Skip to main content

Office of Undergraduate Research

External Fellowships & Awards

Tips for Finding a Program Outside UR

Think about your career goals—if you are a biology undergraduate, are you pursuing medical school? If so, the Amgen Scholars program might be for you. If you’re more interested in basic research (possibly not working directly with patients, but researching new cures and treatments), look to NSF-funded programs. If you are a computer science undergraduate and might want a career in academic research, again the NSF sites would be a great place to look first, but if you’re industry-minded, the IBM Research program or similar corporate programs may interest you more for their practical applications. If you’re not sure yet, that’s OK! Participating in research can help you find out what you enjoy most. When you apply, make sure you check the program’s funding and their development goals, and who they would be interested in funding.

Hone your interests—if you’re a computer science major, what sort of projects interest you? Robotics? Human-computer interfaces? Operating systems? If you’re not sure, start reading. The wired science blogs, newspapers, corporate research web sites, and press releases can help you learn the keywords in these fields, which can help you search through the NSF database or even simple Google searches.

Start early—if you’re looking around in the fall for summer programs, great! Some of these sites may not be updated yet for the coming summer, but their application deadlines from the previous year will give you some idea of when they will be due this year. Applications should be available 2-3 months before the deadline. Make a spreadsheet to organize your application timelines.

Be flexible—the more willing you are to travel, the more opportunities will be open to you. It’s always a good idea to think about corporations in your hometown and/or in Rochester to see if they have summer research internship programs, but also keep an open mind to exploring a new place. Many have compensation programs to help defray the costs of moving and living expenses.

Keep searching—some of these links may be outdated, but once you know the name of the program, use a search engine to locate the new web site. Also, research opportunities in the humanities, social sciences, media and cultural arts, economics and business exist, but may be funded by smaller organizations. Internet searches may be your best bet to find these, and if you need any help, stop by our office.