Opportunities at Outside Institutions
Many opportunities are available for fellowships and jobs for both sophomores and juniors from outside institutions and from other universities; a few programs also invite applications from first-year students (rising sophomores). In addition to the opportunities listed here, the Career Services Office maintains a list of summer opportunities available in specific locations. Some summer research opportunities have deadlines as early as December; investigating these opportunities in mid- to late-fall will give students maximum flexibility in applying to programs that are suited to their interests and needs.
Course work is also available in the summer and may lead to a really good job the next summer. (If you take a course in marine biology one summer you may be hired as an instructor the next year!)
Summer Research Elsewhere
As noted above, Swarthmore has some funds to support students working off-campus. In addition, there are dozens of other colleges, universities, and government and private institutions that provide paid research opportunities. A small subset of these is listed below - a Google search for [summer research biology] returns a number of appropriate hits - further narrowing down your search by geographic area or sub discipline within biology can help you focus on programs that are the best match for you.
A number of students have found positions by directly emailing faculty working in areas of interest. For the best results, write a short email describing your own interests and how they specifically intersect with the person you are emailing. While it is great to attach a CV/resume to the document, try to include in your short email your relevant coursework so that the person can get some sense about you quickly. Point out that all of your science courses have had laboratories - this is not the case at most institutions. Swarthmore students generally have more lab experience as first- and second-year students as many students graduating from other institutions.
[Please note: a few programs have deadlines in December, while many others have deadlines in January and February]
NIH & NSF
Bioengineering and Bioinformatics Summer Institutes (BBSI) Program.
To provide students majoring in the biological sciences, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics, and physical sciences with interdisciplinary bioengineering or bioinformatics research and education experiences at mulitple locations.
Emergent Behavior of Integrated Cellular Systems -NSF Science and Technology Center
A collaborative effort involving teams from Georgia Tech, MIT, and University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign as well as at a number of other minority-serving institutions.
An NSF research coordination network for undergraduate internships. The deadline is March 1st of each year.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Summer Internship Program in Biomedical research (SIP)
An opportunity to spend a summer working at the NIH with some of the leading scientists in the world, in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP)
The NIH offers competitive scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to careers in biomedical, behavioral, and social science. Stipend includes scholarship for yearly tuition + summer stipend.
National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates
The NSF has listings of many programs ranging from astrobiology, climate change and landscape ecology to molecular biology, genomics, and biomechanics. Includes field (terrestrial and marine) and lab research, mostly domestic programs but also a few foreign opportunities.
Scientific Societies and Other Sources for Jobs
American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
(fish, amphibians, reptiles)
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
Comprehensive listings for mainly biomedical opportunities.
Center for North American Herpetology
The study of reptiles and amphibians.
Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN)
list of neuroscience internship opportunities
Oak Ridge Institute For Science and Education (ORISE) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
Locations include CA, CO, ID, IL, MD, NJ, NM, OH, SC, TN, VA, & WA
Summer Institutes for Training in Biostatistics (SIBS)
SIBS is offered at three sites: Boston University, North Carolina State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Further details are given at the individual websites listed on the flyer.
For Students from groups that are Underrepresented in Science
Caltech WAVE program
$6,000 stipend plus housing and travel
The National Eye Institute (NEI)
Diversity in Vision Research and Ophthalmology (DIVRO) summer internship program
NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
NIAID Research Opportunities (INRO)
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP)
Competitive scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to careers in biomedical, behavioral, and social science. Stipend includes scholarship for yearly tuition + summer stipend.
UNCF-Merck Undergraduate Science Research Scholarship For African Americans in biomedical research Stipend: Scholarship for yearly tuition + summer stipend.
U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy
The Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship is geared to women and under-represented minorities in math, science, engineering, and technology majors. Designed to promote career paths in Fossil Energy to ensure clean, affordable energy utilization.
Washington State University
Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) aimed at underrepresented students who are interested in Neuroscience, Cell Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, Biochemistry, and/or global health.
Compiled Listings From Other Institutions
Individual Programs Listed by State/Country
Note: Check each institution for application deadline. Most are due in February.
