Summer Research Programs
Why should I participate in an Undergraduate Summer Research Program?
If you’re considering graduate study, participating in an undergraduate summer research program gives you the added edge needed to successfully apply to and complete graduate school. Many of these programs offer the opportunity to:
- conduct your own research in a modern laboratory
- learn from a faculty mentor
- network with graduate students and scientists in your field
- improve your research skills
- determine if graduate school is right for you
- enhance your writing and presentation skills
- attend scientific conferences or meetings
- attend graduate school seminars, training sessions, and GRE prep classes
- participate in social activities with other students and your lab group
In addition, many programs provide a stipend (i.e., pay) and/or undergraduate credit, PLUS housing, travel, and food allowances. Details vary by program; be sure to visit the program’s Web site or contact the program coordinator for more information.
Application deadlines and eligibility also vary by program, so be sure to review the program’s Web site or contact its coordinator for more information.
Here’s an evolving list of Research Experiences for Undergraduates at Universities across the nation. Most of these programs will update their web pages with current program dates and deadlines late in the Fall semester or early in the Spring Semester. You can check the links at any time to get a feel for the general timing of their program along with contact information and program details.
National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates
NSF funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites program. An REU Site consists of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers. Students are granted stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel. Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. An REU Site may be at either a US or foreign location.
By using the web page, Search for an REU Site, you may examine opportunities in the subject areas supported by various NSF units. Also, you may search by keywords to identify sites in particular research areas or with certain features, such as a particular location.
Students must contact the individual sites for information and application materials. NSF does not have application materials and does not select student participants. A contact person and contact information is listed for each site.
US Dept. of Energy, Office of Science
Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships - Spring, Summer & Fall Programs
This program places students in paid internships in Science, Math, and Technology at any of several different locations (see Choosing a Lab). The participants in the program have decided on a teaching career in one of these disciplines. Students work with scientists or engineers on projects related to the laboratories' research programs. They also have the mentorship of a Master Teacher who is currently working in K-12 education as a teacher and is familiar with the research environment of a specific National Laboratory. The different laboratories each offer different research opportunities (see Choosing a Lab).
The program only runs in the summer term. Summer programs at the various laboratories will run from late May to mid-August. The exact start date will depend on the laboratory and will be given to participants who have been accepted at that specific laboratory. Students are required to participate for the full term of the program.