Research Opportunities and Funding

• Look below to find summer and term-time Harvard research opportunities on campus and abroad.
• For summer programs at other sites, see Summer Programs Away in the tab on the right.
• For selected undergraduate science research opportunities at Harvard, see the Undergraduates: Open Research Positions & Projects tab on the right.

Harvard College Funding Sources Database - Database of both Harvard and outside funding sources for a variety of educational purposes, including research. Can search by keyword, location, term, class year, and more.

The Harvard Student Employment Office manages a Jobs Database, the Faculty Aide Program and the Federal Work Study Program. All of these programs may offer student research assistant opportunities. The site also provides information about Job Search Resources and Research Opportunities.

 CARAT – CARAT (Common Application for Research and Travel) is used by all the major funding sources at Harvard.

Harvard College Research Program (HCRP) – Summer (or term time) stipend. Applications from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships at 77 Dunster Street.

Deadlines: Fall term funding: September 14, 2016 12pm noon; Spring term funding: February 1, 2017 12pm noon; Summer funding: March 29, 2017 12pm noon

Dean's Summer Research Awards

The Dean’s Summer Research Awards are designed to give rising seniors who receive financial aid the opportunity to devote the summer to thesis research. The awards provide students who have already received an HCRP grant to pursue thesis research with an additional grant (up to $1k) to cover the summer savings requirement of their financial aid packages. Grants are applied to a students’ term bill and are not awarded as cash. Awards are announced in June after the financial aid award for the next academic year has been calculated.  Students will be notified at that time.

PRISE – The Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE) is a summer residential community of Harvard undergraduates conducting research in science or engineering. By the application deadline students must be progressing toward finding a lab or research group but do not need to have finalized their research group or project. Participants must be in residence and be active participants for the entire duration of this ten week program.

Deadline: February 16, 2016 

Herchel Smith-Harvard Undergraduate Science Research Program – Primarily directed toward students intending to pursue research-intensive concentrations and post-graduate study in the sciences. Undergraduate research either at Harvard or elsewhere, including internationally. Applications from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.

Deadline: Wednesday February 10, 2016

Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program -- The Amgen Scholars Program at Harvard is a 10-week faculty-mentored residential summer research program  in biotechnology for sophomores (with four quarters or three semesters of college experience), juniors, or non-graduating seniors (who are returning in the fall to continue undergraduate studies)

Deadline: February 1, 2016

Harvard Origins of Life Initiative

Research Grants:  Harvard undergraduates can apply for grants of up to $2,000 to support their research during the academic year.

Summer Undergraduate Program: Summer Undergraduate Research Grants of up to $5,000 are available for undergraduates working in Origins member faculty on Origins-related projects. Possible research areas include astronomy, astrophysics, chemical biology, geophysics, chemistry, genetics, and earth and planetary sciences. 

Summer Program Deadline: March 11, 2016

iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) team - The iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) team is a research experience targeted toward undergraduates interested in synthetic biology and biomolecular engineering. All disciplines are welcome (past members have concentrated in compsci, the life sciences, chemistry, engineering, philosophy, etc.). iGEM represents a unique opportunity to design biological systems for specific tasks at the molecular and organismal scale, model them computationally, and engineer and test them experimentally. In this student-driven experience, a team of undergraduates will decide on a research direction that interests them under the guidance of a mentoring staff that includes a Harvard faculty member and several graduate students/postdocs. The team will work on the project in lab throughout the summer and will be trained in all necessary techniques. The competition in the fall provides a forum where students can meet other like-minded researchers from Harvard and across the globe, and survey the most innovative and exciting ideas in the fields of synthetic biology and biomolecular engineering. [This opportunity is compatible with PRISE and HCRP, please apply concurrently] 

Application: apply.harvardigem.com 

Deadline: February 7, 2016 by 11:59PM

Mind, Brain, Behavior – Summer Thesis Awards for rising seniors in the MBB track. Applications through MBB.

