Undergraduate Research Opportunities

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 administrators to inquire. 


Programs focused on training in empirical reasoning


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Hands-on-research programs that may include empirical training


Summer Research 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.

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.

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


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 undergraduate research opportunities focusing on medical research.

NSF-Funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates
The National Science Foundation has a list of research experiences in the disciplines it supports, including the natural, physical, computational, mathematical, social, behavioral, and economic sciences.

The National Institutes of Health
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.