Summer Research Opportunities

Students who participate in the Summer Research and Opportunities program are awarded a stipend of $4,500 in order to allow them to devote a substantial period of time and effort to the pursuit of a creative scholarly project, internship, work or research leading to thesis, honors, or major project preparation, or immersion in the creative arts during the summer months.  The work is intended to substantially expand the research engagement or professional exposure of students.  

Grants are available to support research by students in each of the three divisions (Humanities, Social Sciences, or Natural Sciences and Engineering) during the summer.  In addition, the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility offers funding for students interested in pursuing engaged scholarship and social action projects during the summer.   Although significant funding is available for summer research opportunities, resources are limited, and not all proposals can be funded.  All continuing students are eligible to apply for summer research support; however, priority is given to students who are currently completing their junior year.  Graduating seniors are not eligible to receive summer research, internships, or project grants.

The College supports independent research, when discipline appropriate, as well as research in collaboration with Swarthmore faculty and/or outside scholars.  Students may submit proposals for the following types of work:

  • field, archival, and/or desk research
  • internships
  • creative arts
  • intensive language study
  • engaged scholarship
  • academically-informed activism
  • work to support an honors preparation
  • research leading to a thesis

Under certain circumstances, students seeking special training and mentorship or volunteer opportunities may qualify for a grant. Students engaged in research are expected to fully engage in the process of scholarly exploration and development, and so projects in which the student would act as an office assistant or primarily engage in other non-scholarly work are thus not appropriate and will not be supported.  Similarly, students engaged in internships or non-research based projects, such as the production of original writing or artwork, are expected to engage in activities which expand their academic program. 

Students awarded summer funding are expected to commit the equivalent of ten weeks of full time work (roughly 400 hours total) to the project. As such, a substantial body of work should be completed by the end of the summer period, and students are expected to present a substantive report at the end of their experience.  In some cases, students may also be asked to present their work through participation in student poster session.

Any student interested in pursuing summer research opportunities should review the Summer Funding Opportunities Program Guidebook.

Division of the Humanities:

Art, Classics, English Literature, Film and Media Studies, Modern Languages and Literatures, Music and Dance, Philosophy, Religion, Theater

View the list of available Humanities grants

Division of the Social Sciences: 

Economics, Educational Studies, History, Linguistics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology

View the list of available Social Sciences grants

Division of the Natural Sciences & Engineering:

Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Statistics, Physics and Astronomy, Psychology

View the list of available Natural Sciences and & Engineering grants