Paid Summer Research Experiences for Traditionally Underrepresented Groups

by roanokecollege on January 29, 2012

Sarah Ahlbrand, a Roanoke College Senior, completed a summer REU at the University of Michigan in 2011

Below is a sampling of NSF-funded summer research programs that target traditionally underrepresented groups (e.g., minorities, economically disadvantaged, women) . These off-campus research opportunities are funded by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU).

Hundreds of opportunities exist, primarily in the sciences and social sciences. You can search for all off-campus summer research opportunities here:

Program Who should apply? Deadlines
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program at Boston University  rising Juniors or Seniors who wish to conduct research in the sciences, technology, or engineeringtalented undergraduate students, especially those from minority groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences: African-American, Hispanic, Native American/Native Alaskan, and Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian/Polynesian Apply by February 15, 2012. Program dates: June 4 through August 10
The ED-QUE2ST: Enhancing Diversity, Quality, and Understanding of the Ecological and Evolutionary Sciences for Tomorrow University of Michigan Current freshman and sophomores with an interest in ecology and/or evolutionary biology and who come from underrepresented backgrounds Apply by January 31, 2012. Program dates: Summer
Minority Research Opportunities in Science and Engineering at the US Naval Research Laboratory (Washington, DC)No official website yet, but here is the contact info for the program Research Topics/Keywords: Materials science and engineering, biosensors and biofuels, optical materials.
Summer Research Projects in Contemporary Physics for Minorities and Women University of Chicago Undergrads with a concentration in physics or related engineering fieldThe program is particularly intended at encouraging participation by members of underrepresented minority groups (African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans) and women. Apply by February 15, 2012.
The Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) University of California, Berkeley Program was established to promote access to graduate education among undergraduates who have been educationally or economically disadvantaged, and who may not have had exposure to the academic environment of a research university.Areas: arts and humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences for sophomores, juniors, and seniors (not graduating)Students who have shown potential for success, but may have had limited access to graduate research or other preparatory opportunities; the applicant should indicate his/her potential for success particularly as it relates to educational achievement while overcoming obstacles, which may include, but are not limited to economic, social, or educational challenges. Hard copy applications must be received by February 1, 2012. Program dates: June 3 through July 28

You must usually be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident to apply–check the fine print.

Top 5 Reasons You Should Apply for Non-RC Summer Research Programs:

  1. REU experience looks great on a grad school application.
  2. You can apply for RC Summer Scholars and REUs to decide whether you’d like to stay at RC or go elsewhere for research this summer.
  3. You experience what “big school” research is like.
  4. You will be paid a stipend to do research.
  5. You will get a realistic preview of graduate school.

Talk to Dr. Lyon (Director of Student/Faculty Research) if you are even remotely interested in applying for one or more of these opportunities (; 238 West Hall). If you have a faculty research mentor already, talk to that professor, too. More details from the NSF website are available here:


Previous post:

Next post: