What are the chances of getting rejected from Caltech’s SURF if I am a non-Caltech student who already has a mentor? I’m starting to get very anxious about my summer plans.
Hard to predict without a lot more information.
OP, have you talked to your mentor? What is their take on it? The few students that I know that did SURF, were told by their mentors whether or not it was pretty much a done deal. I read on the website that they fund roughly 80% of the requests. I don’t know how they decide who not to fund. I suggest talking to your mentor. Its getting late to find other opportunities. Did you apply to anything else?
@brwntwnrepresent My son is also waiting to hear, though he is a student there.
The document at the following link doesn’t say how many applied, but there are stats about how many SURFs have gone to non-Caltech students in a report at https://sfp.caltech.edu/documents/469-surf_ar_2015-16_final.pdf on page 22.
Summary is that 138 of 449 SURFers were non-Caltech students in 2016.
The proposal will be reviewed by a faculty member in the project field along with your mentor. If your mentor is happy with the proposal you wrote and had a chance to read it prior to submittal, the chances are good. We were told 85% overall are approved.
If you have done a SURF before, they say they expect a better proposal. So, it’s good if this is your first SURF.
I also don’t know what categories the 15-20% not funded fall into. They may have insufficient grades or the proposal was poorly written. Also, there may be funding limitations for the JPL SURFs, which may be funded differently.