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Applications for the two-week, fully-supported summer program are due Jan. 21, 2022


LEAD, SD— The Davis-Bahcall Scholars Program is a once-in-a-lifetime, all-expense-paid opportunity that connects science-curious students with peers and mentors as they explore the modern world of STEM research.

Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) is now accepting applications for the 2022 summer program through Jan. 21, 2022.

The Davis-Bahcall Scholars Program is open to South Dakota high school seniors and first-year undergraduates who have an interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The program is designed to help early-career students develop an understanding of just where their passion for STEM could take them.

The 2022 program will run from June 18 to July 10. Scholars will spend three weeks exploring leading national and international laboratories and universities in the Black Hills, across the Midwest and in Chicago, Illinois.

“The program comes at a point in their education where they are choosing their future career path,” said program coordinator Brianna Mount, associate professor of physics at Black Hills State University (BHSU). “It’s a critical time because they get exposed to many different disciplines and learn early in their education what professionals do every day, whether in science, engineering or another STEM field.”

Whatever their background, all Davis-Bahcall Scholars have one thing in common: a passion for STEM. Through social gatherings and peer-to-peer work, students create lasting connections with like-minded peers. Students also gain mentors through in-depth conversations with the researchers, professors and industry leaders that propel research forward.

One student who participated in the 2021 program wrote: “The Davis-Bahcall Program offered an unparalleled glimpse into the scientific research community and industry. Without the opportunity to peer beyond what an undergraduate degree can truly do, it is extremely difficult for students to have enough information to feel confident in pursuing a career.”

Since 2009, 140 students have participated in SURF’s Davis-Bahcall Scholars Program. What began as a physics-oriented learning experience has evolved to include students from a variety of STEM interests. First PREMIER Bank and the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority are major sponsors of the program. The program is also supported by the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium and Black Hills State University. 

For more information about the program and application guidelines, visit the Davis-Bahcall Scholars webpage.

Sanford Underground Research Facility is operated by the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) with funding from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Our mission is to advance world class science and inspire learning across generations. Visit SURF at

More Information

Constance Walter
Communications Director
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PDF: SURF calls for applications for the 2022 Davis-Bahcall Scholars Program
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