SURP FAQ's

When does SURP start?

Please plan to arrive on Saturday, May 18 or Sunday, May 19, 2019.  Ms. Carol Williams will be your contact for information about housing and related details. I f you should have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call her at (412) 648-9003 or email Carol Williams. If you cannot get in touch with Ms.Williams, then address your concerns to Dr. Penny Morel .

What dorm will I be in and will I have a roommate?

If you accept the housing we provide, you will be living in a University of Pittsburgh apartment and sharing a room. SURP students will be housed in Bouquet Gardens.

Some specifics about Bouquet Gardens will follow. Please pick up your keys at the Panther Central in the lobby of the Litchfield Towers (open 24/7) during check-in where you will receive your key card and room assignments. When you collect your keys, ask where you can "park" during unloading, if you need that info. The key card for your apartment will open the entrance door to your apartment. You will be assigned a shared bedroom - each shared bedroom has bathroom facilities with a sink, shower and toilet. Bedding, blankets, and towels will be provided. Janitorial services are not provided, so you will be responsible for keeping your suite clean.  Each apartment comes with a living room and full kitchen.

Are there certain hours that I will be working each day or is it more "come in when you need to"?

The minimum expectation is that every student will work a full 40-hour week, on a regular schedule. For example, you might start at 8:00 am, work till 12:00, take a 30-minute lunch break, and then work 12:30-4:30.  Students who want their project to progress more rapidly are welcome to put in additional hours as they see fit and in agreement with their advisors.  As you will discover, our research groups are extremely active with most graduate students and post-doctoral fellows putting in additional hours in the evening and on Saturday.  At all times, safety is of paramount concern and so the policy of never working alone in a laboratory is rigorously enforced. The Program Director encourages you to explicitly discuss your exact working hours with your research advisor at your first meeting.

Are meals provided?

Although there is no meal plan provided, your stipend will be ample enough to purchase food throughout the summer.  Also, meals are served for students at many of the seminars, workshops and formal talks.

Are there social activities planned that are not work based?

We have an organized trip to a Pirates baseball game and a welcome event  of a city tour. We also organize a trip to an amusement park. We leave the organizing of other social events up to the group. Pittsburgh has lots of nearby attractions, including water parks, museums, rafting, and so on. We encourage each member of the summer program to "organize" a group activity during their stay. The activities will depend on what the group is interested in doing.

I have a computer and I am hoping that I will be able to bring it with me. Will I have internet access in my room?

All University of Pittsburgh buildings are equipped with Wi-Fi, and all apartments are hard-wired with Ethernet ports. We will have Pitt Computer Accounts for you when you arrive. Thus, you will be able to connect to the Wi-Fi or Ethernet directly from your room.  You will need to bring an Ethernet cord.

What should I use for my 10-week mailing address?

Your Name
University of Pittsburgh
3990 Fifth Avenue
Tower B Mail Room
SURP Bouquet Gardens [Apartment Number]
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Is air travel to and from Pittsburgh provided?

Yes. We will book and pay for your flight to and from Pittsburgh through our campus travel agency.  Participants who drive will be reimbursed for mileage or the equivalent of an airline ticket up to $500, whichever is the lowest cost.  The mileage travel expense will be reimubrsed after the end of the program.

Any unspent travel allowance may be used to purchase bus passes for use during your stay and will also be reimubrsed after the end of the program.

When will I receive my stipend checks?

Typically, you will receive $500 by the end of the first month (May) as start-up money. The remaining $3,000 stipend will be paid in two equal allotments, the last working day of June and July.  Depending on the source of funding, taxes could be withheld from your stipend.  The June and July checks will be direct deposited to your checking account. Be sure to bring a picture ID. 

What paperwork will I need to complete or bring with me?

Your payroll administrator for our summer program will have been in contact with you requesting specific information that is required to be able to issue your stipend check. You can contact Ms. Williams or by phone 412-648-9003 if necessary. Your payroll information must be set up before you arrive in May. Accepted students will receive further information regarding required training.

Can you provide me with travel directions and how do I check in?

You need to check in at Panther Central. Directions to Panther Central (412-648-1100) - main housing office, to get room assignemnt, and access cards.

Driving directions: assumes coming from I-376 Bates Street Exit or Boulevard of the Allies, Forbes Avenue exit.

From the corner of Forbes Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard (the West side of the Cathedral of Learning is directly in front of you):

  1. Turn LEFT onto Bigelow and go up one block
  2. Turn LEFT on Fifth Avenue (staying out of the far left lane. This is a bus lane that opposes traffic.)
  3. Pass the turn-around in front of the William Pitt Union and proceed 200 feet to first driveway (between PNC Bank and Book Center).
  4. Turn LEFT into the small quad. Proceed into second set of buildings (Brackenridge Hall is to the front, right side). Park or have taxi wait there. If parking, make sure to put money in meter or you will be ticketed!
  5. Proceed on foot to Panther Central by walking up stairs or wooden ramp to the Litchfield Towers (three large round buildings) complex.
  6. Turn RIGHT into lobby.  Panther Central is in the lobby on the right side. (The entrance to Litchfield Towers Lobby from Fifth Avenue is closed due to construction.)

If you are coming by air, when you arrive at the airport proceed to the “Ground Transportation” area. Your options to get to Pitt are:

  • Port Authority public bus service, 28X Airport Flyer, about $2.75 cash one-way. This stops at Forbes Ave. and Bouquet St., near the dorm. For a schedule of times and stops, go to Port Authority and select 28X-Airport Flyer, inbound. You must handle your own luggage on & off the shuttle.
  • Airlines Transportation Company (800) BLUE VAN (800-258-3826) $22.00 one way/every hour, to hotels in the University area. The shuttle is marked “Super Shuttle”. You can get off at the Holiday Inn, but you will have to walk several blocks to Panther Central in the lobby of the Litchfield Towers.
  • Taxicab, ~$50 from airport to Pitt campus. You can call Peoples Cab at (412) 441-3200 or Yellow Cab at (412) 321-8100
  • UBER

Are there other links I would find useful?

ID Center
Bouquet Gardens Apartments
Scaife Hall
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) (Hillman Cancer Center)
School of Medicine
Cellomics Building
John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center

Anything special I need to know about Checkout?

Yes. Check out time is 11:00 am on Saturday, July 27, 2019. 

Is there a packet of Welcome Information that I should expect to receive as part of this program?

Welcome Information will be emailed to you.

I want to bring a car, what can you tell me about parking on campus?

Students living in the residence hall can purchase Parking Permits. The cost is $5 per day M-F and free on weekends (i.e., approximately $240 for the 10 weeks of the summer program). When you arrive on campus, the Posvar Parking Garage is located near Bouquet Gardens. Interested students should contact Carol Williams.

How do I get around town if I don't have a car?

The campus is small enough (132 acres) to navigate from end to end on foot. Plus, the campus shuttle and van call system can get you anywhere on campus you may want to go 24/7. And, if there is something going on off campus, like shopping, a concert or show, students can ride public transportation throughout the county by purchasing a Connect Card