Sophomore Early Research Program

Research Stipends for Student Research with Faculty in the Natural and Social Sciences

COVID-19 UPDATE: The SERP Program will run in a modified format for AY 2020-2021.  Students will participate during terms 2-4, and participation will be partly to fully remote, depending on the plan submitted by the faculty mentor you work with. 

The Office of the Provost and Dean of the College will provide stipends of $2100 each available for the 2020-2021 academic year for members of the class of 2023 to carry out collaborative research projects with natural science and social science faculty mentors next year. These stipends will enable up to 27 students (18 in natural sciences and 9 in social sciences) to work closely with faculty for approximately 7 hours/week during her sophomore year. Since hands-on research is so important in doing natural and social science as well as in career planning, these funds will make available academic year research opportunities as work-study positions. This program supports eligible students who belong to groups underrepresented in these disciplines (including first-generation students, students from low-income backgrounds, and students from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in the natural and social sciences).  Because these are work-study positions, and because the nature of research sometimes requires it, students can anticipate that some of the work may be more tedious than other aspects of the work.  However, all participating students can expect to gain basic research skills in the discipline in which they work.

NOTE:  The funds supporting this program dictate a strong preference for supporting interdisciplinary work.  Therefore, we particularly encourage applications from faculty who are able to provide students with compelling interdisciplinary research experiences.  Preference for these positions will go to students who had little opportunity for research in high school, and who are from one or more of the following backgrounds: first-generation college student; low-income college student; or from racial/ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented in the natural or social sciences.

The following process should be followed and deadlines will be strictly observed.

  1. Research positions are posted through the links above.  Students interested in working on a particular project should contact the faculty member to arrange an interview.  Faculty may also seek out students with whom they might like to work and find out if the students qualify for work-study. The faculty member may also mention positions in classes.  The student application process requires students to contact interested faculty to jointly submit an application.
  2. Participating faculty will select from students who contact them and confirm that the student is a work-study student. The faculty-student team prepares a paragraph from the faculty member on what the student would do and a paragraph from the student explaining why she wants to do this work. Faculty supervisors should send this completed student application as a single PDF to the Google Group:  Please include student/faculty last name in subject line. DEADLINE: Friday, October 16th at 9AM.
  3. The committee will rank matches, using the acquisition of research skills as a primary criterion. Every effort will be made to notify the faculty members and students selected by the first week of term 2. Please note that positions are not finalized until the faculty member and student are notified of selection into the program and the student has submitted her SERP contract paperwork.
  4. Please apply! Faculty members should address questions to Ayana McCoy, Assistant Director of the Science Center (x2903; amccoy3).  Students should address questions to Susan Lange (x3000; slange2).