Undergraduate Research Oppotunities


After developing research skills, there are a variety of different programs that grant undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct their own research. Many are run as summer programs. See some examples below.

If you want to do summer research, please note that application deadlines range from late December to mid-March, with the vast majority occuring between early January and late February.  Therefore - if you really want to do a summer research program - it's best for you to begin looking for one in the mid-to-late fall and begin preparing your applications before the winter break.

Research Assistance for Columbia and Barnard Professors: Another great way to gain hands-on research experience is to serve as a research assistant for a professor. There isn't a centralized listing of such positions, but you can contact professors or departmental adminstrators to inquire. 


Programs that specifically focus on training in empirical reasoning

Natural, physical, mathematical, and computational sciences

Summer research program in quantitative & computational biology at Princeton University  Intensive laboratory research experience for undergraduates.  Deadline is February 1; application becomes available in October.


Quantitative and Physical Science Summer Program at University of Texas Southwestern. 10-week program combining quantitative training and research experience in the physical sciences using quantitative methods.  Deadline: Early February.


Summer Program in Quantitative Sciences at Harvard School of Public Health.  Students learn how quantitative methods are applied to the study of human health.  Students get involved in group projects, but this program is not a research program.  No prior statistics coursework is required, although classes in calculus are recommended.  Deadline: Mid-February.

Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics at NCSU.  Early June to mid-July.  Students learn the principles of biostatistics, meet practicing biostatisticians, visit places where statisticians are employed, and get hands-on experience with data.  Deadline: March 3.


Data-Intensive Computing at Clemson University.  Students learn how to manage and analyze massive data sets.  Deadline: Rolling, application review began in March.

New Paradigms of Information Retrieval from Diverse Data program at Texas State University.  2 months.  Students learn how to retrieve, manage, and analyze data from diverse sources such as social media, georeferenced data, textual data, and others.  Deadline: mid-March

Summer Program in Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.  Students take intro coursework in epidemiology and biostatistics, listen to research lectures from faculty and do a group project with other students.  Program is for students from groups underrepresented in biomedical research. Students must have taken several quantitative classes beyond the introductory level.  Deadline: mid-March.


Social and behavioral sciences


Summer Undergraduate Internship Program at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan. Students get social science research training but also take classes at ICPSR’s summer program in statistical methods.  Deadline: January 31.


Summer Program in Quantitative Sciences at Harvard School of Public Health.  Students learn how quantitative methods are applied to the study of human health.  Students get involved in group projects, but this program is not a research program.  No prior statistics coursework is required, although classes in calculus are recommended.  Deadline: February 15.

Texas Christian University’s Democracy, Interdependence, and World Politics Training Program. Research focuses on the impact of democracy on international politics and foreign relations. Students receive both qualitative and quantitative training.  Deadline: February 15.


Survey Research Summer Internship Program at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan: a 10 week paid internship including courses/seminars and hands on research experience focusing on survey methods. Deadline: February 18


Georgia State University’s Addressing Social and Environmental Disparities through Community Geography and Geographical Information Systems.  About 2 months (June and July). Deadline:  March 1.

Geospatial Research and Mapping Field Program at CSU-Long Beach.  4 weeks.  Students learn techniques related to natural and archeaological resource management.  Partially in California and partially in Hawaii in the field.  Deadline: March 1.

Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates in Ethnography and GIS at the University of Arizona. Students use ethnography and GIS to explore the natural and human resources of the Western Apache tribe.  Deadline: March 17.


Junior Fellowship in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland. Students are placed as an intern with one of several federal agencies such as the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the National Center for Health Statistics.  A summer seminar about how data analysis works in the federal government and continued training on using federal data sources.


Programs that allow students to do hands-on-research in their field and may include some empirical training:


Summer Reseach Scholars Program at UT-Austin: Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) fellowship program and the National Science Foundation partner with the University of Texas- Austin to provide a variety of different research programs targeting different areas of research in the natural and social sciences.


Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Training Programs (MHIRT).  There are several sites:Hampton University in Tanzania, Kenya, or Nigeria on environmental health; UAB’s programs on a variety of different areas in Jamaica, Guatemala, Peru, and Ghana; and others.

Natural sciences, physical sciences, computer/engineering sciences, math, statistics


Cultural Vistas Fellowship: Students are placed in internships in Asia, Europe or Latin American to study sustainability in a professional setting and immersion experience. Deadline: Early January.


Social and behavioral sciences


Research Experience for Undergraduates in Fiji, affiliated with the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  9 weeks.  Students go to Fiji to do archaeological research.  No previous archaeological research necessary.  Due date: Late January.


Undergraduate Research Program in the Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Minnesota.  Students get involved in research projects with faculty in the Center for Cognitive Sciences. Deadline: Early February.


Bicoastal Datafest: Team-based competition with cash prizes. The theme is using data to examine money's influence in politics . Can participate through Columbia, Stanford, remotely. Deadline for projects (and date of Datafest): Early February


Summer Research Diversity Fellowships in Law and Social Science: Sponsored by the American Bar Foundation, this fellowship provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to apply research skills to questions in law and social science. Deadline: Mid-February



Lists and Repositories of Programs

Internship Listing at the Hughes Science Pipeline Project (HSPP) at Barnard: The HSPP has compiled quite a list of both summer undergraduate research opportunities and academic-year opportunities at campuses other than Barnard/Columbia.  Internships are categorized by field (biological sciences, chemistry, biochemistry, environmental biology, environmental sciences, physics and astronomy, neuroscience and behavior, and psychology).

Research Opportunities at Columbia University: Columbia University has compiled a list of resources for undergraduate research opportunities on Columbia's campus, including fellowships, programs, granting organizations and research centers on campus.

Fellowships and Funding Opportunities: List of various kinds of fellowships and funding put together by the Barnard Office of Career Development. Many are related to public policy and draw on various quantitative analysis skills.

Summer Internships in Biology: List of internships, summer programs, lab research and courses open to Barnard/Columbia students. Some are based at Columbia, but many are all around the US.

Summer Undergraduate Research Programs in Health: The Association of American Medical Colleges compiled a list of many udergraduate research opportunities focusing on medical research.

The National Science Foundation maintains a list of NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) sites on its webpage in the disciplines it supports, including the natural, physical, computational, mathematical, social, behavioral, and economic sciences.

The National Institutes of Health provides a non-exhaustive list of health-related summer research internships at places outside of the NIH.

The Leadership Alliance.  Designed for students underrepresented in PhD and MD-PhD programs.  Spend 8-10 weeks at Leadership Alliance institutions like Brown, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins or Stanford doing research with faculty and getting training on how to succeed in graduate school.  All fields are represented - even the humanities at some sites.  Deadline for all sites is February 1.

Several summer research programs at Harvard University.  Most of them are in the natural and medical sciences.


Berkeley’s list of summer research programs, both inside and outside of Berkeley (mostly outside).  The list is directed at molecular and cell biology students, but many of the programs are broader.