Finding Opportunities FAQs

Where can I find more opportunities to do research that are outside of Harvard?
I found my own opportunity to do research at an institution in my home state or country, would I be able to get funding for this from Harvard?
I don't want to do research this summer, but rather do an internship or travel, where can I find info about these opportunities?
Harvard funding opportunities require that the professor advising me is Harvard-affiliated, what does this mean?
Where can I find information on research assistantships?
Who can I talk to about specific eligibility criteria for a fellowship or research program?
Is CARAT the only place to look for fellowships or research programs based at Harvard?
I am applying for post-graduate study in the UK. Besides the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships, where can I find other scholarships to help me fund my graduate education in the UK?
What should I be considering when I select summer research programs to apply for?
When should I start looking for summer research opportunities? What is the application cycle like?
Where can I find opportunities for service?
What should I do if I'm having trouble accessing CARAT, or If I'm having other technical difficulties?

Where can I find more opportunities to do research that are outside of Harvard?

Search for research opportunities through various undergrad research databases (see External Resources), through CARAT, and through a Google search. Our page on External Resources highlights a few resources for databases or lists of opportunities compiled by other institutions. There are also many centers at Harvard that fund research abroad. Aside from databases, you can find opportunities through a google search using a combination of search terms that relate to your field of interest, timing of the experience (summer vs. academic term), location, etc.

I found my own opportunity to do research at an institution in my home state or country, would I be able to get funding for this from Harvard?

At URAF, we only have one fund that can support research pursued at a different institution, the Herchel Smith Harvard Summer Research Program. The Harvard College Research Program (HCRP) can sometimes fund research pursued away from Harvard, but it must be conducted with a Harvard-affiliated faculty mentor. The Harvard faculty mentor need not be with you, if you are doing field research in your home state or country, but the project you are pursuing must be under their primary guidance and not the guidance of another faculty from an institution other than Harvard. Occasionally, there are instances where a Harvard faculty member is dually-appointed at institutions abroad in addition to their primary faculty position at Harvard. In these instances, if you pursued your research with them at another institution over a summer term, this would likely be eligible for funding through HCRP. If you have questions about the suitability of your proposed HCRP faculty mentor, please reach out to the HCRP Program Administrator well before the application deadline.

I don't want to do research this summer, but rather do an internship or travel, where can I find info about these opportunities?

Use CARAT to explore opportunities other than research. CARAT is not an exhaustive list of all opportunities, though. Explore the Student Employment Office (SEO) job database site, your concentration department webpage, Crimson Careers, and centers for public service. Finally, connect with House tutors and proctors, peers with student organizations, advisers at the Office of Career Services (OCS) as well as the Office of International Education (OIE) and more to also gather information about the possibilities!

Harvard funding opportunities require that the professor advising me is Harvard-affiliated, what does this mean?

A faculty member is Harvard-affiliated if they have a "professor title" at a Harvard University School. For instance, a scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital holds the title "Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School"; this means they are Harvard-affiliated. Others within the same institution may not hold this title, so are not considered Harvard-affiliated. If you are unsure, whether a professor is Harvard-affiliated or not, reach out to us.

Where can I find information on research assistantships?

Research assistantships can be found in various places: SEO employment site, academic department webpages, and at times, institute/research center pages. For life sciences, the Science Education Office also provides a list of opportunities. Many research assistantship opportunities are not posted, though, so talk to faculty members in the relevant department about possibility opportunities for collaboration.

Who can I talk to about specific eligibility criteria for a fellowships or research program?

Please contact URAF. For fellowships or research programs outside of Harvard or within Harvard but not hosted by URAF, it's best to connect with the program itself as they might best answer your question.

Is CARAT the only place to look for fellowships or research programs based at Harvard?

No. For fellowships or research programs within Harvard but not hosted by URAF, it's best to connect with the program itself as they might best answer your question.

I am applying for post-graduate study in the UK. Besides the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships, where can I find other scholarships to help me fund my graduate education in the UK?

