Summer Research Opportunities
During the summer students can participate in a number of research programs at the University of Notre Dame.
Funded Research Opportunities
After spending hours in the classroom, many students are eager to take what they’ve learned and put it into practice. Funded research opportunities are an excellent way to gain experience in your field, without having to cover the costs that research requires.
The link below contains a list of funded research opportunities, all provided through Notre Dame. These opportunities range from very specific summer programs (see Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory) to general grants that allow you to pursue a variety of projects (see UR@ND).
It’s also important to know that these funded opportunities are not limited to the summer. Projects can be approved for any break throughout the school year, and some grants support attendance at conferences and workshops while school is still in session.
If you are interested in discovering a research opportunity or creating your own, there are many resources at your disposal.
- First-year advisors can provide you with information about specific opportunities both within and outside of the university.
- The Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE), the Kellogg Institute, the Institute for the Scholarship of Liberal Arts (ISLA), and the Career Center can assist you in crafting and financing a research idea.
Note: Successful applicants for research funding are often those who
1) demonstrate significant interest in their topic of research
2) demonstrate they have put a lot of thought into their research proposal (i.e. students have an ideas of research locations and how their project connects to their future career interests, etc.)
- Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)
REUs are 10-week long, intensive summer research programs designed for students in the STEM field. They are sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and are run by various universities across the country.
If you are looking to gain concrete research skills and experience in the field of your interest, REUs are an excellent option to pursue. Students who participate in these programs are given a stipend for the summer that often covers the costs of lodging, transportation and food.
For more information regarding REU programs, click on the link below.
For a list of the current REU host sites, click on the link below
The University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center (UNDERC) offers 10-week summer field courses for undergraduate students seeking post-graduate education in ecology. The center is actually split over two sites: UNDERC East (a 7500 acre property located on either side of the Wisconsin- Michigan Upper Peninsula border) and UNDERC West (located on the Flathead Reservation in Western Montana, and only available to those students who have completed a course at the East location).
Included in the summer field course are a $3500 stipend, 3-credit hours and the chance to design and conduct an independent research project in the field of aquatic ecology, forest ecology, invertebrate ecology or vertebrate ecology.
For more information, click on the link below.
Advice regarding summer research
- Don’t worry if you do not find, or are not accepted into a research opportunity after your first or second year. Research opportunities are often quite competitive, and depending on the program can be hard to get into. Medical schools and graduate programs may not require you to do research every summer. However, if you are interested in post-graduate education, it is a good idea to seek out research internships when they are available to you, especially as an upperclass student.
- Your summer research experience doesn’t need to be an exact match with your career interests. Research experiences often provide students with general research skills that are transferrable to many future professions.