Research Opportunities

Summer Research and Internship Opportunities for Biology, Chemistry, and Biochemistry Majors

Summer research programs are designed for students who wish to learn more about academic and scientific research, in and out of the lab, as well as exploring graduate school and pursuing an academic career in teaching and research.  These programs and opportunities provide hands-on experience in specific fields, where students are assigned to and associated with research projects within their faculty or program director’s interest and industry.

Students interested in applying to a summer or term research program should review and discuss the requirements and qualifications with their faculty advisor.  The earlier the conversation, the more time to prepare and verify eligibility, along with requesting letters of recommendation.

  • Pathways to Science

    Search engine for multiple research and internship programs throughout the country, including summer and during the academic year.

    REU – with National Science Foundation Awards

    This is a list of the active chemistry division funded REU sites (Sites with active NSF awards). Almost every site has a web page where more information can be obtained. 

    Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF)

    Provides funding for summer research opportunities for outstanding undergraduate organic chemistry students enrolled in a college or university in the U.S.

    • Award: Fellowships are $5,000, and awarded on merit of student’s proposal, academics, faculty recommendations, and passion for science.
    • Deadline: January (early winter)
    • Timeline: Summer between junior and senior year, with award gala and poster presentation Sept/Oct
    • Criteria: Member of ACS and Organic Division, U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, current junior
    • Contact:



  • American Chemical Society - SCI Scholars

    A 10-seek summer internship program for chem and chem engineering sophomores and juniors. 

    • Award: $6,000-10,000 stipend, $1,000 professional development stipend, and placement in 1 of 14 companies across the country, certificate of recognition
    • Deadline: Fall
    • Timeline: 10-week summer program
    • Criteria: Sophomores and juniors, 3.5 GPA, U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
    • Contact:
    • Other: Opportunity to nominate an inspiring high school chemistry teacher, who could win $1,000 and a certificate for classroom materials or professional development

    Pfizer Diversity Research Fellowship in Chemistry

    Minority chemistry majors interested in gaining experience in pharmaceutical industry and drug discovery preferred.

    • Award: Participants will receive a $15,000 fellowship for research at his/her university during the academic year, and will be invited to present their research poster at a seminar hosted at Pfizer La Jolla at the end of the summer
    • Deadline: Fall
    • Timeline: One full academic calendar year
    • Criteria: Completed one year of chemistry;  1-4 page research proposal in organic synthesis, analytical chemistry, computational chemistry, crystallography and structural/chemical biology; recommendation letters from advisor and department head including willingness to host fellow;  transcripts and strong GPA
    • Contact: See “Other” below
    • Other: Send application materials to:
    Douglas Behenna
    Oncology Medicinal Chemistry/Diversity AIR Committee Chair
    Pfizer La Jolla
    10770 Science Center Drive (CB2)
    San Diego, CA 92121
    Tel: (858) 526-4921

    Summer Research at CalTech

    WAVE Fellows Program

    A 10-week summer research program, providing support to undergraduates interested in pursuing a Ph.D. 

    • Award: $6,000 award, plus $500 housing/travel supplement
    • Deadline: January (early winter)
    • Timeline: 10-week summer program
    • Criteria: Sophomore or junior, U.S. citizen/permanent resident/DACA, prior research experience, completed the second semester of college, three letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a minimum GPA of 3.2.

    Amgen Scholars Program

    Summer research program for biology, chemistry, biotechnology, bioengineering, medical engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering students.

    • Award: $6,000 award, RT air transportation, campus housing, food allowance during the program
    • Deadline: Spring (early)
    • Timeline: 10-week summer program
    • Criteria: Sophomore or junior attending a 4-year university in the U.S., U.S. citizen/permanent resident, completed three semesters of college course work, minimum GPA of 3.2 is required, and confirm a CalTech research mentor before submitting an application.

    Center for Chemical Evolution (CCE)

    A 10-week program for undergraduates working in a lab, conducting cutting-edge research in chemical evolution and origins of life chemistry.

    • Award: $5,000 stipend, on campus housing or housing allowance if necessary, placement at Georgia Tech, University of South Florida, Furman University, or The Scripps Research Institute
    • Deadline: Spring (early)
    • Timeline: Summer, May - August
    • Criteria: Completed one semester of organic chemistry, completed application, official/unofficial transcripts, two-page essay, and a letter of recommendation; U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, completed one semester of organic chemistry.

    NASA Student Airborne Research Program (SARP)

    The Student Airborne Research Program (SARP) is an eight-week summer internship program for rising senior undergraduate students to acquire hands-on research experience in all aspects of a scientific campaign using one or more NASA Airborne Science Program flying science laboratories.

    • Award: Participants will be awarded a stipend ($5000) as well as funding to cover their travel to California. Housing and transportation will also be provided during the eight-week program.
    • Deadline: January (early winter)
    • Timeline: Summer, June - August
    • Criteria: Full-time student, U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, at least a 3.0 GPA, STEM major, completed application, official/unofficial transcript, 1-2 letters of recommendation, short essay. 

    NSF/NASA Center for Chemical Evolution

    The CCE Summer Undergraduate Research Program provides an opportunity for undergraduate scientists to spend 10 weeks in one of our labs doing cutting edge, paid research in chemical evolution and origins of life chemistry.

    • Award: Stipend of $5000
    • Deadline: February
    • Timeline: Summer, May - August
    • Criteria: Application, official/unofficial transcript, essay, recommendation.

    University of Nevada Research Program

    This 10-week residential summer research program provides mentoring and research experiences while allowing scholars to preview graduate school life. Students with a strong interest in graduate programs are particularly encouraged to apply.

    • Award: Stipend of $5000-$6000
    • Deadline: February
    • Timeline: Summer, June - August
    • Criteria: Application, resume, official/unofficial transcript, short answer, recommendations.

    Getty Marrow Multicultural Undergraduate Internship

    Full-time, paid summer internships (10 weeks) at the Getty and other cultural organizations throughout Los Angeles County. Intended for students of diverse backgrounds, including but not limited to African American, Asian, Latino/Hispanic, Native American, and Pacific Islander descent.

    • Award: Stipend of $5700
    • Deadline: Winter
    • Timeline: Summer, June - August
    • Criteria: Application, official/unofficial transcript, personal statement, 2 recommendations.

    Marine Physical Laboratory Summer Internship Program - UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography

    Undergraduate college students contemplating a career in scientific research and development are encouraged to apply for a summer research internship in marine science and technology. This ten- week summer internship program offers qualified students the opportunity to work with some of the most notable scientists in the world.

    • Award: $14/hr
    • Deadline: January
    • Timeline: Summer
    • Criteria: Application, resume, official/unofficial transcript, personal statement, 2 recommendations.

    National Science Foundation REU Program - Brandeis University

    Selected students will be matched with a faculty researcher, from over 50 in the biological sciences, who will mentor the student through an independent research project using modern cell and molecular visualization techniques. Students will develop a written synopsis of their summer work, with feedback and editing, and they will participate in a capstone symposium including poster presentations. 

    • Award: $5,500 stipend
    • Deadline: February
    • Timeline: Summer, June - August
    • Criteria: Application

    REU for Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites

    The Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites provides undergraduate students a chance to participate in industry-directed fundamental research opportunities in the fields of bioplastics and biocomposites. The students will gain hands-on experience with synthesis, processing, and characterization of biobased plastics and composite materials.

    • Award: $5,000 stipend
    • Deadline: February
    • Timeline: Summer, May - August
    • Criteria: Application, transcript, CV