Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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College of Arts and Sciences
External Funding Opportunities:
Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities are increasingly being supported by outside funding agencies. In addition to the College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Grant program and the Teeter Awards, there are external resources available. There are regular opportunities for students to receive funding to participate in research and creative activities. Some of the resources listed below are for students who want experience doing research on larger, established projects, and other resources are for students who have original ideas that need support. Most have only one deadline per year.
- Amgen Scholars Summer Research Opportunities – Amgen supports paid undergraduate research opportunities in a variety of biology and medical areas for rising juniors and seniors at their ten host universities. Students are usually provided with travel to the institution, summer stipend, and travel to the end of summer Amgen symposium. The sites also offer career-related support. This program is highly competitive! Applications vary by host institution, but are all due in February for participation the following summer.
- Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Undergraduate Research Program - Sophomores and juniors interested in biology, cancer, and genomic research can apply to participate in the highly selective Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Undergraduate Research Program. Twenty-five students are selected to work on a research project over the summer and live in a community of research scientists. Students earn a $5000 summer stipend, and are provided with room and board. Applications are due in mid-January of each year for the following summer.
- HHMI Janelia Undergraduate Research Scholars - The Howard Hughes Medical Institute campus at Janelia Farms has a highly competitive summer undergraduate research program for rising juniors and seniors to conduct biomedical research. Students are provided with housing and transportation and are paid a $4500 stipend for 10 weeks of research.
- National Science Foundation Summer Sites programs - If you want to work on a science, engineering, math, technology, or social science (including archaeology, anthropology, sociology, or psychology) research project over the summer, and be paid, look at the National Science Foundation Summer Sites program. In these competitive programs, groups of about 10 undergraduate students from across the country come to a research site (sometimes another college, often a field location) and get paid (rates vary, but usually include travel, housing, and a substantial perdiem). Search for sites at this website. Most projects are posted by November, and applications are due in January or February for the following summer.
- NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program - The National Institutions of Health offers several programs for undergraduates. "The National Institutes of Health Undergraduate Scholarship Program offers competitive scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to careers in biomedical, behavioral, and social science health-related research." The program pays up to $20000 each year for tuition and education expenses. Students are required to participate in at least one summer research project at NIH (paid), and to work at NIH for at least one year after graduattion (not a bad deal!). Students can apply at any point during their undergraduate career (not while in high school). The application is available in early January and is due at the end of February. NIH's Summer Internship Program is a highly competitive program that matches undergraduate students with NIH-funded research labs across the country. Students earn a monthly stipend for their participation. The application is available from mid-November to March 1.
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Undergraduate students are invited to apply for science and technology research opportunities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. There are several programs available to undergraduates, including HERE, TECH, and SULI. Dates and funding vary by program.
- Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research - Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research are available to undergraduate and graduate students "to support scientific investigation in any field," and support equipment, supplies, and travel to a research site. Grants usually range from $400-$1000 (higher amounts are available in astronomy and vision research). Applications are due on March 15th and October 15th of each year.
- Smithsonian Institution Internships and Research Programs - The Smithsonian is a collection of museums, mostly in the DC area, but also in New York, Costa Rica, and other locations. Almost all offer opportunities for internships and research opportunities for undergraduates (paid and unpaid). There are several opportunities to work with Smithsonian museums during the academic year (less competition) as well as the summer. Start your search by looking at the Office of Fellowships and Internships website, and then move to the specific museum.
- Young Explorers Grants from National Geographic - "Young Explorers Grants offer opportunities to individuals ages 18-25 to pursue research, conservation, and exploration-related projects." Fields supported include anthropology, archaeology, astronomy, conservation, ecology, geography, geology, marine science, photography, storytelling, etc. Grants usually vary between $2000 and $5000, and are accepted on a rolling basis.