Auburn University: NSF-REU on Biosensors.
This multi-discipnary, multi-departmental REU program is open to all undergraduates enrolled in Biology, Chemistry, and Engineering.
California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, California)
Amgen Scholars Program at Caltech
Caltech recently received a $1M grant for the Amgen scholars program.
$5,500 award, round-trip air transportation, plus a generous housing and food allowance.
Minority Undergraduate Research Fellowship (MURF) at Caltech
For underrepresented minorities in science and engineering research
Stipend: Yes ($6,000)
Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific
Stipend: Mostly volunteer
NASA sponsored Student Airborne Research Program (SARP) at the University of California Irvine and the NASA Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, CA
Airborne research, hands on experience with airborne instrumentation, flight experience on a research data flight.
Pepperdine University: SURB summer undergrad research in biology
University of California San Diego
USC Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations
Global Environmental Microbiology (GEM) focusing on microbes found in aquatic environments
The Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels (C2B2)
A collaboration among the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado State University, Colorado School of Mines and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Metropolitan State University of Denver Summer Research Opportunities in Colorado
List of summer research opportunities in the state of Colorado
University of Colorado at Boulder Summer Multicultural Access to Research Training (SMART)
Yale University School of Medicine
Biomedical Science Training and Enrichment Program (BioSTEP)
Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
The Nemours Summer Undergraduate Research Scholarship
Early (January) deadline!
Behavioral Research Advancements in Neuroscience (BRAIN)
Georgia Regents University (GRU)
Student Training and Research (STAR) biomedical sciences
University of Iowa, SUMR Summer Undergraduate MSTP Research Program. Sponsored by the Iowa Medical Scientist Training Program, offers exposure to the career of physician-scientist for students interested in future combined MDPhD training. A wide variety of research areas.
Northwestern University Summer REU.
9-week, paid summer research experience for undergraduates. Research areas include ceramics, polymers, nanocomposites, photonics, nanoparticles, molecular electronics and biomaterials.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP)
Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge)
Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program
Maryland Sea Grant's Summer Research Experiences
For undergraduates in estuarine science, Spend a summer by the Chesapeake Bay
University of Maryland Baltimore County Biomedical research experiences for U.S. citizens and permanent resident undergraduates, particularly those underrepresented in these areas.
BROAD Institute of MIT and Harvard designed for non-graduating underrepresented minority undergraduate students with an interest in genomics and biomedical research
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship at Boston University (SURF)
For all students, especially underrepresented minorities
Harvard Summer Undergraduate Program in Immunology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
summer research program in the Biological and biomedical sciences (MSRP Biology)
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Michigan State University Kellogg Biological Station (KBS)
Ecology, evolutionary biology, and sustainable agriculture
University of Michigan College of Pharmacy
This is a newly funded NSF REU Program
University of Michigan Biological Station
University of Missouri-Columbia
Research projects in the areas of biology, biochemistry, radiochemistry, and plant genomics are typically available for the summer program.
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center: Internships in Plant Biology Research.
Stowers Institute Summer Scholars Program
Kansas City, 8-week program.
Washington University (St. Louis) The Biomedical Research Apprenticeship Program (BioMedRAP)
Nebraska Redox Biology Center
Research areas include molecular medicine, environmental biochemistry, and plant biochemistry.
Monmouth University School of Science
12 week summer research program (SRP)
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey: Research in the RISE program spans the biomedical, physical and behavioral sciences, math, and engineering. 8- or 10-week experiences.
Rolling admission begins at the end of January and is highly competitive.
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) in Molecular and Developmental Neurobiology
Research Program for Undergraduates (RPU) in Biotechnology at Columbia University
Optical Techniques for Actuation, Sensing, and Imaging of Biological Systems (BioIGERT), a National Science Foundation program
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY, Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Program
Gerstner Sloan-Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences biomedical sciences
New York University School of Medicine (Sackler Institute) (New York, NY)
biochemistry, bio-informatics, biomedical imaging, cellular and molecular biology, clinical investigation, computational biology, developmental genetics, forensic pathology, immunology, microbiology, molecular oncology, neuroscience and physiology, parasitology, pharmacology, structural biology and virology. Stipend: Yes
Rockefeller University Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Includes a broad range of areas including biochemistry, structural biology and chemistry; molecular, cell and developmental biology; immunology, virology and microbiology; neuroscience; physics and mathematical biology.
