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Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate Research Opportunities aim to enlist students in research early in their undergraduate careers, in order to foster deep and substantive experiences for both students and their hosting lab groups. 

The ESF Financial Aid Office and Office of Research Programs (ORP) are jointly sponsoring student research opportunities funded through the Federal work-study program. The aims of the program are to: 

  1. promote student research experience as a professional stepping stone;
  2. increase diversity in research by widening opportunities to students from all backgrounds;
  3. provide positive student mentoring through interaction with faculty and research lab groups; and
  4. enhance ESF’s capacity and reputation as a world-class research university. 


The program will prioritize positions in labs with significant extramural funding, with faculty who demonstrate a strong commitment to mentoring student researchers, and with early-career investigators. In addition, placements will be prioritized in lab groups that can support several undergraduates with faculty and graduate student mentoring that creates a sense of community and belonging.

Having begun in August 2022, this program allows for student opportunities both on Summer and Academic Year timelines, with separate applications for each. Applications will be received on a rolling basis.

For questions please contact Erica Ward,

FWS Application Summer 2024

FWS Application Academic Year 2023-2024

Eligibility and Position Criteria

The program targets primarily undergraduate students who qualify for financial aid, though qualified graduate students may also be eligible. Awards will be standardized to approximately $2500 per student per academic year (AY), and $5,000 per student over the summer, with the total number of hours determined by the hourly wage rate. The current wage rate is $15.00/hr, which yields 333 hours during summer and 166 hours during AY. In some cases the allocations may be extended in consultation with the Financial Aid Office, subject to the student’s eligibility. We anticipate approximately twenty to forty awards available annually (summer plus AY total).