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Research Opportunities

Student in a science lab at Whitman CollegeThe Hall of Science is home to many labs and opportunities for students to conduct hands-on research in partnership with faculty. In addition to on-campus research opportunities during the summer or academic year, Whitman College supports students in applying for outside research and fellowship opportunities. A summary of STEM-specific opportunities is below. Additional information about outside programs is available through the Office of Fellowships and Grants.

AmgenThe Amgen Scholars U.S. and Asia Programs provide hundreds of undergraduate students with the opportunity to engage in a hands-on research experience in science and biotechnology at thirteen of the nation's leading educational institutions (California Institute of Technology, Columbia University/Barnard, Duke University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Los Angeles, University of California-San Francisco, Washington University in St. Louis, Yale University, UT Southwestern Medical Center and National Institutes of Health), and four international institutions (Kyoto University (Japan), National University of Singapore, The University of Tokyo (Japan) and Tsinghua University (China).

Boren Boren Summer STEM Program scholarships are a special initiative for undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics majors. The scholarships fund up to $8,000 for summer study (minimum of eight weeks) for students majoring in STEM fields. STEM field majors are also encouraged to apply for semester- and yearlong programs offered by Boren.

DAAD Logo RISE is a summer internship program for undergraduate students from the United States, Canada and the U.K. in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences and engineering. RISE offers unique opportunities for undergraduate students to work with research groups at universities and top research institutions across Germany for a period of two to three months during the summer. RISE interns are matched with doctoral students whom they assist and who serve as their mentors. Program will cover travel costs for award winners in the U.S. and Canada to and from Germany.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center logoWhitman College has partnered with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle for more than 10 years.  This paid internship allows two students each summer to work in a laboratory through the center's intensive, nine-week  Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) . Areas include basic sciences, human biology, public health, vaccine and infectious diseases or clinical research. The stipend for the program is $4,800, with an additional travel allowance of up to $450.

Goldwater Scholarship ProgramThe Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Program was created to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering and to foster excellence in those fields. In awarding scholarships, the foundation board of trustees will consider the nominee's field of study and career objectives and the extent to which that individual has the commitment and potential to make a significant contribution to his or her field. Each scholarship covers eligible expenses for undergraduate tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually.

Hertz FoundationEach October, the Hertz Foundation selects about 140 students of exceptional creativity from more than 750 applicants. Almost all candidates are either seniors or first-year graduate students with plans for graduate study in the physical and biological sciences, mathematics, or engineering. The Hertz award, merit-based, consists of a cost-of-education allowance and a personal-support stipend. Hertz Fellows have no liability for any ordinary educational costs, regardless of their choice of participating school. Hertz also provides mentorship and counsel through a lifelong community of peers.

HOAAThe Hollings Scholarship Program provides awards that include academic assistance (up to a maximum of $9,500 per year) for two years of full-time study; a 10-week, full-time internship position ($700/week) during the summer at a NOAA facility. The internship provides the Scholars with "hands-on"/ practical educational training experience in NOAA-related science, research, technology, policy, management, and education activities. Awards also include travel funds to attend a mandatory NOAA Scholarship Program orientation, conferences where students present their research, and a housing subsidy for scholars who do not reside at home during the summer internship.

Keck Geology ConsortiumWhitman's Department of Geology is a member of the Keck Geology Consortium. The Consortium sponsors approximately seven field projects each summer. Most of the research projects are located in the United States, but recent projects have also occurred in Mongolia, Iceland, Dominican Republic and Western Canadian Arctic. A typical project has three professors and 10 students in the field for four to five weeks. Applications are due at the beginning of spring semester. Most of the research projects are designed for geology majors following their junior year, but following their sophomore year. Students may receive a stipend after their summer work project depending on the expenses of their project.

Mayo Clinic logo Whitman College has partnered with the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences to offer two undergraduate students from Whitman College paid summer research opportunities as part of the Mayo Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program. The college provides a $6,000 stipend for the SURF participants to cover travel, housing and meals during their 10-week experience. Funding for Whitman's participation in this program is provided by the Doctors Robert F. and Elizabeth M. Welty Student/Faculty Research Endowment. Please visit this link for more information.

U.S. Department of Defense National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowships are designed to encourage baccalaureate recipients to enter graduate school and ultimately gain doctorates in science, technology, engineering and math fields. Since its inception in 1989, NDSEG has awarded nearly 3,500 fellowships from over 58,000 applications to U.S. citizens and nationals who pursue a doctoral degree in one of fifteen supported disciplines at a U.S. institution of their choosing. STI-TEC and the DoD use academic status guidelines to ensure that students at or near the beginning of their graduate studies receive fellowships. Eligible applicants are enrolled in their final year of undergraduate studies through the second year of a traditional doctoral program.

NISTThe National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) offers Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) in Boulder, Colorado, and Gaithersburg, Maryland. The SURF program provides research experience for students majoring in science, mathematics, and engineering. Opportunities are available in the fields of chemical engineering, electrical engineering, information technology, material science and physics.

NSF Logo

The National Science Foundation funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites program. An REU Site consists of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers. Students are granted stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel. Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. An REU Site may be at either a US or foreign location.

NSF LogoThe NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program helps ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in fields within NSF's mission.

Intramural Research Training AwardThe National Institutes of Health Intramural Research Training Award program or Cancer Research Training Award provides recent college graduates who are planning to apply to graduate or professional (medical/dental/pharmacy) school an opportunity to spend one or two years performing full-time research at the NIH. Individual scientists select their own postbacs and provide the funding to support them; there is no centralized selection process. These traineeships are available only in the intramural laboratories of the NIH. Most of the laboratories are located on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. Several Institutes or their laboratories that focus on particular research areas are found at other sites around the country.

NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholarship ProgramThe National Institutes of Health Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program is an accelerated, individualized doctoral training program for outstanding science students committed to careers in biomedical research. The scholar's doctorate, usually completed in four years, is conferred by either Oxford or Cambridge, depending on where research is done; hence applicants must meet requirements for acceptance into the graduate program of the relevant University. Students conduct research at both locations and potentially other sites including field work in Africa and elsewhere around the world. The projects culminate in the award of doctorate in science from either Oxford or Cambridge. Students may also pursue master’s or doctoral training through partnerships the program maintains with a broad range of American medical schools.

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