UCR Student in Lab

Research Opportunities

What is Summer Research?

Experiencing undergraduate research is a great way to apply what you have learned, challenge yourself, learn to work independently, and contribute to new knowledge. It will help build experience that will shape what you plan for your future. A great way to start getting involved is by looking for programs hosted by universities that will fund you to learn how to research and take part in a project. There are a large number of options available and we will try and give you some starting areas to look for the right program for you. 

There are several databases available to search for these programs and we recommend you look at the NSF REU database and Pathwaystoscience websites to start off. 


All of these programs will in some shape or form give you funding to do research. Though depending on the program you may just get a stipend for a set amount of money, you may get a stipend and housing to do the program, or you may get a full package with housing, food, travel expenses, and a stipend. Look closely at what each program offers, you may like the location of one program but it has less accommodations as another program.

Tips for Applying:
  • Focus on your grades. Many have GPA cutoffs 
  • Engage with your professors (Letters of Recommendation)
    • GO to office hours
    • Discuss their research 
    • DO WELL 
  • Make sure the programs start date aligns with the end of the school year
    • Most start in May outside of California
  • Look carefully at the requirements for each program
    • Some require extra information to be submitted along with letters of rec. and your personal statement
  • Due dates are extremely important so make sure to pay attention
    • Always give your letter of recommendation writers at least a month in advance from the due date
    • DO NOT turn in the application late 
  • Remember these programs are very competitive so apply to multiple 

Research Opportunities

  • REU


    Research Experiences for Undergraduates

    NSF funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites program. An REU Site consists of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers. Students are granted stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel. Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. An REU Site may be at either a US or foreign location.

    By using the web page, Search for an REU Site, you may examine opportunities in the subject areas supported by various NSF units. Also, you may search by keywords to identify sites in particular research areas or with certain features, such as a particular location.

    Students must contact the individual sites for information and application materials. NSF does not have application materials and does not select student participants. A contact person and contact information is listed for each site.


  • Pathwaystoscience


    Pathways to science

    The mission of the Institute for Broadening Participation is to increase diversity in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce. Since 2003, IBP has connected underrepresented students with STEM funding and research opportunities, and has provided faculty and administrators with tools and resources to help promote the positive factors that keep underrepresented students on the STEM pathway into successful STEM careers. We design and implement strategies to increase access to STEM education, funding, and careers, with special emphasis on diverse underrepresented groups. We believe that diversifying the STEM workforce is the best way to ensure our nation's economic vitality and solve global challenges

    Depending on your education level there are differing tabs for each respective level. Clicking on any would link you to the respective REUs and provide several options.

    1. Go to IBP website, click on respective education level’s tab (K-12, Undergrad etc.) 
    2. Under each tab except for faculty & admin there is a tutorial video on how to use their website’s search engine for REUs
    3. You can switch between the basic search & advanced search to be more thorough with your search
    4. In the search you can select your level of study, your institution (highschool college etc.), geographic location, a program’s citizenship requirements, application deadline, portable funding, summer opportunities, short term opportunities, studying abroad, the program’s start/end dates, funder, whether if  the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation  & Bridge to Doctorate Program is available,the discipline, and keyword.
  • MARC U *


    Maximizing Access to Research Careers

    Pre-Trainee: 10 week summer research opportunity for freshman and sophomores


    • $2500 Stipend
    • Choice of faculty mentor
    • Chance to present at MARC U* symposium


    • 2.8 GPA
    • Underrepresented according to NIH guidelines
    • Interest in biomedical research
    • Minimum of 44 cumulative units

    Trainee: 2 year research fellowship for juniors and seniors


    • Partially paid tuition
    • Monthly stipend
    • Special classes for professional development
    • Funding to attend national conference


    • 3.1 GPA
    • Underrepresented according to NIH guidelines
    • Research lab is biomedically related
    • Minimum of 90 cumulative units
    • 15hrs of part time research during academic year and full time research in the summer
    • Must apply for reu in second summer


    Underrepresented Students Pursuing Agriculture-related Careers
    Preparing UC Riverside undergraduates for careers in agricultural science and biotechnology


    Type: Part-time Spring Quarter research and full-time 10-week research experience in the summer.

    Candidates: Sophomore and junior undergraduate students at the University of California, Riverside. Underrepresented minority students will be given priority in the selection process. Prior research experience is not required.

    Deadline: Applications are open through February 14, 2020. To apply go to this link: http://www.u-sparc.org/apply.html

    Description: In the spring quarter (in the year of the award), U-SPARC fellows will be matched with a research lab and carry out research for 10 hours per week. Fellows must register for the 1 credit S/NC seminar, Agricultural Careers in the 21st Century, and  will continue their research in the summer, working full-time for 10 weeks. Fellows will receive stipends for their spring and summer research.

  • Student Engagement UCR

    Student Engagement UCR

    Purpose: Portal to programs focused on leadership, fellowships and national awards, undergraduate research, service and engaged learning, capital internships, and other strategic initiatives for the benefit of student experiences.

    Check out their website HERE

    Student engagement Areas

    1. Health Professions advising center
      • Information, advising, and support for students who aspire to graduate/professional programs in the health field.
    2. Research Portal
      • one-stop-shop for students to find opportunities to participate in faculty-mentored research, scholarship, and creative activities.
    3. Research Mini-grants
      • Grants for faculty-mentored research and creative projects.
    4. Research Journal
      • University Undergraduate Research Journal - a student-edited multi-disciplinary journal to feature faculty-mentored undergraduate research.
    5. Research Symposium
      • The Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Symposium - undergraduate students from all disciplines,
    6. Chancellor’s Research Fellowship
      • Competitive $5,750 award for undergraduate faculty-mentored research and creative projects. Open to all disciplines.
    7. Community-Engaged Learning
      • Opportunities for students to get involved in the community, through courses, academic internships, and community-based research.
    8. R’Courses
      • Students initiated courses designed by undergraduates and taken by other undergraduates.
    9. Capital Internships
      • Internship at the state or national capital
    10. Prestigious Scholarships & Awards
      • Endorsed, prestigious, and summer research awards for high-achieving students. Earn national or even international recognition.
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