If interested, contact Shawn Harriman in March of your junior year.

Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) Internship Program (HIP) – for students interested in stem cell biology research. Students conduct research in labs affiliated with the HSCI. Accepted students are matched with a research laboratory group. or any college or university across the United States and internationally.  Harvard University will sponsor the visas for international students who are selected for this program.

Deadline: January 29, 2016

FAS Systems Biology/Bauer Fellowship - Sponsored by the FAS Center for Systems Biology at Harvard University. Interns will work on research projects in the labs of the Bauer Fellows and Systems Biology faculty whose work spans many fields of science, from biology (including systems biology, biophysics, boinformatics and genomics) to applied mathematics and computation. Interns will have the opportunity to learn a range of cutting-edge genomics or bioinformatics techniques in the exciting and dynamic research environment at the FAS Center for Systems Biology and the Department for Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. Underrepresented minority students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds are particularly encouraged to apply. 

Deadline: February 1, 2016

Harvard Summer Research Program in Kidney Medicine (HSRPKM) - an introduction to nephrology (kidney medicine) for the undergraduates considering career paths spanning science and medicine. The Program includes nephrology divisions of four Harvard-affiliated hospitals – Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Boston’s Children’s Hospital (BCH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

Deadline: December 31, 2016

BCMP Summer Scholars Program at Harvard University is organized by the The Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology (BCMP) at Harvard Medical School. This 10-week program is open to both Harvard undergraduates and to students from other colleges and universities. Students must be authorized to work in the United States.

Rolling admissions: Application portal for 2016 internship will be opening starting December 15th, 2015. All applications will be considered on a rolling basis until April 30th 2016. Most applicants will be notified with an outcome of the application by May 15th at the latest.


Planetary Health Undergraduate Scholars Fellowship Program - Planetary health is an interdisciplinary field focused on understanding and quantifying the human health impacts of the accelerating transformation of most of Earth’s natural systems including the climate system, land use and land cover, and marine systems (for more details, see here). Selected scholars will 1) receive training in planetary health science during; 2) travel to Madagascar to receive hands-on experience in planetary health research (summer 2017); and 3) learn how to create policy impact by preparing presentations, capstone reports, or policy briefs on the research undertaken in Madagascar. Our desire is that students from across the FAS campus engage in this fellowship program, including anthropology, African studies, computer science, ecology, environmental science, global health, economics, government, visual studies, medicine, and journalism. The team of selected scholars will be advised by Dr. Christopher Golden, who is the Associate Director of the Planetary Health Alliance, a Research Scientist at the School of Public Health. During the Spring 2017 semester, the team will be conducting background research and preparing for the summer field research in Madagascar. For a brief video synopsis of the work (and to see the beautiful area where you will be working!), please see National Geographic’s 3-minute video. To apply please submit a 1 page cover letter and CV to Dr. Golden at golden@hsph.harvard.edu. The cover letter should include information about your disciplinary background, why you are interested in this fellowship, and how you hope to engage in planetary health science in the future. Questions? Please e-mail Dr. Golden. For more details about the program, click here.

Deadline: October 20, 2016.

Benefits: Travel expenses, $1000 stipend, $150 for professional development, mentorship.

Undergraduate Summer Immunology Program at Harvard Medical School - a ten week summer research internship with a stipend. The program consists of laboratory research, lectures, and workshops and is open to Harvard undergraduates and students from other colleges and universities. Applicants must be eligible for employment in the US.

Deadline: January 5, 2016.

Microbial Sciences Initiative - Summer research with Harvard Faculty. Email applications to Dr. Karen Lachmayr.

Deadline: February 2016

Summer Undergraduate Research in Global Health (SURGH) For students engaged in scholarly research with a faculty mentor at a participating laboratory or research site.

Deadline: Monday, February 22, 2016

Harvard Global Health Institute Funding for Independent Projects and Internships

Funding for projects in the United States and abroad.

