Summer Research Opportunities


Other Summer Research Opportunities

The summer is a great time for students to expand skills learned in the classroom by participating in research and doing hands-on work, such as research in the lab or field work. For students looking to stay around Northern Illinois University, check out the Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP). In addition to NIU's summer research programs, there are many national research programs for undergraduate students interested in off-campus research opportunities. Summer research programs are a great way for students to create academic and professional networks, complete research under varying faculty mentors, and visit potential schools to pursue a Master's or Doctoral level degree.

Below you will find a list of several opportunities available to students in various degree programs and at varying degrees of experience. We encourage you to look at websites of other universities and organizations given this list is not exhaustive.

National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)
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.

Department of Energy (DOE) Scholars Program
The DOE Scholars Program offers unique opportunities that introduce students or post-graduates to the agency’s mission and operations. Participants in the DOE Scholars Program gain a competitive edge as they apply their education, talent and skills in a variety of scientific research settings within the DOE complex.

The U.S. Department of Energy seeks students and post-graduates for the DOE Scholars Program in the following disciplines: Engineering, Physical Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Computer Science and Information Technology, Physics, Business, Policy, Program Management, Mathematics, Statistics, Safety and Health, Accounting and Finance, Law, Communications, and other related areas.

Applications are due by 11:59PM (EST) on Thursday, January 15, 2015. For more information, visit the DOE Scholars Program website or email

Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis (NESLS)
The Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis (NESLS) program is a cooperative research initiative geared toward students working in nuclear engineering and science. Through one- to three-year summer internships, NESLS offers students on-the-job educational and research opportunities at a multidisciplinary national laboratory.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) NESLS program is open to full- or part-time students enrolled at a U.S. university at the time of appointment. Student applicants will be chosen on the basis of academic performance, class standing, career goals, recommendations, and compatibility of educational interests and abilities with the needs of ORNL.

Applications close February 28 for summer 2015. For more information, visit the NESLS website or email

Higher Education Research Experiences (HERE) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Higher Education Research Experiences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (HERE at ORNL) provides research opportunities and associated activities for undergraduate students. The program is designed to complement academic programs by utilizing the unique resources of ORNL to enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, encourage careers in science and technology, and improve scientific literacy, while at the same time contributing to the Laboratory mission.

Applications close February 1 for summer 2015. For more information, visit the HERE at ORNL website or email

Summer Research Team Program for Minority Serving Institutions
The DHS Summer Research Team (SRT) Program for Minority Serving Institutions provides research opportunities to increase and enhance the scientific leadership at Minority Serving Institutions in research areas that support the mission and goals of DHS. The program supports research teams composed of a faculty member and up to two students (undergraduate or graduate level) for a 10-week summer appointment. Participants conduct research at university-based DHS Centers of Excellence.

Student applications are due by January 23, 2015. For more information, visit the Summer Research Team Program website or email

Summer Research Institute (SRI)
Summer Research Institute (SRI), funded by the University of Arizona, is open to undergraduate juniors and seniors of all disciplines, including social science, humanities, fine arts, and STEM.  Summer Research Institute accepts students from other universities as funding is available.

Applications are due by February 1, 2015. For more information, visit the SRI website or email Donna Treloar at

Minority Health Disparities (MHD)
Minority Health Disparities, at the University of Arizona, focuses on health issues that affect minority communities in a disproportionate manner. MHD is open to juniors and seniors with a major in fields leading to biomedical careers (i.e., Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Microbiology, Nutritional Sciences, etc) and an interest in pursuing graduate education in a biomedical field.

Applications are due by February 1, 2015. For more information, visit the MHD website or contact Stephanie Adamson at

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) at CalTech
Caltech's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program introduces students to research under the guidance of seasoned research mentors at Caltech and JPL. Students experience the process of research as a creative intellectual activity.

Students must identify and contact a mentor in advance of submitting an application. A mentor must agree to support your application, help you to develop and define a research project, and assist you in the writing of the research proposal.

Applications are due by February 22, 2015. For more information, visit the SURF website or email

Summer Research Internship in Medical Sciences
The Office of the Research Dean at the University of Missouri (MU) School of Medicine coordinates a summer research program with the objective of recruiting underrepresented students to the MU School of Medicine, with the ultimate goal of improving diversity in the clinical medicine workforce. The program runs for nine weeks (Wednesday, May 28 – Friday, July 25).

Students selected for this program live on-campus and receive meals. Summer interns may receive one hour of academic/research credit, travel to and from Columbia, and a stipend of $3,400. Students will work on their own research project under the guidance of an MU School of Medicine faculty mentor and present their results at a poster Forum at the end of the summer.

For more information, visit the website or contact Debbie Taylor at

NCTR’s Summer Student Research Program
Summer research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students are available in Arkansas at the National Center for Toxicological Research. NCTR’s Summer Student Research Program is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) and is designed for science and mathematics students preparing for future careers in toxicology, regulatory science, or related scientific disciplines.

This 10-week summer program provides hands-on research and laboratory experience mentored by Food and Drug Administration scientists.

For more information, visit the website or email

UT Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)- Microbial Community Interactions and Functions
The general theme of the research component is Microbial interaction and function: this theme comes from the (not-so-recent) realization that microbes exist in populations and communities, not isolation.  The sixteen participating faculty provide a broad range of options for research in this area. They also share a strong commitment to working with undergraduates and promoting diversity in the microbiology community at UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  Under the direct guidance of a UT or ORNL faculty mentor, usually with a graduate student or postdoctoral co-mentor, students will gain first-hand research experience and training in state-of-the-art research facilities, working on individual projects.

Applications are due by March 15, 2015. For more information, visit the UT REU website or email

Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship Program
The Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) Program provides a 10-Week Summer Educational Program to students with opportunities to gain hands-on research experience with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE).  This program has mentored several hundred of the best and brightest students from across the nation for future careers in science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) and provided insight into how the DOE is working to meet the energy challenges of the future.

For more information, visit the Mickey Leland Fellowship website or email

Research in Science and Engineering (RiSE) at Rutgers University
RiSE (Research in Science and Engineering) is sponsored by Rutgers University, one of the nation's leading public research institutions. Fifty outstanding undergraduates from across the U.S. are chosen to participate in 10 weeks of cutting-edge research in the biological, physical, and social sciences, math, engineering, and exciting interdisciplinary areas under the guidance of a carefully matched faculty mentors. Admission is very competitive, so apply early.

Applications are now open and accepted on a rolling basis. The admission process continues until all open spots have been filled. For more information, visit the RiSE at Rutgers website or email  

Amgen Scholars
Amgen Scholars is hosted at 10 premier institutions within the United States. Each host institution has its own application process. U.S. citizenship or permanent residency in the United States is required, and you can apply to participate at as many host institutions as you are interested in. During the program, students work full-time on independent research projects under the guidance of a research scientist. Amgen Scholars have opportunities to conduct research, analyze data, present research results, network with other undergraduates with similar research interests, and develop working relationships with faculty mentors and other research staff.

Host institutions in the United States include Caltech, Columbia University Barnard, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, National Institutes of Health, Stanford University, University of California Berkeley, UCLA, University of California San Francisco, and Washington University in St. Louis. Academic research areas include biochemistry, bioengineering, bioinformatics, biopsychology, chemistry, medical pharmacology, molecular genetics, physiological science, neuroscience, and more.

For more information, visit the Amgen Scholars website or email

TECBio REU @ Pitt
Training and Experimentation in Computational Biology (TECBio) REU program is a 10-week summer program that will provide a challenging and fulfilling graduate-level research experience to undergraduate students. A wide variety of theoretical and experimental research projects are available to our participating students. Students will also receive classroom training in topics pertinent to the emerging field of computational biology, such as computational structural biology, cell and systems modeling, computational genomics, and bioimage informatics.

Applications are due by March 1, 2015. For more information, visit the TECBio website or email

Summer Research Initiative (SRI) at University of Maryland
The Summer Research Initiative is a full-time, 40-hour-per-week commitment. Participants are required to attend all seminar series and program events (on and off-campus), meet with mentors regularly, and complete all scheduled assignments.  They will be expected to prepare a poster presentation of their research topic at the end of the program session.

All students who will be rising juniors or seniors in Fall 2015 are eligible for the Summer Research Initiative. The University of Maryland has a strong institutional commitment to the principle of diversity.  In that spirit, we are very interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of individuals, specifically African American, Hispanic, and American Indian students. 

Applications are due by February 10, 2015. For more information, visit the SRI website or contact Amanda Allen at

Interdisciplinary REU at University of Michigan
The University of Michigan Interdisciplinary REU Program (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) in the Structure and Function of Proteins is designed to provide undergraduate students with a 10-week research experience in the areas of biochemistry, biophysics, cheminformatics, computational chemistry, enzymology, marine biology, molecular biology and plant biology.  The research projects featured in this program all involve studies of the structure and function of proteins.  

Applications are due by March 1, 2015. For more information, visit the Interdisciplinary REU website or contact Dr. Cherie R. Dotson at

REU-Raptor Research for Undergraduates
The REU Site in Raptor Research (REU-RR) is funded by the National Science Foundation and Boise State University.  REU-RR is a 10-week summer research program located at Boise State University, Boise, Idaho.  Field and laboratory research projects are available for students. This summer research program is an excellent way for students to gain skills and prepare for graduate school and a career in a STEM field. 

