Summer Research

Many students engage in scientific research full time during the summer months, in collaboration with Muhlenberg faculty or mentors at other institutions. Each on-campus summer science research student is awarded an 8-week stipend supported by one of several internal or external grants. Many grants also provide funds for the purchase of supplies and/or small pieces of equipment to support each student’s research project. The College generously provides free dormitory housing and one course credit.

You can perform research on a part-time or full-time basis during the summer. In some cases, you may receive a stipend (typically $3000 for eight weeks) and/or receive free housing from the College. Students who are interested in summer research may want to submit an application for an undergraduate summer grant from the Dean of the College for Academic Life. These competitive awards provide free housing and a summer stipend for research carried out in the laboratory of a department faculty member. There are several funding opportunities available through the Biology Department or Neuroscience Program, including the Vaughan Summer Research Grant, the Trainer Summer Research Grant, the Neuroscience Collaborative Research Grant, and funds from financial gifts made to the Biology Department and other science programs at the College to support student research. For these awards, be sure to begin talking to potential faculty mentors late in the preceding Fall semester. For application information for Departmental awards click here.

If you are interested in performing research, you should seek out faculty members who would be appropriate mentors for your project at least a half-semester before you want to do research. Faculty often fill their available summer research positions by February or March. You don't need to know exactly what project you want to work on, just some basic ideas of what kind of research interests you. Choose a faculty member with research interests that parallel your own. Your project may be suggested by your faculty member, emerge through conversations with them, or develop independently from participation in lab journal clubs. We encourage all students interested in research to read the research descriptions on individual faculty pages in order to find the most appropriate match.

Every fall, the summer research students participate in the Summer Research Poster Session. This event provides an opportunity for the students to present and discuss their research as they would at a scientific conference. The entire campus community and the presenters’ families are invited to attend.