There are additional fellowships administered by URAF for study in the UK, including the Harvard-Cambridge Fellowship, Harvard-UK Fellowship, Herchel Smith Postgraduate Scholarship in the Sciences and the Booth Fellowship. There are also other funding opportunities outside Harvard, such as the Chevening and Clarendon Scholarships. Learn more at the Study in the UK website

What should I be considering when I select summer research programs to apply for?

Think about what topics you are interested in studying and whether you'd like to work independently on a question of your own design or whether you'd like to learn from a team. There are summer programs that focus on research within a specific field (for instance, Harvard's Immunology summer program is geared to students who want to do immunology-focused research) while others offer options in different fields or departments (for instance, Leadership Alliance sponsored summer programs). If this will be your first summer research experience, there's no need to know exactly what topics you'd like to dive into – apply widely and with an open mind.

Another thing to consider is location: where would you like to spend your summer? What universities or research centers are doing the research you are interested in? If you'd like to stay at Harvard or in the Cambridge/Boston area, there are a multitude of programs nearby! Consider programs in the Harvard Summer Undergraduate Research Village or independent project funding through the Harvard College Research Program. Explore individual departments or centers to see if they have their own summer research programs. For the life sciences, visit the Life Sciences Research Opportunities pages for a listing of opportunities. Don't want to be at Harvard? Summer Research Programs are hosted at universities and research enterprises across the U.S. and the world. See our page "external resources" for a list of databases that may be helpful starting point for your search. Alternatively, you might simply discover programs through an internet search by searching for your field of interest and "summer undergraduate research".

Summer research programs run for 6 weeks to 11 weeks. You should check each program to confirm the duration and the start date, if you are intending on pursuing other opportunities during the summer as well. Summer research programs may offer great benefits to you as a summer researcher. These benefits include a living stipend, housing, transportation to and from the research campus, meal plans, transportation to and from your home to the research site. Be aware not all programs possess all of these benefits, so it's important that you read the program description and criteria closely before applying.

When should I start looking for summer research opportunities? What is the application cycle like?

You can engage in summer research in different ways. Some students set up their own independent projects with a Harvard faculty mentor. Other students participate in summer programs, internships, or assistantships. While opportunities can be posted all year, applications for summer research programs (also framed as "summer research internship programs"), typically open in the middle of fall semester and have deadlines as early as late fall (early to mid-December; e.g. DAAD RISE internships for scientists & engineers) through late spring semester (with a majority of deadlines falling in early February and March!) If you are considering applying for a summer research program, start looking into summer research programs in early/mid-October, create a list of programs, their requirements, application components, and deadlines. For international opportunities, pay close attention to any additional required paperwork for the applications. Research assistantships within Harvard can be posted throughout the Fall and Spring semesters and filled on a rolling basis depending on the applicant pool. Internships for the summer are like summer programs, typically advertised during the Fall semester and fill in late Spring. For internships at specific companies, non-profits, or government agencies, consult with the Office of Career Services.

Where can I find opportunities for service?

Phillips Brooks House Association Center for Public Service and Engaged Scholarship is a hub for public service for the College and may be a good place to start looking for some opportunities. You can also find opportunities for service through student organizations. For instance, the pre-health or public health focused student groups may run mobile health clinics or health outreach initiatives in local communities or perhaps, run these initiatives abroad. Other organizations may integrate tutoring and mentoring youth in the surrounding communities as part of their regular organizational activities. Also, try searching widely online for opportunities in your home community or in the community surrounding campus. You might also consider combining community-engaged service with scholarly research of your own design; for this there may be funding to support your project through the Harvard College-Mindich Independent Research and Community Engagement (RCE) award. Additional Service opportunities and funding sources can be found on CARAT.

What should I do if I'm having trouble accessing CARAT or are having other technical difficulties?

If you believe you should have access to CARAT but do not, please contact URAF at undergradresearch@fas.harvard.edu or fellowships@fas.harvard.edu. For all other technical issues, students should email ithelp@harvard.edu.