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Off-Campus Summer Science Research Opportunities 2021

Last updated DECEMBER 28, 2020

There are numerous research opportunities available for undergraduate students around the country. The sponsors of this research include academic institutions, government agencies and private or public companies. Some of the programs are very small and informal while some are quite large and well organized. They can also have specific research areas targeted or be open to a variety of research interests. Each is unique in terms of requirements, compensation (including whether room and board or even travel to the site is included), duration, etc.

One way to find information is to go to a department at Holy Cross and check out fliers posted for summer undergraduate research opportunities in that field.

Other programs can be found in a variety of ways. Certainly a very good way to find out about opportunities like this is via the web.

Important Web Resources

  1. The National Science Foundation maintains a site for Research Experiences for Undergraduates. This resource is organized by research areas (e.g., biological sciences; physics; social, behavioral, and economic sciences), but it can also be searched by keywords. This is an excellent place to start. Visit for more information.
  2. is billed as the "gateway to US Federal science." They maintain a page that lists opportunities specifically aimed at undergraduate students. Please visit for a list of current programs.
  3. From the University of California at Irvine: The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) offers a general listing of many nation-wide undergraduate research opportunities. Visit their web site where you’ll find a search engine allowing you to locate a summer research program according to a discipline of interest, including the physical sciences, biomedical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, humanities and the arts.
  4. Duke University offers an extensive list of summer research programs and other research opportunities in the biological sciences. Though this is not a searchable site, the list does provide several additional sources of information. Visit​.
  5. Purdue University also offers an impressive array of summer research opportunities both at Purdue and throughout the country. Plan to spend some time exploring this site -
  6. Rochester Institute of Technology offers listings for summer research opportunities in biomedical research. Go to for more information.
  7. The American Mathematical Society generates a list of summer research programs for undergraduates. Most of these programs have application deadlines in February and March. Students interested in math research, please visit
  8. Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN) has a website listing summer research opportunities in neuroscience for undergraduates. The list is alphabetical, though deadlines for applications are prominently displayed on each item of the list. If you are interested in pursuing research in neuroscience, by all means visit
  9. The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has an online directory of summer research programs throughout the nation. Visit to explore various opportunities for research in biochemistry and molecular biology.
  10. The Association of American Medical Colleges maintains a list of summer research opportunities that are particularly attractive to pre-medical undergraduates. Consult for more information.
  11. From the New England Resource Directory, compiled by the Biomedical Science Careers Program, The online directory can be found at
  12. From Fred Hutch, a fantastic search engine for undergraduate internship opportunities in the sciences. Go to
  13. From the American Psychological Association, here is a list of summer internship opportunities for students in psychology, broadly defined:
  14. The Society of Physics Students has a website that lists, among other things, summer research opportunities. Go to for more information.
  15. Cognitive Development Society is home to a listserv that features jobs in cognitive development at all levels, including summer research internships for undergraduate students. Go to
  16. Cientificolatino is a volunteer group that is aimed at promoting the involvement of Latinx and other underrepresented students in the STEM disciplines. They have put together a wonderful list of summer research programs, as well as other valuable resources. Check them out at


Additional Opportunities


February Deadlines

Summer opportunity in cancer research at St. Jude's Children Hospital - see this flyer for more information and details. Application deadline is February 1, 2021.

MIT Haystack Observatory Summer research opportunity for undergraduates (with stipend) at MIT! Radio astronomy ~ geospace science ~ geodesy ~ engineering ~ radar ~ and more. There are no GPA requirements or limitations on majors for applicants: anyone who is interested in this research internship is strongly encouraged to apply. This 10-week Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Many participants continue their research by presenting at conferences, and often continue with a successful career in science. Some of the projects for 2021 include: -- Black hole imaging with the Event Horizon Telescope; -- MOXIE: Mars Rover instrument to produce oxygen from Mars atmosphere; -- Monitoring the Earth's atmosphere; -- Monitoring ice and snow depth in the Arctic; -- Studying the aurora via satellites; -- Tracking meteors via radar. The MIT Haystack Observatory REU program includes: -- Stipend, housing, and travel funding; -- Hands-on research and training: no experience required; -- In-depth seminars with MIT scientists and engineers. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. We encourage applications from underrepresented minorities. The deadline for applications is: February 1, 2021. Please see to apply and for more information. Send questions to

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Nanotechnology at Northwestern University (NU) - it's the best summer job you'll ever have! Participants in the 9-week NU-REU Program will work full-time on a nanotechnology research project; have access to world-class equipment and facilities; enjoy research seminars and field trips; enhance public speaking and technical writing skills; participate in team events like a summer picnic, and explore Chicago. REU participants come from small and large schools, across the country.  They receive a $5,750 stipend, plus round-trip airfare, a meal plan, and dormitory housing. To be eligible for this program, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, 18 years or older, majoring in engineering or the sciences, have at least one year left to complete your undergraduate degree. The application deadline is February 8, 2021.  Women and underrepresented minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. To apply visit For more information, contact Margaret Connolly ( or Mark Heiden ( This program is sponsored by the NSF.

