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Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

Undergrad researchers yield change-making results while refining career paths

Programs include paid summer undergrad research experiences


Artifact restoration gel being developed by undergrad researcher at The Citadel

Undergraduate researchers are vigorously engaged in discovery and learning at The Citadel throughout the year. Now more are being selected for paid research opportunities. For example, some cadets and students are helping the U.S. Department of Defense improve methods of identifying traumatic brain injury. One is looking into the potential results of future earthquake shockwaves in Charleston. Others are innovating a substance to use in the restoration of artifacts and artworks. They began their projects after being selected for Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE). The program provides stipends to the cadets and students, allowing them to be entirely focused on their research.


Traumatic brain injury assessment research with U.S. Dept. of Defense

“It’s a win-win situation for the students, the faculty and The Citadel,” said Professor Dena Garner, Ph.D., SURE director at the college. “When they are in a lab doing hands-on work, it becomes real. It helps them to improve their critical thinking abilities. It reinforces what they are learning in the classroom and improves relationship skills. Most importantly, they are producing results that make an impact and that can be used in real-world applications.”


Tracking eye movement for traumatic brain injury research at The Citadel

Cadets and students selected for the SURE program receive stipends of $2,500 for a 5-6 week program, and $4,000 for an 8-10 week experience. Faculty members also receive a stipend for working with the students. The funding comes from a combination of grants and support from the Office of the Provost.


Cadet Tinslee Dilday (right) with Professor Rebecca Hunter in Citadel chemistry lab inventing a new compound to save and restore artifacts

“Our program is still new—we have eleven cadets and students. Our goal is to get National Science Foundation funding for our SURE program in the future in order to increase the number of participants,” Garner said.

For more information about The Citadel’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experience, or other research opportunities please click here, or email


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