Many opportunities are available for students to carry out directed research during the summer months; some of these may lead to jobs after graduation or are sites where such jobs can be found.
Research students are commonly paid a stipend that covers their travel and living expenses. They spend eight to 10 weeks working under the supervision of a scientist in settings that can range from a biochemical laboratory at a college, university or hospital to an ecological field station in Maine, Michigan or Costa Rica.
Although these experiences are not taken for course credit, they offer valuable experience for students considering graduate school. Others will also find their increased skill helpful in qualifying for employment or other kinds of professional training. Usually preference is given to rising seniors, then to rising juniors.
Some of the programs to which our students apply include:
- Summer research opportunities at Holy Cross. More information about these programs and the application process can be found by visiting the Office of Science Coordinator website. Students with serious interests in research are urged to look over the information present at this site during the fall semester and to make contact with potential faculty sponsors.
- Summer research opportunities in the Worcester area. The Science Coordinator's website often has information about these opportunities.
- Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU). These programs, funded by the National Science Foundation, are in place at various colleges, universities and research institutions. They are intended to serve students from outside the host institution as well as their own students. In recent years Holy Cross biology majors participate in these programs every summer and they are an excellent opportunity to expands one’s horizon. Announcements of application procedures and deadlines are sent to the biology department each year and are posted on various bulletin boards in O'Neil Hall. Students should also consult Internet resources to find out about these opportunities.
- Various hospitals, universities, research institutes and industries run their own summer research programs. Among these are Hartford Hospital, University of Connecticut Health Center, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, the Harvard School of Public Health, and others. Announcements of application procedures and deadlines are posted in the biology department each year.
- Several scientific societies and industries offer fellowships for undergraduates to conduct research at their own or other institutions. Among these are the Genetics Society of America, the Council on Undergraduate Research, the Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company and others. The student and the faculty sponsor together prepare a description of the proposed project. Announcements of application procedures and deadlines are sent to the biology department each year.
- Audubon sanctuaries, oceanographic institutions, and other field oriented organizations often have openings for college students to lead nature-study programs for high school or younger students.
- Many individual scientists or departments in colleges, universities, and medical schools have funds in their research grants that could be used to support a summer research student. In such cases students need to take the initiative to contact the scientist with whom they would like to work, describe their qualifications, and ask the scientist whether he/she (or his/her colleagues) might be able to use their services.