Loyola University Chicago


Center for Experiential Learning

Summer Research Programs


Undergraduate students have access to thousands of paid summer opportunities each year. Opportunities in research both at Loyola and beyond are available to students at every level of their education and only require a short application and personal statement to be considered. These programs do not require students to have a project in mind ahead of time and will match students up with mentors who work in the student’s field of interest. Programs generally run for 10 weeks during the summer and grant students refined analytical skills, experience working as a full time researcher and assist students in achieving their graduate educational goals. The lists below provide students with access to the numerous programs offered around the country each summer.

Click here for strategies to find the right summer program for you.

Click here for application strategies to give you the best chance to obtain a summer position.

Click here for a checklist of items you should prepare before you apply, and for a rubric to help you write and revise your personal statement.

For two sample personal statements written in application for summer research programs, click here and here.

To see examples of current essay prompts for summer research programs click here.

To ease the process of obtaining multiple letters of recommendation check out Interfolio.

  • SREL REU in Radioecology

    Students will work both in the field and lab to investigate the impacts of radionuclides on the environment first hand. You will examine i) the fate of radionuclides in environmental systems; ii) the impact of radionuclides on the environment; and iii) biogeochemical and physiological processes by means of tracer studies. This program teams with Savannah River Ecology Lab (SREL), which studies radioecology in national and international arenas (e.g., Chernobyl and Fukushima) and houses the only chronic low-dose experimental facility in the world.
  • Pathways to Science

    Pathways to Science is an organization that provides an extremely organized database of over 800 summer research opportunities. All of the listed programs are related to science in some manner, but their website offers detailed search functions to help students identify programs of specific interest to them.
  • Rochester Institute of Technology Comprehensive Lists

    Very extensive, albeit crude, lists composed by the Rochester Institute of Technology. Hundreds of paid summer internship opportunities are listed and opportunities are updated each year to ensure accurate program descriptions and eligibility requirements.
  • National Science Foundation: Research Experiences for Undergraduates

    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.

    We recommend signing up for a PIVOT account, so that you can save searches and have them run automatically each week, saving you time and effort. You’ll get regular e-mails with announcements about research opportunities that fit the criteria you’re looking for.
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    National Institutes of Health: Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research

    Summer programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provide an opportunity to spend a summer working at the NIH side-by-side with some of the leading scientists in the world, in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research.
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    Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP)

    A free (full tuition, housing, and meals) six-week summer academic enrichment program that offers freshman and sophomore college students intensive and personalized medical and dental school preparation at one of a dozen universities.