Deadline: Monday, February 22, 2016

The Joey Hanzich Memorial Undergraduate Travel and Research Fellowship provides up to $5000 to a rising junior or rising senior enrolled in the Secondary Field in Global Health and Health Policy (or another field) who pursues a summer internship, project or research in health policy or global health, either in the United States or abroad.

Deadlines:There are two applications deadlines for the Joey Hanzich Memorial Fellowship. The first is Friday, March 4th, 2016 at 11:00PM, and the second is Friday, April 8th, 2016 at 11:00PM. Preference will be given to applicants who submit by the earlier deadline.

Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology HST Summer Institute - The HST Summer Institute offers hands-on research experience for undergraduates in two areas of study: Biomedical Informatics and Biomedical Optics. Participating institutions include the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Department of Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School.

DeadlinesBiomedical Informatics: Saturday, January 30, 2016. Biomedical Optics: Friday, January 15, 2016

MCZ Grants-in-Aid for Undergraduate Research -The Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ), the Harvard University Herbaria (HUH), and the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University (AA) award small grants in support of faculty-supervised research by Harvard College undergraduates.

Please direct all inquiries to Melissa Aja via email or 617.495.2460.

Deadlines: September for Fall,  early February for Spring; March for summer.

Ernst Mayer Travel Grants in Animal Systematics

Proposals are reviewed two times a year. Please direct all inquiries to Melissa Aja via email or 617.495.2460

Deadlines: October 15 and April 1

The Arnold Arboretum: Fellowships are available to support undergraduate research

Harvard Forest Summer Research Program in Ecology - The Harvard Forest Summer Research (REU) program is an intensive 11-week residential research and education experience at the Harvard Forest, a 3,700-acre outdoor laboratory and classroom in central Massachusetts. Students conduct research on the effects of natural and human disturbances on forest ecosystems, including global climate change, hurricanes, forest harvest, changing wildlife dynamics, and invasive species. The program includes a $5500 stipend, free housing, all meals, and the travel cost of one round trip to Harvard Forest. This program is open to not only Harvard undergraduates, but also students from all colleges and universities in the United States.

The online application system opens in December.

Deadline: February 5, 2016, 11:59 PM EST.

Harvard University Center for the Environment Undergraduate Fund – Two types of funding are available: 1) Funds for independent research (preference given to rising seniors seeking funds for senior honors thesis research) and 2) Research Assistantships (directed summer research experiences under Harvard faculty guidance)

Deadline: March 30, 2016 at 5 pm EST

Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Oceanography: The Harvard Oceanography Committee has funding and fellowships for both term time and summer research. 

Harvard School of Public Health Summer Program in Biological Sciences - This intensive 9 week laboratory-based biological research program is for undergraduate students during the summer following their sophomore or junior year.  Interns apply state-of-the art technology in their own research projects, which focus on biological science questions that are important to the prevention of disease, under the direction of a Harvard faculty member.

Interns receive a generous stipend, travel allowance and free dormitory housing.

Eligibility:

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents of the U.S. (proof of permanent residency must be provided);
  • Applicants must be from an underrepresented group in graduate research, which includes: first generation college students (neither parent nor legal guardian has a bachelor’s degree); students from an economically disadvantaged background as defined by the U.S. Department of Education (requires additional supportive documentation); students from racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented, such as: blacks or African-Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders;
  • Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or above;
  • Applicants must have a basic science background and have taken several classes beyond intro level courses;
  • Applicants must have a demonstrated interest in public health, specifically laboratory research.

Deadline: March 1, 2016

STARS - Summer Training in Academic Reseach Training and Scholarship - STARS provides underrepresented minority (URM) medical and undergraduate students an opportunity to engage in exciting basic, clinical and translational research projects during the summer at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS). Housing and stipend provided.

Deadline: January 21, 2016.

Radcliffe Institute Research Partnership Program -- 

The Radcliffe Institute Research Partnership Program matches students with leading artists, scholars, scientists, and professionals. Radcliffe Fellows act as mentors and students provide research assistance, acquire valuable research skills, and participate in the Institute’s rich intellectual life.

