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Undergraduate Funded Research

Sooyun Choi '17 sets up a reaction in professor Bob Paley's Organic Synthesis Research Lab

Swarthmore provides more than $800,000 each year for undergraduate research—supporting experiences that can help shape a career.

In the Division of Natural Sciences & Engineering, many students conduct research under the close supervision of their professors; it is not uncommon for these students to earn co-author credit with faculty in peer-reviewed publications and present their research at academic conferences. Recent examples include:

  • Guillermo Barreto Corona ’19, Elizabeth Flores ’19, and Jordan Reyes ’19 conducted field research in Brazil with Assistant Professor of Conservation Biology Liz Nichols; they presented their findings at the Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation annual meeting in Yucatán, Mexico.
  • Rares Mosneanu ’18, Mackinsey Smith ’19, Henry Wilson ’18, and Audra Woodside ’19 joined Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Chris Graves in the lab to study aluminum complexes, supported by grant funding from the National Science Foundation. 
  • Kyle Richmond-Crosset ’19 worked with Professor of Computer Science Lisa Meeden on research about vision sensors in developmental robotics

In the Humanities and Social Sciences divisions, student research can be more independent. Some students consult faculty members on their initial research ideas and project development before beginning their work in earnest. Other students work closely with professors on their academic research. Swatties in the humanities and social sciences have researched topics as varied as endangered languages, solid waste management, international trade flow, activism, and Russian children’s books. Other recent examples include:

About two-thirds of Swarthmore students participate in funded research or independent creative projects with the mentorship of faculty members. Our low student-faculty ratio makes it possible for students to enjoy close research oversight and collaboration with faculty.