Fellowship will provide $2,400 for rising Sanford School juniors and seniors to participate in a 6-week research experience during session A of the Summer of 2018 (May 16-June 26, 2018). Students will engage in a research project under the direction and support of Sanford School faculty and postdoctoral research fellows. The fellowship experience will culminate with fellows presenting their completed research. Students that receive the SUPER fellowship must enroll in one-credit course during Session A of the 2018 Summer semester. Tuition costs for this course will be covered by the Sanford School.

The deadline for application is Friday, December 1, 2017, and the deadline for letter of recommendation is Friday, December 8, 2017.

Who is Eligible?

  • Students who will be a junior or senior in Fall of 2018, who are majoring or minoring in Family and Human Development or Sociology
  • Applicants who demonstrate that they are from underrepresented backgrounds as defined by DISI
  • You do not need to have previous research experience to apply

Program Duration:

The program will take place during Session A of the Summer of 2018. Fellows will spend 6 weeks in the program from May 16, 2018 to June 26, 2018

Program Components:

  • Research - expose underrepresented students to research in the social sciences, and provide students with meaningful, hands-on experience with research
  • Professional Development - explore careers in social sciences, develop students' career goals, and learn about the application process for graduate programs
  • Diversity in Research - discuss the challenges and opportunities for underrepresented groups in academia, and understand the importance and impact of considering diversity in social science research


  • Full participation (about 20-hours per week) in 6-week program
  • Complete an online survey when the program concludes

How to Apply:

Applications for Summer 2018 are no longer being accepted.

To apply for the SUPER Fellowship, please complete the online application.The online application form will ask you the following information:

  • Your career goals
  • Your interest in the program
  • How you will bring diversity to the program

A letter of recommendation from a faculty member or other academic professional is also required. When you apply, you will asked to submit your recommender's contact information. Once the application is submitted, your recommender will receive an email with a link to complete their recommendation.

The deadline for application is Friday, December 1, 2017, and the deadline for letter of recommendation is Friday, December 8, 2017.

Admissions Notifications:

Admission to the program will be announced on December 18, 2017.

2018 SUPER Fellows

Hannah Berendzen Hannah Berendzen

Major: Sociology

Minor: Family and Human Development

Year: Junior

Project: Impact of Parental Warmth on the Tendency to Withdraw: The Role of Gender

Hannah Pyatetskiy Hannah Pyatetskiy

Major: Family and Human Development Studies

Minor: Kinesiology

Year: Junior

Project: Effects of IEP's and Parental Involvement on School Readiness in Preschool Children with Disabilities

Cami Mcintire Cami Mcintire

Major: Family and Human Development

Minor: Women and Gender Studies

Year: Senior

Project: The Impacts of Home Learning Environments on Children Approaches to Learning

Robert Michael Tovar Robert Michael Tovar

Major(s): Communication and Family and Human Development

Year in school: Senior

Project: Head Start's Impact on Latinx/Hispanic and African-American Parental Depression Levels

Kira Olsen Medina Kira Olsen-Medina

Major: Sociology

Year: Senior

Project: Head Start Characteristics Impacting Teacher Perception of Center Climate

Paul Espinoza

Major: Sociology

Minors: Family and Human Development

Chinese Project: Impacts of Parent Participation During Head Start on Social Skills & Problem Behavior in Kindergarten

If you have any questions or if you require additional information, please contact Manuela Jimenez Herrera, Program Chair, at