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Department Summer Research Programs

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Many departments and research centers at Stanford hire undergraduates for full-time research work during the summer. These are typically 10-week programs that pay a stipend, and you are usually acting as a research assistant rather than developing your own project idea. To be considered, you must apply directly through the relevant department or research center, not through VPUE.

Finding a Program

Detailed information is usually on the website for the department or research center. Many of these programs are supported by VPUE, and you can browse the list of the programs receiving VPUE funding. There may also be other centers running similar programs that are not funded by VPUE: for example, the Bio-X Program and the NeURO Fellowship Program. 

Don’t just look at your major department! If you do, you’ll miss all the research centers. In addition, several department programs are open to non-majors and draw on a range of skills. Investigate broadly.

How to Apply?

Specific application requirements and deadlines will vary by department. Most deadlines are in winter quarter, so pay attention to your email lists! Your Undergraduate Advising Director newsletter will advertise any opportunities forwarded to us. Otherwise, dig around on the department/center website, looking for topics such as "undergraduate", or "research", or "opportunities". STEM departments may use the acronym "REU" ("Research Experience for Undergraduates").

For many programs, the department will publish a list of all the faculty who are seeking to hire students, and with one application, you can submit yourself for consideration for several projects. Other programs will ask you to find your own research mentor and approach them about hiring you. Be sure to consult specific department webpages for instructions.


Stipends are typically intended to cover the costs of housing/room/board on campus during the summer, as well as leaving you a little money left over to do with as you wish. For 2022-23 the basic stipend set by VPUE was $7500, but this amount is subject to change from year to year.

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