Summer research grants / scholarships for science undergraduates?
February 6, 2013 11:03 PM   Subscribe

What are some non-institution-specific scholarships or grants for someone who wants to do primate research this summer?

I asked a question awhile back about summer primate research opportunities and got many helpful answers. I found two internships that I'm incredibly excited about, and I'll be applying to them in the next couple of weeks:

This one, at the Duke Lemur Center:

And this one, at Laurie Santos's CapLab (Capuchin Lab) at Yale:

Either of these opportunities would be life-changing and would set me on a good path for my future career studying great apes.

The problem is, I know I'm going to struggle to afford the travel and housing. I just don't have time/energy to work on top of school during the semester (and still get the GPA I need), but I would be willing to work part-time this summer if I must. However, I'd rather have a scholarship or grant (or a loan, if necessary) lined up to help me pay for housing and transportation so I can focus 100% on research.

MIT (my home school), as far as I've been able to find, doesn't offer funding to do research at other institutions (except abroad, which this is not).

Can anyone offer ideas for me to pay for this summer?

Thank you!
posted by lemoncakeisalie to Education (4 answers total)
Many if not all of the NSF's REUs (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) pay their students a stipend:

Consider one of them instead?

Also consider adding the keyword "stipend" etc when doing broader searches, e.g. /search?q=reu+primate+stipend+2013
Which brought up this random opportunity:

MIT (my home school), as far as I've been able to find, doesn't offer funding to do research at other institutions (except abroad, which this is not).

Well, if it useful to do fieldwork in your discipline, this may be the time to pick up some experience abroad. And if MIT will pay your way, ...

but I would be willing to work part-time this summer if I must.

You're grinding 24-7 in school right now. Doing a paid internship in a related but nonperfect match may be more edifying and less soul-destroying than doing an unpaid perfect internship on top of a summer job. Or no internship at all.

Deadlines are whizzing past, but consult some lists of internships in related fields like this, perhaps:
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:54 AM on February 7, 2013

Unfortunately, there are very few dedicated scholarships for primate research over the summer for undergraduates, to the extent that I don't actually know of any. Most money going towards primate research comes in the form of grants for original research, even for undergrads. It might be worth asking folks at either of these internships if you'd be able to do original research while you are there, and then apply for a small grant.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:03 AM on February 7, 2013

I suspect the answer may be REU, rather than either of these two internships, just because the NSF REU program is an obvious place for labs to get funding for summer undergraduates. However, the REU list isn't turning anything up and deadlines are coming ridiculously soon if they haven't already. Most REUs pay somewhere between $2000 and $5000, depending on whether they pay for housing and travel separately. If you're not a US citizen or permanent resident, the REU situation gets tricky, as many places won't be able to fund you. I don't know how much luck you're going to have, though. The CapLab had an REU last summer that turned into this year's unpaid internship, by the looks of it.

However, it looks like there is a program run out of Harvard that is paid (though they don't pay for housing and it may not be accesible without a car.)

Two more lists: UC Berkeley MCB (which is not the department people interested in primates would be in, as I understand it), CUNY pre-med.

I'm tempted to say email these programs and ask how students have found funding, but I'd be worried they'd then question your 'commitment' when reading your application. Presumably the people writing your references are biologist or cog sci people of some kind. Have you considered asking them? Or some kind of undergraduate research office? You never know, there may be some badly advertised funding from MIT that you can't find on the website.
posted by hoyland at 6:18 AM on February 7, 2013

You might also look into the Amgen Scholars programs. Columbia has someone who does primate research but their deadline passed on 1 February.
posted by grouse at 7:24 AM on February 7, 2013

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