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The Undergraduate's Guide to Summer Research and Internship Opportunities

Make the most of your summer break with this selection of STEM and healthcare research and internship programs for undergraduate students. These programs are designed specifically to help you gain hands-on experience and build your network with leading experts in your field.

Three healthcare professionals, two women and an older man, discussing summer research opportunities over notes in a bright hospital corridor.

If you’re a STEM or healthcare student, you know that the academic year can be an intense and busy time as you juggle lectures, labs, papers, and more, but have you thought about what you’ll do over your summer break? If you’re eager to keep learning while creating a foundation for your future career, a summer internship or research opportunity might just be the perfect place for you. Nonprofits, tech and pharmaceutical corporations, and government offices and departments all offer internship and research opportunities for students, with healthcare and STEM students in especially high demand.

With 70% of employers offering full-time jobs to interns, interning and doing research over the summer is a great way to enhance your resume and possibly get hired after graduation. The right internship or research program can be an opportunity to get real-world experience in a field you’re passionate about and make an impact on a large-scale research project or organizations from hospitals to engineering firms. Read on to learn about some great summer research and internship opportunities and how to make your application the best it can be.

40 Summer Research or Internship Opportunities for Undergrads

There are summer research and internship opportunities available for STEM and healthcare students in every state in the U.S. Whether you’re looking to stay near your campus or near your hometown as you do your internship or research, finding the right opportunity can be hard with so many options available. To get you started, we’ve found 40 opportunities to consider for this coming summer.

Research Opportunities

AAPM Summer Undergraduate Fellowship Program

  • Dates: 10 weeks over the course of the summer after acceptance
  • The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) offers paid research fellowships to STEM undergraduate students with at least two years of their degree completed. Fellows are matched with mentors at clinical settings across the country for their fellowships.
  • Deadline to Apply: February 2

CRISSP Research Fellowships

  • Dates: 10 weeks, June – August
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) offers 10-week summer undergraduate research fellowships through the CHOP Research Institute Summer Scholars Program (CRISSP). Fellows will be conducting research full-time at a world-class children’s research hospital, with housing and stipend included.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

SURF at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

  • Dates: 9-10 weeks beginning in late May
  • The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital offers undergraduates the opportunity to gain hands-on research experience in a biomedical laboratory with other students from across the country. The program also offers research training opportunities and networking, and fellows are compensated at an hourly rate.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

Drexel College of Medicine Summer Fellowship

  • Dates: 9 weeks during the summer
  • Drexel College of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA, offers research fellowships for undergraduates in the greater Philadelphia area every summer. Fellows will be assigned a laboratory where they will work 40 hours per week, as well as receiving mentorship from faculty. Fellows will be paid a stipend of $3,000.
  • Deadline to Apply: Early January


  • Dates: 11 weeks, late May to early August
  • The Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) offers the Summer Research Institute (SRI@FMHI) for up to 12 undergraduates. Students will not only be attending seminars but will be paired with a mentor in order to complete an independent research project which they will present at a research symposium.
  • Deadline to Apply: March 20

American Mathematical Society REUs

  • Dates: Varies
  • The American Mathematical Society (AMS) offers research experiences for undergraduates (REUs) each summer. REUs are offered at a variety of different sites that the AMS supports, and students may be working in areas as diverse as computational mathematics for data science, immersive 3D visualization, experimental mathematics, and more.
  • Deadline to Apply: March 31

Amgen Scholars at Washington University in St. Louis

  • Dates: 10 weeks, late May to early August
  • Washington University in St. Louis offers the annual Amgen Scholars research program in biomedical sciences for undergraduates. Scholars will be based in California for 10 weeks of intensive laboratory-based research, before a final presentation of their work in St. Louis, Missouri. If accepted, all expenses plus stipend are provided.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

Boston University SURF Program

  • Dates: 10 weeks, early June to mid-August
  • Boston University offers Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) to undergraduates from all schools with a focus on biology, with specific details of the research focus varying year by year. Students from racial minority backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply.
  • Deadline to Apply: April 1

Chem-SURF at UC-Irvine

  • Dates: 9 weeks, mid-June to mid-August
  • For students majoring in chemistry or a related field with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, the University of California–Irvine offers summer research opportunities through their Chem-SURF fellowships. Fellows will conduct original research in addition to attending seminars. Weekly stipends are provided.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

Institute for Shock Physics SURE

  • Dates: 9 weeks over the summer
  • The Institute for Shock Physics at Washington State University offers Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) for students majoring in physics, chemistry, materials science, and mechanical engineering. Students will receive housing and a stipend while studying “materials under extreme conditions.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

