VPUE-Sponsored Summer Research

The Department of Biology, using funds from the office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE), offers two paid research programs to enrolled Stanford undergraduates who want to spend the summer participating in ongoing faculty research projects.

Participating students are usually sophomores who have completed at least one quarter of Bio core or Hum Bio 2A, or especially well-prepared freshmen. You donít need to have a concrete plan of what you would like to do. The basic design of the research projects is provided by faculty who will guide you.

Summer Research in Biology (SRB) Program

This on-campus Summer Research in Biology Program offers internships to Stanford students to join participating faculty members in their labs.

Students will get the opportunity to work directly with faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students. Laboratory research often involves long hours at the bench and a great attention to detail. The hours can be irregular and the results may be few and far between. Learn the details of each project from the Summer Research Project Descriptions, talk to the research sponsors, and decide if it is right for you.

We have projects in the following research areas:

       Ecology and Evolution

       Cell, Molecular, Developmental, and Plant Biology

       Integrative, Organismal and Marine Biology

 

 

 

 

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Field Studies Program (FSP)

Our Field Studies Program takes Stanford students off campus - out into the field and around the world - to experience environmental, ecological and animal behavior research. Often, data is collected in the field and analyzed on campus.

You will learn the basics of ecological and behavioral research, including observation methods, mapping, and sampling procedures. More importantly, you will see how much careful planning - and how much data - are required to test hypotheses in behavioral and population biology. The intensive experience will equip you to undertake an honors project back at Stanford during the academic year, should you wish to do so. Locations include the Arizona desert and Hawaii, to name a few.

Fieldwork usually entails outdoor activities, and many of these internships will require hard work in rugged environments. Learn the details of each internship from the Field Studies Project Descriptions, talk to the research sponsors, and decide if it is right for you. The general expectation is that you will be working long days without the comforts of home. It may include getting up at 5 AM, being out in the sun for several hours at a time, or living in a tent. It will generally include paying close attention to small details every day, getting along well with other people, and dealing with difficult situations. Learn the details of each project from the descriptions below.

We have projects in the following research areas:

       Ecology and Evolution

       Cell, Molecular, Developmental, and Plant Biology

       Integrative, Organismal and Marine Biology

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are students accepted on a rolling application basis?
  2. I'm a coterm student. Am I eligible to apply?
  3. I am not a student at Stanford. Am I eligible to apply?
  4. Can my summer research turn into an honors thesis?
  5. How detailed is the application?
  6. Do I need letters of recommendation?
  7. How do I know which type of grant I should apply for?
  8. Can I apply to more than one SRB or FSP project, or can I apply to multiple SRB and FSP projects?
  9. Do I need to contact faculty members about their projects before I apply?
  10. When do projects begin? How long do they last?
  11. Is any research experience required?
  12. Do I need to be a Biology major in order to apply?
  13. Is housing provided?
  14. How much will I get paid?
  15. What costs are covered?
  16. Can I also enroll in Summer courses if I accept a research position?
  1. Are students accepted on a rolling application basis?
    Applications will not be forwarded to faculty until the deadline has passed. However, some faculty may make preliminary decisions based on students that contact them before the deadline. If you are really interested in a particular project, you are certainly welcome to contact faculty to ask any questions you might have at this point.



  1. I'm a coterm student. Am I eligible to apply?
    Coterm students are only eligible for this program if they are conferring their undergraduate degree in Summer 2011-2012 or later. If you have already conferred your undergraduate degree or plan to do so in Spring 2011-2012, you are not eligible for this program.



  1. I am not a student at Stanford. Am I eligible to apply?
    No. This program is only open to matriculated Stanford undergraduates.



  1. Can my summer research turn into an honors thesis?
    Yes, for both SRB and FSP projects, many students have continued the work after the summer and turned it into an honors thesis.



  1. How detailed is the application?
    The application requires biographical, academic, and reference information as well as a few short essays. Total completion time will range from 10-30 minutes.



  1. Do I need letters of recommendation?
    The application asks for two reference names and contact information, but we will not accept letters of recommendation.



  1. How do I know which type of grant I should apply for?
    The department SRB and FSP programs are intended for freshmen and sophomores who are not yet started on an independent research project. Because students are applying to an already-established project, they are able to get a taste for research before committing to it as their own project. Juniors who just want a summer research experience but not necessarily intending to complete honors are also welcome to apply. Juniors who already have a research project established are encouraged to apply for a UAR Major Grant.



  1. Can I apply to more than one SRB or FSP project, or can I apply to multiple SRB and FSP projects?
    Yes, students can apply to up to four SRB projects and up to four FSP projects if they wish. However, be aware that you are ranking your order of preference when you apply for more than one project, and faculty will see this ranking! Students will only be able to ultimately participate in one project over the summer.



  1. Do I need to contact faculty members about their projects before I apply?
    No, this is not required, but you are welcome to contact faculty if you have additional questions about their project. It will not only help faculty put a face to a name when they receive applications, but will also give you practice in looking up various research projects and figuring out what questions you need or want to ask.



  1. When do projects begin? How long do they last?
    Start and end dates vary, depending on the project. The majority of projects this summer are for a full 10 weeks, with start dates as early as Monday after Commencement. This means that you should plan any vacations around the summer research commitment. The length of each project is noted on both the SRB and FSP project description pages.



  1. Is any research experience required?
    Not necessarily - these projects are created for students who want to get started in the research field. That being said, some faculty might want students to have a little experience, so be sure to ask this clarification question if you contact faculty ahead of time.



  1. Do I need to be a Biology major in order to apply?
    No, any major is welcome to apply but some science background may be necessary, depending on the project.



  1. Is housing provided?
    Being awarded a VPUE SRB, FSP, or a major UAR grant does not guarantee on-campus housing! Please consult the Housing Assignments website for information about housing options, application procedures, and relevant deadlines.



  1. How much will I get paid?
    The rate of pay varies, but all students will receive a stipend to cover their summer expenses. The maximum stipend that a student will receive is $5,600. This amount is reduced for projects that require travel, and projects that span less than 10 weeks.



  1. What costs are covered?
    Most grants cover the cost of living, lab supplies, and for field programs, transportation. Specifics vary from project to project.



  1. Can I also enroll in Summer courses if I accept a research position?
    No. These research positions are considered full-time for the summer so students are not permitted to also enroll in summer courses.

 

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UAR Major Grants

Undergraduate Advising & Research (UAR) offers a Major Grant for undergraduates for up to $5,600. Major Grants support substantial, in-depth projects that normally include a full-time summer commitment, and that demonstrate focused, intellectually rigorous perspectives on the topics at hand. Almost all Major Grants are awarded to students beginning an honors thesis between their junior and senior years. For more information, including application information and deadlines, see the UAR Major Grants website.

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Other Grants From UAR

Undergraduate Advising & Research (UAR) offer other smaller grants applicable to students in science disciplines. Small Grants are intended for smaller independent student projects (including preliminary or exploratory work) and follow-up expenses associated with larger projects. Additionally, students can apply for Conference Grants if they have been invited to lead the presentation of their independent work at a professional or scholarly conference. Both are limited to $1,500 and have deadlines throughout the academic year. For more information, including application information and deadlines, see the UAR Research Grants website.

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