Deadline: September 10, 2016 at 5 p.m.

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Harvard Summer School Study Abroad in the Sciences

In 2015 Harvard Summer School Science Study Abroad programs will be offered in the Dominican Republic, England, Italy, France, and Japan. See below for links to information on each of these programs.

Deadline: Most Harvard Summer School Study Abroad programs: January 28, 2016.

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Darwin and the Origins of Evolutionary Biology - Oxford, England.

Prerequisites: None. Apply through Harvard Summer School.

2016 Dates: July 9 to August 20.

Information: Andrew Berry

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RIKEN Center for Allergy and Immunology - Yokohama, Japan.

Laboratory research in immunology. Students will also receive some Japanese language training. Apply through Harvard Summer School.

Accepted students may apply to the Reischauser Institute for scholarships to help defray the costs of the program.

2016 Dates: TBA 

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RIKEN Brain Science Institute – Laboratory Research in Neurobiology, Tokyo, Japan.

Prerequisites: Neurobiology of Behavior (MCB 80) or Animal Behavior (OEB 50); laboratory experience preferred but not required. Apply through Harvard Summer School.

Accepted students may apply to the Reischauser Institute for scholarships to help defray the costs of the program.

2016 Dates: TBA

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Biodiversity of Hispaniola - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  This six-week course covers basic prinicples of ecology, evolution, and island biogeography in the context of the diversity of habitats and organisms on the island of Hispaniola.

2016 Dates: TBD

Prerequisites: course work in biology

Information: Brian Farrell 

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Cognitive Neurosciences at the University of Trento - Trento, Italy.

This eight-week program at the University of Trento, Italy, organized by the Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative, provides students a unique opportunity to study the mind/brain. Taught by leaders in the fields of neuroscience and cognitive science, the program includes daily, hands-on, laboratory sessions (e.g., neuroimaging demos) and Italian language classes, all while surrounded by the breathtaking Italian Alps.

2016 Dates: TBA

Information: Alfonso Caramazza

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Study Abroad in Paris, France

Biology and the evolution of Paris as a Smart City.

2016 Dates: June 3-July 31

Information: Robert Lue

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Harvard-Bangalore Science Initiative- Bangalore, India. Undergraduates in the life sciences, physical sciences and applied math are encouraged to apply. Students work at one of three research institutes of excellence: 

Note:  This is not a Harvard Summer School Program. 

Prerequisites: Introductory coursework in basic biology, chemistry, physics, and math.

Information: Venkatesh N. Murthy or  Ryan Draft

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Harvard Global Health Institute Summer Undergraduate Fellowship (I-SURF) For students engaged in scholarly research with a faculty mentor at a participating laboratory or research site.

Deadline:Friday, February 5, 2016

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The Office of Career Services (OCS) awards funding for research abroad, including both Harvard Summer School Study Abroad and non-Harvard International programs.  The David Rockefeller International Experience Grant, which is a need-based grant aimed at students who have not previously received Harvard international funding, supports many of these awards. Award amounts vary. The purpose of the grant is to afford all students the opportunity to take part in a significant international experience, regardless of financial background. See the Office of Career Services Summer Funding webpage for more information.

Deadline: February 10, 2016 for most non-Harvard programs

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Herchel Smith-Harvard Undergraduate Science Research Program – Primarily directed toward students intending to pursue research-intensive concentrations and post-graduate study in the sciences. Undergraduate research either at Harvard or elsewhere, including internationally. Applications from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.

Deadline: February 10, 2016

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Weissman International Internship – Research abroad for returning Harvard undergraduates. Average award ~$4000. More information and applications available through OCS.

Deadline: See the Office of Careers Summer Funding webpage

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Booth Fund Fellowship - For seniors to engage in a program of travel, study, research or observation that will further expand and challenge an existing interest in a particular field. 

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