PSI Start Program

  • Dates: 10 weeks minimum, beginning in May
  • For rising graduate students and upper-level undergraduates who intend to apply to a graduate program in physics, the Perimeter Institute offers 10-week summer online school and 12-week minimum research internship, which may be undertaken together or separately.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

Woods Hole Summer Student Fellowship

  • Dates: 10-12 weeks, flexible start times
  • The Woods hole Marine Science Center, part of the U.S. Geographic Survey, offers summer fellowships in oceanography for undergraduates. Fellows will attend seminars, collect ocean samples, and work with leading experts in the field. Members of historically underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.
  • Deadline to Apply: February 5

Active Minds Emerging Scholars Fellowship

  • Dates: January – June
  • This selective undergraduate and graduate fellowship offers students the opportunity to undertake a funded independent research project relating to mental health. Scholars are paired with a mentor throughout their project. Studies relating to mental health equity and antiracism are strongly encouraged.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

Scripps Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

  • Dates: 8 weeks, June – August
  • The Scripps institute for Oceanographic Research offers undergraduate fellowships in oceanography. Fellows are housed at UC-San Diego as they undertake research, connect with fellow students and scholars in the field, and participate in an end-of-program symposium.
  • Deadline to Apply: April 21

Keck Geology Advanced Research Experiences

  • Dates: Varies
  • For undergraduate sophomores and juniors studying earth science, geology, or a related field, the Keck Geology Consortium offers student research experiences. These will involve an independent research project which students must commit to presenting. Transportation to various research sites and a stipend are included.
  • Deadline to Apply: February 15

Mount Sinai SURP4US

  • Dates: 10 weeks, June – August
  • The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City offers its Summer Undergraduate Research Program for Underrepresented Scholars. Minority undergraduates will undertake 10 weeks of biomedical research and receive advice and training on the postgrad application process. Housing in NYC and a stipend are provided.
  • Deadline to Apply: January 15

Mayo Clinic SURF Program

  • Dates: Late May to early August
  • The Mayo Clinic offers a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program for rising college juniors and seniors. Up to 180 fellows on campuses in Florida, Arizona, and Minnesota will undertake biomedical research at world-class facilities with established scientists. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Deadline to Apply: February 1

ORISE Research Participation Program

  • Dates: Varies
  • The Oak Ridge Institute for Science Education (ORISE) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offer a variety of research opportunities for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. Participants are paired with a staff scientist at one of several facilities, and details vary from site to site.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

Harvard Summer Program in Biostatistics and Computational Biology

  • Dates: 6 weeks over the summer
  • Upper-level undergraduates interested in graduate school in biostatistics and related fields may benefit from this intensive summer program at Harvard University. Participants will travel to local laboratories to learn about public health initiatives, prepare for the GRE, and learn tech and coding skills relevant to biostatistical research.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

MSU Solar Astronomy and Space Physics REU Program

  • Dates: Late May to early August
  • Montana State University offers this program in solar astronomy and space physics to rising college juniors and seniors. Fellows will have the opportunity to work on major research projects while taking classes and seminars. Housing and a stipend are provided.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

Internship Opportunities

WHO Internship Program

  • Dates: Up to 24 consecutive weeks, dates vary by station
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) offers internship opportunities for students interested in public health from around the world. Internships may be based at the WHO office in Geneva or any number of offsite locations. Applicants may be current students or recent graduates.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

MPL Summer Internship Program

  • Dates: 10 weeks over the summer, datesvary
  • Undergraduate students considering a career in scientific research are encouraged to apply for Marine Physical Laboratory (MPL) internships at the Scripps Institute for Oceanography. Interns are paid a stipend, and work directly with Scripps’ renowned scientists.
  • Deadline to Apply: January 13

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Internship

  • Dates: 10 weeks, dates vary
  • NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory offers paid internships for undergraduates with suitable research backgrounds. Successful applicants are paired directly with mentors based on their skills and strengths to work on projects. Interns are paid, and can work both on-site and remotely.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

Los Alamos National Laboratory Undergraduate Internship Program

  • Dates: Varies
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico offers a year-round internship program for undergraduates. Applicants should find which internship opportunity best suits their needs and talents and apply. Internships are offered in a variety of scientific fields. Students should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

HPC Cluster Engineering Academy

  • Dates: 9 weeks in the summer months
  • Livermore Computing offers a 9-week paid internship to train undergraduates in cluster engineering and maintaining high-performance computer systems (HPCs). Interns will be expected to develop and present individual projects over the course of the internship.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

Fermilab SIST

  • Dates: 12 weeks, summers only
  • Fermilab in Illinois offers paid internships for rising undergraduate juniors and seniors through their Summer Internship in Science and Technology (SIST). Applicants should have a 3.0 GPA or higher and be eligible to do paid work in the U.S.
  • Deadline to Apply: January 23

Fermilab Environmental Management Internship

  • Dates: 12 weeks over the summer months
  • Fermilab offers 12-week paid internships for undergraduates at any stage of their education at one of their two sites in Illinois or South Dakota. Applicants should have a 3.0 GPA or higher and be majoring in environmental science, environmental engineering, or similar.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

LBNF/DUNE Internship

  • Dates: Varies
  • Undergraduates at 4-year colleges majoring in mining-related engineering fields are eligible to apply for this Fermilab paid internship, which takes place on site in Lead, South Dakota. Applicants should be rising juniors or seniors and have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • Deadline to Apply: March 31

Lee Teng Undergraduate Internship

  • Dates: 10 weeks, late May – early August
  • College juniors and outstanding sophomores are eligible to apply for the Lee Teng Undergraduate Internship in accelerator science. Students will be based at either Fermilab in Illinois or the Argonne National Laboratory, also in Illinois. Interns are paid, and may also earn college credit.
  • Deadline to Apply: January 29

MSI Intern Program

  • Dates: 10 weeks beginning in May
  • Students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in STEM are eligible for the minority-serving institutions (MSI) intern program with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Interns must have at least one year of college credit. Virtual and hybrid opportunities available.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

Google BOLD Internship

  • Dates: Varies
  • Rising college juniors and seniors are eligible to apply for the BOLD internship program at Google. Students are placed across a variety of teams at Google through the duration of this paid internship program, and upon completion, are considered eligible for consideration for a full-time role.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

Explore Microsoft

  • Dates: 12 weeks over the summer months
  • First and second year college students majoring in technical fields including computer science, software engineering, and more are invited to apply for the Explore Microsoft internship program. Located primarily on Microsoft’s campuses in Washington state, these internships are designed to prepare students for a career in software development.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

APS/IBM Research Internship

  • Dates: 10 weeks, flexible start dates
  • Women and racial minorities studying a STEM field, ideally related to computer science and applied mathematics, are eligible to apply for this 10-week paid internship hosted at multiple sites across the country. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Deadline to Apply: January 31

International Medical Aid Mental Health Internship

  • Dates: Varies
  • For undergraduates and graduate students in fields related to mental health, IMA offers mental health internships across several continents. All expenses are covered, and interns will be helping to bring mental health support through a recognized program to underserved communities.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

Massachusetts Clean Energy Internships

  • Dates: Varies
  • Current college students and recent graduates resident in Massachusetts are eligible to apply for this internship program, which offers year-round start dates. Interns are matched with an employer in the clean energy sector to work with for their program, with networking opportunities.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

DOE Environmental Management Internship

  • Dates: Varies
  • Undergraduates and recent graduates are eligible to apply for an environmental management internship sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Internships span multiple sites and departments, and details vary from site to site regarding work schedules, start times, etc.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

INSIGHT Summer Research Internship

  • Dates: 8 weeks, June – August
  • Undergraduates in health-related fields and first-year medical students are eligible to apply for this intensive research internship based across Washington state. Interns will be working on the cutting edge of injury prevention and trauma recovery from medical and broader health standpoints.
  • Deadline to Apply: February

International Medical Aid Nursing/Pre-Nursing Internships Abroad

  • Dates: Varies
  • Undergraduate nursing and pre-nursing students are eligible to apply for IMA’s nursing and pre-nursing internships abroad. These internships, located across multiple continents, include all expenses, provide students with valuable experience, and serve medically underserved communities.
  • Deadline to Apply: Varies

SQMS Quantum Undergraduate Internship

  • Dates: 10 weeks; June – August
  • Undergraduate sophomores and juniors studying physics are eligible for this paid internship at the National QIS Center for Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems (SQMS). Interns will work directly with scientists at one of several sites across the country. Minorities and women encouraged to apply.
  • Deadline to Apply: February 15

US CMS Undergraduate Internship

  • Dates: June – August
  • This internship seeks to train underrepresented minorities and women in STEM fields, particularly physics. These paid internships are located at over 50 different sites across the U.S. and are open to undergraduates from underrepresented groups who have completed at least one year of coursework.
  • Deadline to Apply: January 31

Getting in: How to Earn a Research Opportunity or Internship

Internships and research programs are often highly competitive, with extensive application processes. This can be intimidating, but don’t worry. There are ways to improve your odds of acceptance into a good program that matches your interests. Here are some tips for your internship applications.

Be Selective

While it can be tempting to apply to as many programs as possible, this strategy can waste your time and the time of the application committees. Narrow your focus to internships and research opportunities that align with your academic work, causes you’re passionate about, and your long-term career goals. With that in mind, applying to multiple programs within that description can be a good way to increase your odds of acceptance.

It’s All in the Details

Internship and research opportunity applications can be complex, but don’t get overwhelmed. Read the application guidelines carefully before you begin your application and follow them precisely. Being careful not to miss any questions and filling in every section is vital to getting your application the attention it deserves. Remember that any optional sections of the application, like extra personal statements or extracurricular references, can be an opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

Quality Letters of Recommendation

While not all internships and research programs require or accept letters of recommendation, for many, it’s a key part of the application. If that’s the case, be careful about choosing who your references are. The ideal reference is someone who has worked with you in an academic or professional context, but who also knows you as a person and can speak to your character. Be sure to reach out well in advance to give your references plenty of time to write their letters.

Be Passionate

To the admissions committee reading your application, you’re effectively a total stranger. The application essays and personal statement are an opportunity to change that. Think about why, exactly, this opportunity means so much to you. Sure, it looks good on your resume, but why do you care about the work itself? Be sure to emphasize why the work or research you’ll be doing is important to you, and show why you care.

Proofread & Edit

Everyone makes mistakes, but you can catch them before you submit your application. Be sure to proofread before submission to catch typos, grammatical errors, and other careless mistakes. Proofreading and editing can also help you find which portions of your application work the best and which need some improvement.

It can be a good idea to have a second pair of eyes look over your application. This can be a trusted friend or a professional editing service.

Try, Try Again

Internships and research programs are competitive. If you apply for a prestigious or highly competitive program and don’t get it, don’t be discouraged. You can always reapply next year, which will show the admissions committee your dedication. In the meantime, though, it can’t help to have a solid backup plan, whether that’s an internship or research through a less prestigious program, a summer job, or volunteering.

Benefits of Participating in a Summer Research Program

Summer can be a great time to take a break, so you might be wondering why you should disrupt it with a busy internship or research program. There are many reasons, both personal and professional, an internship or summer research can be great. It’s important to relax over breaks, but you should also take advantage of every opportunity to build your future. Here are just a few valuable benefits to summer internships and research programs.

Gain Hands-on Experience

Studying in a classroom is valuable, but there’s no substitute for hands-on, real-world experience. Research programs and internships can put you in a lab, a field site, a clinic, or any number of other settings. There, you’ll be able to put your classroom knowledge into practice, and see how your research is relevant in the real world.

Professional Development

One of the things to remember about internships and research opportunities is, although they’re not permanent positions, they are jobs. You’ll be working in a professional environment, possibly with a structure unlike anything you’d see in a classroom. This means that internships and research opportunities are a great chance to develop your professional skills and get ready for a full-time position after graduation.

Networking Opportunities

Ever heard someone say “who you know can be as important as what you know”? In the professional world, this can be true, hence the importance of networking. Summer research programs and internships can be fantastic networking opportunities, with the chance to meet and work directly alongside top professionals in your field. Keeping in touch with these connections can be a huge benefit further along in your career.

Add it to Your Resume

After graduation, you’ll be applying for jobs and postgraduate programs. It’s important to have an interesting, eye-catching resume, and internships and research experience can help. They add a level of professionalism to your resume, showing that you have real-world experience along with your academic achievements. Having solid internship or research experience on your resume will also show you had the initiative to seek out challenging opportunities during college.

Learn Something New

Knowledge is fascinating and powerful, so it’s important to be open to opportunities to gain more. Working at an internship or research program can be a great way to learn something new. Whether that’s the ins and outs of a professional organization or the details of new scientific research, an internship or research program can be a great way to learn new skills and ideas over the summer.

Great Stepping Stone to Graduate School

If you’re thinking about applying to graduate school after college, an internship or research program can help you get on your way. Not only are many programs specifically geared for aspiring grad students, you’ll gain skills that will help you in grad school. STEM grad programs are often focused on research, so honing your research skills in advance will give you an advantage.

You May Get to Travel (and it’s Fun!)

Curious to visit new places? Your internship or research opportunity may be a chance to travel somewhere new, and your expenses will often be covered. Beyond that, a new experience can be a lot of fun. An internship or research program can be a great chance to try new things, meet new people, and maybe make some lasting new friendships.