Applications are due by February 20, 2015. For more information, visit the REU-RR website or contact Dr. Jim Belthoff at

Biomedical Research Training Program for Individuals from Underrepresented Groups (BRTPUG)
Biomedical Research Training Program for Individuals from Underrepresented Groups (BRTPUG) offers opportunities for underrepresented post-baccalaureate individuals to receive training in basic, translational, and clinical research. Individuals must have a specific intention to further pursue an advanced degree after training.

The purpose of BRTPUG is to enhance career opportunities in biomedical sciences for post baccalaureate individuals, from health disparity groups, who are planning to apply to graduate or professional (medical/dental/veterinary/pharmacy) school with a career goal of becoming a doctorally-trained scientist or physician-scientist.

Applications, including three letters of reference, are due by January 15, 2015. For more information, visit the BRTPUG website or contact Dr. Helena O. Mishoe at

Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research (SIP)
Summer programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provide an opportunity to spend a summer working at the NIH side-by-side with some of the leading scientists in the world, in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research.

Internships cover a minimum of eight weeks. The NIH Institutes and the Office of Intramural Training & Education sponsor a wide range of summer activities including lectures featuring distinguished NIH investigators, career/professional development workshops, and Summer Poster Day.

Applications are due by March 1, 2015. For more information, visit the SIP website or email   

Iowa Summer Undergraduate MSTP Research (SUMR) Program
The University of Iowa SUMR Program offers an intensive experience for highly motivated undergraduates interested in future combined MD/PhD training for a career as a physician-scientist. The program provides the opportunity to conduct hands-on intensive research with scientists at The University of Iowa. Participants carry out independent research conducted under the direction of an established mentor in the biomedical sciences.

In addition, the program offers weekly seminars emphasizing the intersection of science and medicine, career development seminars, case-based learning sessions and physician-scientist shadowing. Participants gain an appreciation for the role of the physician-scientist in asking pertinent medically related research questions, carrying the results of the work to the patient's bedside.

Applications are due by February 2, 2015. For more information, visit the SUMR Program website or email

Summer Internships in Science and Technology (SIST)
Fermilab's SIST program offers twelve-week summer internships in science and technology to undergraduate college students currently enrolled in four-year U.S. colleges and universities. Internships available in physics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer science offer a chance for students to work with Fermilab scientists or engineers on a project within the context of laboratory research.

Applications are due by February 9, 2015. For more information, visit the SIST program website or email

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program at UT Southwestern
The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program at UT Southwestern's Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is an intensive summer research training experience designed for college students who are preparing for Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. careers in biomedical research. Fellows spend 10 weeks pursuing individual research projects in the laboratories of Graduate School faculty members.

Fellows gain experience in modern research techniques and plan and execute an experimental strategy to answer a scientific question. SURF introduces students to the kinds of projects encountered during postgraduate research training and fosters an understanding of the planning, discipline, and teamwork involved in the pursuit of answers to current questions in the biological sciences.

Applications due by February 9, 2015. For more information, visit the SURF website or email

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) - Molecular and Biomedical Analysis of Proteins
This National Science Foundation sponsored program provides advanced training in the manipulation and analysis of proteins for undergraduate students. It facilitates deep understanding of experimental laboratory research, insights into protein biochemistry and contemplation of the broader context of research. A wide range of student research projects mentored by faculty in the Department of Biochemistry is available. Examples include the experimental analysis of enzyme mechanisms, post-translational protein modifications, proteomics, and protein-nucleic acid interactions studied in the biological context of cell cycle control, chromatin regulation and renewable energy research.

Applications are due by February 13, 2015. For more information, visit the REU at Purdue website or contact Sherry Pogranichniy at

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) - Complexity Across Disciplines (CAD)
The Department of Mathematics at Boise State University will host an undergraduate research program for students with strong interests in mathematics, science, technology, or engineering.  This program is an eight week interdisciplinary undergraduate research program in which undergraduate students are exposed to advanced topics in mathematics and multidisciplinary applications. The program aims to immerse up to ten undergraduate students of diverse backgrounds in all facets of research in mathematics and in applications to information security or the life sciences in a culture of close and daily collaboration with faculty.

Applications are due by March 1, 2015. For more information, visit the CAD website or contact Dr. Liljana Babinkostova by sending an email to or

NSF sponsored Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates in Physics: Materials and Modeling
The National Science Foundation is sponsoring a Summer Research Experience in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Missouri (MU) to engage students in high quality research on topics in materials and modeling. The program is one of several research experiences being offered by MU’s Office of Undergraduate Research.

Applications are due by February 13, 2015. For more information, go to the Materials and Modeling website or contact Pam Cooper at

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship at University of Illinois at Chicago
The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) in the College of Pharmacy, funded by American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, aims to introduce undergraduate students to research in biomedical sciences.  Domestic sophomores and juniors majoring in biology, chemistry, biochemistry or related fields are encouraged to apply.

Applications are due by March 2, 2015. For more information, visit the SURF at UIC website or email