Wadsworth Center, New York State Dept. of Health in Albany
10-week program in molecular and cellular biosciences.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
Summer undergraduate research 9-week program (biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, bioengineering or chemical engineering, etc.).
Ohio State University (and other universities)
Mathmatical Biosciences Institute (MBI) Undergraduate Summer Research Program
Summer Undergraduate Internships in Clinical and Translational Sciences
[SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY FOR SWARTHMORE STUDENTS-we are almost guaranteed to have one or more students accepted in the program]
The Clinical and Translational Sciences Award (CTSA) sponsors a summer undergraduate internship program that provides mentored experiences in clinical and translational sciences to students from Bryn Mawr College, Franklin & Marshall College, Haverford College, Lincoln University, Swarthmore College, and the University of Pennsylvania.
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
Research Institute Summer Scholars Program (CRISSP)
The Hepatitis B Foundation Doylestown, PA
Monell Science Apprenticeship Program
for college undergrads and high school students in the Philadelphia area only
University of Pennsylvania Summer Undergraduate Internship Program (SUIP)
Basic laboratory research related to gene therapy of cystic fibrosis, other genetic diseases, and cancer.
Penn State College of Medicine (Hershey, PA)
Thomas Jefferson University Summer Undergraduate Research Program
For students who have completed their junior year
University of Pittsburgh
Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) National Center of Excellence
Computational modeling and simulation of infectious diseases
University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
Summer Undergraduate Minority Reseaerch Program (SUMR)
Paid summer internships in health services research
Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) Program at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis
Funded by the National Institutes of Health / National Cancer Institute, for students who wish to pursue a career in cancer research.
Vanderbilt Minority Summer Research Program
$10 hourly salary
University of Tennessee
Department of Microbiology REU
Baylor College of Medicine (Houston) Between 80 and 90 positions are available each summer.
Early (January) deadline!
Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi: SURF program, Anthropogenic Impact on the Environment.
Rice University Bionanotechnology
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas)
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)
University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT)
HHMI funded, February deadline
Janelia Farm (Ashburn, VA)
Computationally-Driven Experimental Biology in Engineered Tissues
Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech
Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA)
Center for the Study of Biological Complexity
The research experience extends over two summers, with an individually
designed experience at the home school during the intervening
VBI Undergraduate Scholars Program
Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech
Bioinformatics and other fields of research
Note from the swat bio department chair: A couple of our students have been in this program in the past and I think that has been tremendous for them.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle, WA)
Basic Sciences, Clinical Research, Human Biology, Public Health Sciences or Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute
Applications due mid-January
University of Washington
Amgen Scholars Program in biomedical science
Applications due Feb. 1st
Carnegie Institution for Science
Department of Plant Biology Summer Internship Program
American Society for Microbiology
Undergraduate Research Fellowship (URF)
Smithsonian Research Training Program
museum-based in-residence program for about 20 undergraduates in Washington, DC.
WVU Center for Neuroscience
Summer Undergraduate Research Internships (SURI)
Marquette University Summer Research Program in Biology
Marquette University Undergraduate Research in Cellular and Molecular Biology
University of Wisconsin-Madison: Integrated Biological Sciences Summer Research Program (IBS-SRP)
Bioenergy, Cellular & Molecular Biology, Computational Biology & Biostatistics, Environmental Biology, Neurobiology, Plant Breeding & Genetics, or Virology.
University of Wyoming Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Molecular Biology
Organization for Tropical Studies (Costa Rica)
Stipend: Yes, plus travel to and from Costa Rica plus room and board.
Natural History of West Indian Herpetofauna (Avila Univ (MO)/Dominica)
Stipend: Yes, plus travel costs to and from Dominica
Pasteur Foundation in Paris for U.S. citizens
German Academic Exchange Service
Research Internships in Science and Engineering