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SUNY Launches Second Year of the Chancellor’s Summer Research Excellence Fund

ALBANY, N.Y. – Feb. 19, 2024 - State University of New York Chancellor John B. King, Jr. announced the second year of the Chancellor's Summer Research Excellence Fund which will provide over 150 undergraduates with paid internships this summer at eight campuses. This will be the second year of the Chancellor’s Summer Research Excellence Fund internship program, which underscores the Board of Trustees’ and Chancellor’s goal of every student having a paid hands-on learning experience by the time they receive their degree.  

As part of the 2024 State of the State agenda, Governor Hochul has proposed the Empire AI initiative, which will provide SUNY’s four University Centers and other leading New York research institutions with the opportunity to conduct groundbreaking research and lead the nation in AI research and economic development, with an emphasis on the use of AI to advance the public good. 

To help support Empire AI and the nation leading work New York is doing around Artificial Intelligence, at least 22 of the 2024 Chancellor’s Summer Research Excellence Fund paid internship experiences will focus on roles in Artificial Intelligence and the need to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in AI research and development.  

“Like the invention of the printing press, the radio, or the internet, once every generation, a technological wave comes along that changes how we live. That is why it is critical we provide internship experiences to students in the growing field of Artificial Intelligence to apply AI to solve problems, to learn about AI ethics, and to increase diversity in STEM fields researching and innovating in this emerging technology,” said SUNY Chancellor King. “Internships are absolutely vital to student success, as they offer experiences students would not otherwise get in the classroom alone.”  

SUNY Chancellor King and Assembly Member Michaelle C. Solages, chair of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus, co-moderated a discussion featuring BPRHA Caucus Member Senator Kristen Gonzalez, Assembly Member Alex Bores, Assembly Member Steven Otis, and panelists from the University at Albany and the University at Buffalo regarding the need to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Artificial Intelligence workforce, and in research and development.   

Artificial Intelligence biases have real world consequences, and one way to address these biases is to increase the diversity of those in the field, including ensuring that research experiences are paid and accessible to students from various backgrounds.  

The internship program will expand research opportunities to students with financial need, first-generation students, and others who may face barriers to securing research experiences. Participating campuses include: SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), University at Albany, Binghamton University, University at Buffalo, Downstate Health Sciences University, Stony Brook University, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Upstate Medical University.  

The Summer Research Excellence Fund, which is supported by SUNY’s Empire Innovation Program, covers all student costs for the internship including, but not limited to, student stipend/salary, tuition/fees, housing, meal plans, childcare, and transportation. 

These internships will be in fields including biology, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cybersecurity, physics, astronomy, engineering, medicine, life sciences, chemistry, computer science, and clean energy.

The Chancellor’s Summer Research Excellence Fund is in addition to the $10 million annual support for student internships from Governor Hochul and the legislature’s historic investment in operating funds for State-operated campuses as part of the 2023-24 enacted budget.   

ESF President Joanie Mahoney said, “Internships and research are vital parts of preparing our students for future success through practical, real-world experience in their chosen fields. We’re grateful that the Chancellor’s Summer Research Excellence Fund allows us to provide these opportunities to more students by eliminating financial barriers or additional debt for a summer session. The inaugural year of this innovative program was a great success, and we look forward to partnering with the Chancellor once again.”  


The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is dedicated to the study of the environment, developing renewable technologies, and building a sustainable and resilient future through design, policy, and management of the environment and natural resources. Members of the College community share a passion for protecting the health of the planet and a deep commitment to the rigorous application of science to improve the way humans interact with the world. The College offers academic programs ranging from the associate of applied science to the Doctor of Philosophy. ESF students live, study and do research on the main campus in Syracuse, N.Y., and on 25,000 acres of field stations in a variety of ecosystems across the state.

About The State University of New York 

The State University of New York, which celebrated its 75th anniversary this year, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95% of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit