McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University

Summer Research Programs

A student reads outside the Technological Institute.

The summer research programs listed below are divided into Northwestern Programs, Non-Northwestern Programs, and Study Abroad Programs. All of the listed programs are well-established and typically include a stipend. Application due dates are early (from November to February) and enrollment is fairly competitive so be sure to start your applications early!

(Note: Although some program names may seem to imply a required specialization, many programs are interdisciplinary and accept students from a wide range of backgrounds. For example, ChBE students are encouraged to apply to the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), MSE majors interested in biomedical research can always try applying to NIH, and EECS majors are encouraged to apply to Summer Internships in Neural Engineering (SINE).

For further information and general advice on research, all undergraduates are welcome to participate in our Peer Advising in Research program, where you can talk to experienced undergraduate researchers in various fields.)

Northwestern Summer Research Programs

Programs below are open to any eligible college undergraduate. Some NU students have enrolled in these programs, but most NU students doing summer research at NU go through a more informal process of approaching individual professors. Please read How to Get Started in Research to learn more.

Bioengineering Education Research REU (BER REU)
Deadline: February 15
Eligibility: US Citizens/Permanent Residents
Duration: June 13 to August 12
Stipend: $4050 plus housing allowance and travel expenses
Application Requirements: Personal statement, one letter of recommendation, unofficial transcript
Project Description: The BER REU program is a rich summer experience for undergraduates from diverse backgrounds that will increase student knowledge of both biomedical engineering and educational theory and pedagogical design. This program is directly descended from the successful REU associated with the VaNTH ERC. Each student will work with a faculty mentor to develop, refine, assess or implement curricular materials related to bioengineering – an area of real ongoing research where undergraduates can make a difference and be valuable teammembers. Please note that 'benchtop' biomedical research itself is not a focus of the BER REU. Vanderbilt and UT Austin are additional research sites.
Other Notes: REU program 

Paid Research Opportunities at NU Physical Sciences-Oncology Center
Deadline: March 2
Eligibility: Northwestern Student
Duration: June 21 to August 13
Stipend: $3500 plus a $500 supplies allowance
Project Description:  The NU Physical Sciences-Oncology Center is funded by the National Cancer Institute and uses physical sciences-based approaches to understand the molecular changes leading to cancer. The 8-week program includes hands-on laboratory research, weekly seminars in tumor biology, and two two-day workshops.

Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)
Deadline: February 15
Eligibility: US Citizens
Duration: June 21 to Aug 20 (9 weeks)
Stipend: $4000 with on-campus housing and travel expenses
Application Requirements: Personal statement, two letters of recommendation, official transcript
Project Description: Applicants work under a Center faculty on an available project that best matches the student’s research interests. Faculty members come from eight different Northwestern departments. Research topics include polymers and polymer nanocomposites, multifunctional metal oxides, nanowires and molecular electronics, biologically relevant materials, art conservation, device fabrication, and computational modeling.
Other Notes: REU program

Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC)
Deadline: February 15
Eligibility: US citizen or resident
Duration: June 21 to Aug 20 (9 weeks)
Stipend: $4,500 with on-campus housing and travel expenses
Project Description: Nanotechnology-related topic under the leadership of Professor Mark Hersam.
Other Notes: A REU program

Summer Research Opportunity (SROP)
Deadline: February 10
Eligibility: US citizen or permanent resident, at least sophomore enrollment, minimum 3.3 GPA
Duration: June 21 to Aug 13
Stipend: $4,000 with housing and travel expensive, possible $500 in research supplies and $450 campus meal subsidy
Project Description: The mission of SROP has been to increase diversity among students pursuing graduate education and to provide a valuable academic research experience for many students who might not otherwise have access to such opportunities. Each student selected to participate in the program will work with a faculty member in the student's area of interest.
Other Notes: Early Admission Decision Program exists, course credit available.

Continuing Umbrella of Research Experience (CURE)
Deadline: March 1
Eligibility: See Qualifications in website
Duration: June 22 - August 13
Stipend: $3,200 plus travel and housing provided
Project Description: CURE gives underserved college students the opportunity to work alongside top cancer researchers at the Lurie Comprehensive Research Center in downtown Chicago.

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Non-Northwestern Summer Research Programs

For those interested in studying abroad, please visit Study Abroad Summer Research Programs.

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)
Deadline: Generally in December/January
Eligibility: If the program is funded by NSF, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
Stipend:  Around $4,000
Description: REU programs are funded by the NSF and hosted by individual universities. These programs are generally well-established and fairly prestigious. Research projects cover a very broad range of fields in engineering and science. To apply to REU programs, you will have to visit the individual program’s website and follow the application procedures there. Many Northwestern undergraduates have attended summer REU programs in the past.

Summer Undergraduate Medical Research Programs
This is a comprehensive list of summer research programs focusing in medical research compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Colorado REU for Renewable Bioenergy Research
Deadline: February 22
Eligibility: U.S. citizens and international students are eligible
Duration: June 2 to August 6 (flexible for students on quarter system)
Stipend: $4000 stipend, $1500 housing and meal stipend, $500 for travel costs
Project Description: Conduct biofuel, biochemical, and biorefining-related research in the areas of: feedstock engineering, plant biotechnology, thermochemical conversion, process engineering, lifestyle assessment, and economic viability.

Deadline: February 16
Eligibility: Students must be current sophomores through non-graduating seniors, must be attending a four-year university, and must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents. GPA of 3.2 is required.
Duration: 10 weeks during summer (flexible)
Stipend: Amgen Scholars will receive a $5500 award, round-trip air transportation, a generous housing allowance, and a food allowance. Project Description: Caltech's Amgen Scholars Program is geared towards students in biology, chemistry, and biotechnology fields. Some of these fields include biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, and chemistry.

Deadline:  January 13, 2010
Eligibility: Students must be current sophomores through non-graduating seniors and must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.
Duration: 10 weeks during summer (flexible)
Stipend: $6000 award. Additional housing and travel support may be provided
Project Description: The MURF program aims to increase the participation of underrepresented students (such as African American, Hispanic, and Native American, females who are underrepresented in their discipline, and first-generation college students) in science and engineering Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. programs and to make Caltech's programs more visible to students not traditionally exposed to Caltech.

Yale University Internships in Biomedical Engineering
Deadline: February 28
Eligibility: U.S. citizen or permanent resident
Duration: June 2 to August 8
Stipend: $4800
Description: 10 week internships provide support for promising students to work with research groups in a variety of research areas including biomedical image analysis, drug delivery, optical imaging, magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, tissue engineering, positron emission tomography (PET, and biomechanics.

Science Laboratory Undergraduate Internships (SULI)
Deadline: Applicants will be chosen starting February 1
Eligibility: U.S. citizen or permanent resident
Duration: 10 weeks (May through August)
Stipend: $400/week with some housing and travel expenses
Work in one of several National Laboratories, including Argonne, Brookhaven, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. Research projects cover a broad range of fields in engineering and science, including Health Sciences, Nuclear Forensics, and Science Writing. The application contains information on currently participating laboratories and research areas available at those sites.
Other Notes: graduating seniors are allowed to apply, although an additional application is required

National Institutes of Health Summer Internship Program (NIH SIP)
Deadline: Application open mid-November through March 1
Eligibility: U.S. citizen or permanent resident
Duration: Minimum 8 weeks
Stipend: $2,000 to $2,200
Project Description: Work side-by-side with some of the leading scientists in the world in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research.
Other Notes: The general program is called the Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research. However, look under “Other Programs” and you’ll find one specifically for bioengineering undergraduates and several others for underrepresented groups.

Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP)
Deadline: February 10
Eligibility: US citizen or resident, at least sophomore enrollment, minimum 3.0 GPA
Duration: 10 weeks
Stipend: At least $2,500 with $1,100 toward room and board and travel
Project Description: The Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) is a gateway to graduate education at CIC institutions (the "Big Ten" universities plus The University of Chicago).  The goal of the program is to increase the number of underrepresented students who pursue graduate study and research careers.  SROP helps prepare undergraduates for graduate study through intensive research experiences with faculty mentors and enrichment activities.

Deadline: N/A
Eligibility: Students who are pursuing BSc; MSc; MBA; PhD; JD
Duration: 10-12 weeks
Project Description: Genentech University Recruiting provides research-based intern program and co-ops for undergraduate students.

NASA Internships in the Undergraduate Student Research Project
Deadline: January 22
Eligibility: US citizen
Duration: 10 weeks
Stipend: $6,000 plus one round-trip or ground transportation allowance to and from the NASA Host Center
Project Description: NASA-USRP provides students with hands-on, real-life, career-related internships that challenge, inspire, and provide practical application to complement students’ academic education.

Amgen Scholars Program in Science and Biotechnology
Deadline: February 2
Eligibility: US citizen or permanent resident
Duration: 8-10 weeks
Stipend: $4,000-$6,000 with room and board and transportation allowance
Project Description: The Amgen Scholars Program provides hundreds of selected undergraduate students with the opportunity to engage in a hands-on research experience at some of the nation’s leading educational institutions. Amgen Scholars have the opportunity to take part in important university research projects, interact with and receive guidance from faculty mentors, and attend scientific seminars, workshops and other networking activities. The program includes a mid-summer, three-day symposium where students will hear firsthand from leading scientists working in industry and academia.

Computational & Systems Biology Summer Institute at Iowa State
Deadline: April 15
Eligibility: US citizen or permanent resident
Duration: 8 weeks
Stipend: $4,000
Project Description: A key aspect of the training program is its emphasis on integrating state-of-the-art bioinformatics approaches with the analysis of massive biological data sets from broad areas such as genome sequencing, microarray experiments, proteomics, protein-protein interactions, and other high-throughput methods.

The National Cancer Institute’s Integrative Cancer Biology Program (NCI-ICBP)
Deadline: January 21
Eligibility: US Citizen or resident, sophomore or Junior enrollment, minimum 3.0 GPA
Duration: June 7 to August 6
Stipend: $3,300 with travel and living expenses
Project Description: Researchers within each ICBP Center utilize the integration of experimental biology with mathematical and computational modeling to gain new insights into the biology and management of cancer.

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Study Abroad Summer Research Programs

International Research and Education in Engineering
Deadline: February 15
Eligibility: Strong preference for U.S. citizens or permanent residents
Duration: May to August (flexible)
Stipend: $3000 plus housing, meals, and travel costs
Project Description: The IREE Program was initiated by the National Science Foundation (ENG/EEC) in 2006 to promote enhancement of global competency of 21st century engineering professionals, development of collaborations with engineering researchers abroad, and providing students with opportunities to experience the life and culture of a another country while conducting engineering-related research projects. It enables early-career researchers in the U.S. to gain international research experience and perspective. IREE also seeks to enhance U.S. innovation in both research and education, as well as enable connections between the research programs of NSF's divisions with the education of students.

NSF IRES – Fuel-Cell Research at Beijing Jiaotong University
Deadline: January 4
Eligibility: Entering Junior or Senior students. GPA of at least 3.0. U.S. citizens or permanent residents
Duration: May 17 to July 9
Stipend: $4000, meal stipend, and $1500 to offset travel costs
Project Description: The department of mechanical engineering at Oakland University is hosting an
International Research Experience for Students (IRES) program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The objective of the proposed NSF IRES site is to annually provide five U.S. engineering students (4 undergraduates and one graduate) with the unique opportunity to work on collaborative research between Oakland University (OU) and Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU) in Beijing, China. The IRES participants will spend 7 weeks at BJTU in China working on fuel cell-related projects.

DAAD (Germany) - Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE)
Deadline: Dec 7 to Jan 31
Eligibility: at least sophomore enrollment
Duration: May to Aug (6 weeks to 3 months)
Stipend: Euro 650/month
Project Description: RISE is a summer internship program for undergraduate students from the United States, Canada and the UK in fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences and engineering to do research in top universities/institutions across Germany. In the application, you’ll choose research projects submitted by German PhD students.
Other Notes: DAAD provides various kinds of scholarships to intern and do research in Germany. Most of the scholarships are for summer period, but some allow 3-month or year-long internships. You may want to check eligibility requirements, especially if knowledge of German is required or not.

The ThinkSwiss Research Scholarships
A scholarship offered through a program facilitated by the Swiss Embassy. Undergraduates and graduate applicants across the US compete for 15 research scholarships, to help support their research at a Swiss university. Applicants need to be accepted to a laboratory/research center in Switzerland prior to their application.

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