Division of Biology and Medicine
Biology Undergraduate Education

Summer Research

Participating in summer research experiences can significantly enrich your academic studies and amplify your experience within your chosen field of study. 

Summer Research Experience

Participating in summer research experiences can significantly enrich your academic studies and amplify your experience within your chosen field of study. These opportunities provide an immersive platform for you to delve into real-world research, fostering a deeper understanding of biology and refining your analytical and problem-solving skills. By engaging in projects equivalent in scope and scale to a biology independent study course, such as UTRAs, LINK awards, or approved research programs at external institutions, you can align your academic pursuits with practical, hands-on experience.

The successful completion of such research endeavors fulfills the one-semester research requirement within the Biology program. It's important to note that students will not earn course credit for these experiences. To ensure a seamless process, please be aware that this form should be submitted in the summer during which the research experience is occurring and no later than September 11th. Students participating in UTRAs do not need to submit the project for review, and please just list UTRAs in the declaration. This timely submission will allow the BUE Office and your concentration advisor to assess the alignment of your experience with the program's objectives and ensure that your work is noted within your concentration.
Summer Research Approval Form

"This summer (2023), I participated in a simulated lunar space mission with the program Asclepios. Asclepios is a student-led nonprofit organization associated the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) that carries out annual lunar analog missions with the goal of furthering space research and preparing students for careers in the field of space exploration... This summer research impacted my academic growth by expanding my lab, science communication, and project coordination skills, and overall instilled a sense of confidence in me that I am capable of being a scientist. Furthermore, I experienced personal growth by performing this project as an analog astronaut on the Asclepios mission, where I deepened my resilience and resourcefulness, and by working with an incredible and supportive team from around the world, also deepened my empathy."

Rebecca Biology Sc.B., Class of 2024

Testimonials from Peers

Research Location & Focus

"I conducted my summer research at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch. I worked on studying clinical regimens for youth-onset type 2 diabetes patients. I interviewed and worked on clinical trials with patients directly in clinic and analyzed the data."

Wesley Health and Human Biology, Class of 2026

"I was a global health intern with a maternal healthcare organization in Kosovo. I spent 2 months living in their major city, Pristina. My project was focused on trying to find out what roadblocks were preventing the expansion of a cervical cancer screening program in the country, which the NGO I worked with helped establish. With the help of a translator, I reached out to health directors, nurses, gynecologists' and pathologists in 4 Kosovo municipalities. I travelled with my translator around Kosovo conducting interviews to see how we could help expand the program by understanding the barriers to healthcare staff. We discovered cultural, technological and policy barriers that I synthesized into a policy brief for the NGO (which is still in the works). As part of my work, I also got to meet with UNFPA representatives for sexual health in Kosovo and Peace Corps members."

Megna Health & Human Biology, Class of 2025

Memorable Moments and Experiences

"We were able to discover many extremely significant biases in ChatGPT to (hopefully) publish on in the next few months, but more than anything it was awesome to be involved in relevant, interesting research and see the process of going from a question to a paper."

Thomas Health and Human Biology, Class of 2025

"This Summer marked my first time creating a research poster and presenting my findings at a symposium. I was excited to translate my research and data into a visual platform for others to engage in. Communicating science through technology and design is something I aim to explore more during my undergraduate experience. I was proud of myself for being able to translate my research for others to enjoy!"

Brandon Biology Sc.B., Class of 2025

Tips & Advice

"Just email researcher's that you would like to work with! They usually very open, especially, if you study something not very popular, like diversity of ants, etc."

Hlib Applied Mathematics - Biology, Class of 2026

"I wish someone told me to look into applying to (summer) programs earlier. This was my first summer doing an internship because the previous summer I did not start looking into programs until the spring, and by then all the application deadlines had passed."

Nina Health and Human Biology, Class of 2024

Overall Impact

The overall impact of the summer research experience on personal and academic growth

"It was an incredibly enlightening experience for me, in terms of my career, as it confirmed biological research, especially cancer research as a path that I am interested in pursuing further. I have taken cancer biology as my next fall class. Choosing this career will help me to directly improve the lives of many people who are suffering from deadly diseases such as cancer, which is a noble pursuit in my eyes."

Nitin Biology Sc.B. & Computer Science, Class of 2025

"My summer research experience has been essential to my development as a scientist and guiding my career goals and aspirations."

Aleah Biology Sc.B., Class of 2024

"Just a really great way to focus on research full time under a dedicated mentor! Definitely want to continue being involved in clinical research in graduate school."

Madhu Biology A.B. & Public Health, Class of 2023.5