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Conducting Research Before Graduate School

Get involved in undergraduate research

Research experience is a critical component in successful applications and a crucial first step if you are considering the possibility of attending graduate school.

Even if you are not considering a graduate education, research is an excellent opportunity to engage in your field and interact with faculty and graduate students. Get involved in one or more research experiences before your senior year. Many programs provide funding for summer research, including programs at your institution. Start your search early since many deadlines are in February.

Non-Stanford students can spend a summer doing paid research at Stanford

  • Discover numerous opportunities for summer research at Stanford University.

Consider pursuing research at your own institution

  • Every institution has different resources for involving undergraduates in research.
  • Even if your institution does not have a formal undergraduate research program, you can get involved.
  • Talk to a faculty member whose class you enjoyed about doing directed reading or an independent research project during the school year. Or talk to faculty doing work you find interesting and ask about opportunities to help with research.

Participate in research at another university

  • Many programs invite undergraduates from across the country to participate in summer research opportunities. Explore universities you are considering for graduate studies as they may sponsor a summer research program.
  • The Leadership Alliance covers all fields and allows you to apply to up to three programs with a single application.
  • The National Science Foundation sponsors hundreds of Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs nationwide, sorted by state and field of interest.
  • Pathways to Science features a comprehensive list of STEM-related programming at other institutions.

Just for Stanford Students