Frequently Asked Questions
1. When does SURP start?
Please plan to arrive on Saturday, May 20 or Sunday, May 21, 2017.
Ms. Carol Williams will be your contact for information about housing and related details. If you should have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call her at (412) 648-9003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you cannot get in touch with Ms.Williams, then address your concerns to Dr. Penny Morel email@example.com.
2. 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 dorm and sharing a room. SURP students will be housed in Pennsylvania Hall.
- Info about University Housing in General
- Info on Pennsylvania Hall
- (Note: See FAQ #6 for hints about mail.)
- Detailed info about Residence Services
Some specifics about Pennsylvania Hall 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 room will open the entrance door to your room. The bedrooms are furnished with a chest of drawers, single bed and desk and have ample closet space. Each bedroom has bathroom facilities with a sink, shower and toilet. You will need to bring with you your own bedding including pillow,extra long twin size sheets, blankets and towels. Janitorial services are not provided, so you will be responsible for keeping your suite clean. Each dorm suite comes with a refrigerator and a microwave.
*Residence Halls do not include kitchens.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Are there social activities planned that are not work based?
We have organized a Pirates game and a welcome event as early as possible. For the most part, we leave the organizing of social events up to the group. Pittsburgh has lots of nearby attractions, including water parks, amusement parks, museums, professional baseball, rafting, and so on. We encourage each member of the summer program to "organize" a group activity for a different weekend. The activities of course will depend on what the group is interested in doing.
6. 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 dorm room that is separate from the phone line?
All University of Pittsburgh buildings are equipped with Wi-Fi, and all dorm rooms 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, bypassing the phone/modem. You will need to bring an Ethernet cord.
7. What should I use for my 10-week mailing address?
See the Residence Services link in FAQ #2 for the standard University answer for students who will be in their dorm room for 2 semesters. Once a room is assigned to you, you can use that service.
University of Pittsburgh
3990 Fifth Avenue
Tower B Mail Room
SURP PA Hall [Room Number]
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
8. 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 mielage 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.
9. When will I receive my stipend checks?
You will receive $500 on the first day as start-up money. The remaining $3,000 stipend will be paid in two equal allotments, the last working day of the month. 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.
10. 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, or you can contact Ms. Williams by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 412-648-9003 if necessary. Your payroll information must be set up before you arrive in May.
In addition to the trainings you must complete during the orientation day, there is a web training session you must complete before you arrive in May. All individuals must complete Module 1, Research Integrity, as well as the sessions provided at orientation before they are permitted
to work in a lab. To create an account and access the training module visit
11. Can you provide me with travel directions and how do I check in?
See this web site for travel directions. Once you arrive on campus, you can go directly to Panther Central to check into your room. Check in at the Main Desk (open 24 hours); you will receive an information packet and a room assignment. You can borrow a luggage cart for a $20 deposit (100% refunded with the cart's return).
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 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 under Search Option 2. 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
12. Are there other "maps" I would find useful?
- ID Center
- U (parking garage)
- Pennsylvania Hall (dorm)
- Scaife Hall
- University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) (Hillman Cancer Center)
- School of Medicine
- Cellomics Building
- John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center
13. Anything special I need to know about Checkout?
Yes. Check out time is 11:00 am on Saturday, August 1, 2015. The RA's will check each room with the student present. The RA will bring the Room Condition Report which is signed initially at move in. The RA and Student can complete the form together before move out.
14. 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.
15. 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 U Lot is located near Pennsylvania Hall. Interested students should contact Carol Williams email@example.com.
16. 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.
routes & shuttles (Panther Central List)