New and expanded opportunities exist for undergraduate students to pursue research and scholarly or creative work in their disciplines during the summer. Some are fully or partially funded (meaning they pay a stipend and/or provide room and board), others are on a volunteer basis. These experiences can help you actively explore a field; they can also help you decide if you want to pursue a career as a research biochemist, an archaeologist or in the theater. In addition to helping you confirm your career goals, you can gain experience that may enhance acceptance to a graduate program or help you get a job after graduation.
Start identifying summer opportunities early. Not early April or May, but over the winter break. Many experiences accept a limited number of participants and fill up early. Make sure you know the application deadlines for the programs that interest you and apply on time — or early — if you can.
Summer Opportunity Examples and Resources
The Summer Scholars and Artists Program is a terrific summer research opportunity for Binghamton undergraduates. Administered by the Undergraduate Research Center, the program offers awards to support students conducting special research, scholarship or creative activities during the summer. These prestigious fellowships provide a stipend that allows students to work on full-time scholarly and creative activities with faculty mentors for eight weeks. Proposals from all academic disciplines are welcome. Each fellowship consists of a $3,000 student award and a $1,000 faculty award.
Deadline: Feb. 8, 2013
The Archaeological Institute of America provides scholarships to help students planning to participate in archaeological field work for the first time. Students majoring in archaeology or related disciplines are especially encouraged to apply. The Scholarship Fund provides $1,000 per recipient to help pay expenses associated with participation in an archaeological field work project (minimum stay one month/4 weeks). The scholarship is open to students who have begun their junior year of undergraduate studies at the time of application, seniors and those who have not yet completed their first year of graduate school at a college or university in the United States or Canada.
Deadline: March 1, 2013
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program
SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York
This program runs from June 10, 2013 through August 16, 2013 and is intended for students who are finishing their junior year and are good prospective candidates for careers in biomedical research. This program is designed and funded to attract students into PhD or MD/PhD training, not into MD programs. Each fellow receives a $3,000 stipend plus free on-campus housing.
Binghamton University and SUNY Upstate have an agreement that they will hold one slot per year in this SURF Program for a Binghamton undergraduate who plans a biomedical research career. This includes students who will eventually seek a PhD or MD/PhD in fields such as Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Cell and Developmental Biology, Microbiology and Immunology; Neuroscience; Pharmacology; or Physiology. Applicants must have at least a 3.70 GPA. If you would like to be considered for our nomination, please contact Janice McDonald, firstname.lastname@example.org, as soon as possible, but at the latest by February 1st.
Confirmation of interest in nomination: Contact Janice McDonald (email@example.com) by Feb. 1, 2013
Application Deadline: Feb. 15, 2013
The Undergraduate Research Center maintains a list of other potential opportunities and advice on pursuing research at particular research centers, museums, arts organizations or archives on its website. We strongly recommend that you seek advice on pursuing opportunities unique to your major or program from your department faculty. Also, an Internet search can produce valuable results.
Students are encouraged to check the Career Development Center's website for additional summer opportunities.