The MDI Biological Laboratory’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program aims to engage students in scientific explorations in the Laboratory’s focus area, comparative regenerative biology, while providing them with opportunities to build skills important to successful careers in the biological sciences. For 10 weeks, each REU student will conduct independent research under the mentorship of a research scientist while having access to state-of-the-art research laboratories, core facilities and support staff. Students will join in MDI Biological Laboratory’s active scientific community, which includes other undergraduate research fellows, visiting scientists, graduate students and post-docs as well as research assistants. Open to US citizen undergraduates anywhere in the United States and U.S. Territories who do not have prior undergraduate degrees and are eligible for fellowships. Students from underserved populations are encouraged to apply. Competitive applicants should have a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average. Students must be aiming for careers in research. Students enrolled in non-research-intensive colleges, universities, and community colleges are highly encouraged to apply. All REU Fellows will carry out their research onsite at the MDI Biological Laboratory. All REU fellows participate in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), ethics training, careers workshops, innovation exploration, and other enrichment opportunities. REU Fellows receive some travel assistance, housing, meal plans, and stipends. Application deadline is February 12, 2021. For more information visit our website

Applications are now being accepted for the Summer REU Program in Marine Science at the University of Delaware, an NSF-Funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Interns will work with faculty in a research-intensive setting on a research topic in chemical, physical, or biological oceanography, marine biology or marine geology. In addition to hands-on research experience, student support includes a $6,400 stipend, campus housing, and travel assistance. The deadline to apply is Friday February 12, 2021. Supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation's Division of Ocean Sciences, this REU program supports ten undergraduate students to conduct research in marine science. The program will take place at the University of Delaware's Hugh R. Sharp campus in the beach community of Lewes, located on the shores of the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean. More information and the application can be found on our website. You may also be interested to hear directly from former interns, or see one of our field trips on the R/V Daiber on the Delaware Bay.

The Institute for Computational and Experimental Research - Research Opportunities for Undergraduates at Brown University. For information and for an online application, visit Application deadline is February 14, 2021.

Fort Johnson Summer Undergraduate Research Program, National Science Foundation-supported Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program: "Resilience and Response of Marine Organisms to Environmental Change." For more information and an online application visit Application deadline is February 14, 2021.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking enthusiastic undergraduate students to apply to the agency’s premier Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program. The SURF Program will be administered virtually with program dates of May 24, 2021 to August 6, 2021. Note: Participants will not travel to the NIST laboratories to conduct research in the 2021 SURF Program. Therefore, the fellowship does not include support for travel or lodging. Since 1993, SURF students from across the country have had the opportunity to gain valuable, hands-on experience, working with cutting edge technology in one of the world's leading research organizations and home to three Nobel Prize winners. The mission of the SURF Program is to inspire undergraduate students to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) through a unique research experience that supports the NIST mission. As SURF participant, you can expect to train under the mentorship of international known NIST scientists and engineers, acquire lifelong leadership and analytical skills, build professional networks, and learn about a career in public service.  Additionally, you will also gain insight on how NIST improves our quality of life through the advancement of measurement science, standards, and technology. During the 11-week appointment, you will receive a stipend and numerous professional skillsets. We hope you consider applying to the 2021 Virtual SURF Program. Prospective applicants must apply for acceptance into the SURF Program on USAJobs.Gov (Search SURF Boulder or SURF Gaithersburg). The announcement will close on February 14, 2021 at 11:59 PM (Eastern time) or when we have received the application limit which may be sooner than the closing date. Thus, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit the on-line application and supporting documents ahead of the announcement closing date. To learn more about the program, visit If there are questions, please e-mail Dr. Brandi Toliver at  

Research in Integrative Biology & Ecology of Marine Organisms, College of the Environment, University of Washington. Dates: Monday, June 14 to Saturday, August 7, 2021. Application Period: December 10, 2020 – February 15, 2021Application instructions here. Questions? Contact Dr. Stacy Farina.

Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. University of Virginia's Blandy Experimental Farm has a wonderful opportunity for undergraduate students to gain research experience during summer 2021 in ecology or evolutionary biology. The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) fellowship is open to applicants from any college or university. The REU program emphasizes experimental ecology and evolutionary biology including a wide variety of topics such as plant-animal interactions, pollinator behavior and ecology, insect population ecology, and ecosystem ecology. Successful applicants will receive a stipend of $575 per week (over 10-11 weeks), additional money for food, and free housing.  Each student picks a research mentor from our pool of faculty members and graduate students and then conducts a novel research project.  The students will gain experience in experimental design, data collection, analytical techniques, and written and oral presentation of findings.  REU students also benefit from several professional development workshops. This is a wonderful opportunity for an undergraduate student contemplating a future in science.  The application deadline is Feb 15, 2021. Further information and application:

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) is recruiting students for internships during the summer of 2021. In accordance with COVID-19 safety precautions; we will be unable to provide on-site housing for students, so we are interested in students who live locally and would be able to commute to the SERC campus multiple days per week and students who are interested in virtual internship opportunities. The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland offers undergraduate and beginning graduate students a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the fields of environmental research and education. The program enables students to work on specific projects while getting experience in valuable lab techniques all under the direction of the Center’s professional staff. The program is tailored to provide the maximum educational benefit to each participant. SERC is focused on understanding the causes and consequences of environmental change for marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems. Interns at SERC conduct independent projects over 12-16 weeks utilizing our 2,650-acre research site on the shores of Chesapeake Bay to provide novel insights into some of the most profound issues challenging our world today; including habitat loss, climate change, and invasive species. The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center has maintained an REU site since 2001 and those students sponsored have used our professional-training programs as a steppingstone to pursue advanced careers in the environmental sciences. Application to the SERC Internship Program consists of on-line registration, student copy of transcripts, personal essay, CV or resume, and two letters of recommendation using the Smithsonian On-line Academic Appointment (SOLAA) Application deadline is February 15, 2021. For more information please visit our web site or email:

Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior (CISAB), with generous support from the National Science Foundation, invites ten talented undergraduates to Bloomington, Indiana to work with IU faculty on individualized research projects in animal behavior. Our 2021 summer REU program is contingent on NFS funding. Information on the 2021 REU Program in Animal Behavior at Indiana University can be found at To apply visit Application deadline is February 15, 2021.


March Deadlines

LUMCON's 2021 Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program: Interdisciplinary Research Experiences in Changing Coastal Environments. The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) ( invites highly motivated undergraduates to apply for Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) positions in our NSF-sponsored summer 2021 REU program in Interdisciplinary Research Experiences in Changing Coastal Environments. REU participants will spend ten weeks (June 7th - August 13th) at LUMCON conducting independent research projects with guidance from scientific mentors / mentor teams and participate in a series of career and skill-building workshops and activities while interacting with peers participating in other aspects of LUMCON's summer programs. Each student is paired with a scientific mentor(s) based on mutual research interests. The REU program is designed to give students a meaningful, hands-on research experience that takes advantage of state-of-the-art methods and technologies available at LUMCON. This summer, mentors are interested in supporting interns to conduct research in a number of topic areas, including: biogeochemistry, habitat forming species, dissolved organic matter cycling, microbial ecology, coastal geology and sea level rise, invertebrate diversity and ecology, disturbance ecology, ecosystem ecology, wetland science, and oil spill impacts. More information on the program and details on potential mentors and projects can be found at Candidates must be available for the entire ten week period.  Successful applicants will receive a $600/week stipend; room and board at the Marine Center in Cocodrie, LA; funds to support transportation to and from LUMCON; and funds to support their research. The ideal candidate should be interested in pursuing a career in coastal and/or marine science, creative, hard-working, detail orientated, dedicated, and comfortable working as part of research team. Experience with field or laboratory research is a plus but not necessary. To be eligible you must be returning to an undergraduate degree program in the fall (e.g., if you will graduate in May or June, you are NOT eligible). Students from underrepresented groups in sciences, from small colleges, and first generation college students are encouraged to apply. Application deadline: March 1st 2021. Instructions for completing application packages which include (an online application form, copies of unofficial transcripts, contact information for two academic references, CV/resume, and a one page statement that describes your interest in the REU position, academic goals, and any previous research experience) can be found at Questions about the program and/or application process should be addressed to LUMCON’s REU Site Program Director, Dr. Brian Roberts, at


April Deadlines


Programs for which a deadline Is NOT Specified

The “Ecology in Human-Dominated Landscapes” Research Experience for Undergraduate students (Ecology-REU) at Miami University, Ohio, will begin recruiting students for the 2021 summer program. Undergraduate students will have the opportunity to partake in independent research, receiving guidance from experienced faculty mentors and field experience at sites such as Miami University’s Ecology Research Center (ERC), Hueston Woods State Park, and more. The objective of our REU program is for students to develop hands-on research to understand the ecological effects human activities can have in our changing world. Research projects may be available in areas such as community ecology, limnology, behavioral ecology, microbiology, conservation genetics, ecotoxicology, and more. Our program has run for almost 20 years, and you can check previous Research Experiences Here! Duration of the program: 10 weeks, between May 31st and August 6th. Eligibility criteria: U.S Citizen, National, or Permanent Resident. All students are welcome to apply, and we encourage students from historically under-represented groups in STEM to apply as well as students from institutions with little research opportunities and/or in financial need. Students must be enrolled for Fall 2021 at their home institution. Prior coursework in ecology and environmental science is recommended. You can check the requirement list and apply online HERE! For more information or in case of any doubt, please visit our REU website or write to