Student Research Opportunities


There are several ways to engage in EACS research while an undergraduate at Bates.

Check in with your professors to learn about their research program and any research opportunities that might be available during the semester or in the summers. It may be possible to advance a project by working a few hours a week during the academic year, for example, or by working fulltime during the summer months. You never know what might be possible until you ask, so reach out if you are curious.

In all cases, you will be paid (usually minimum wage) for the work you do as a student researcher. If a research project is new and requires funding, it may be possible to write a proposal with the help of your professor to secure that funding.

Internal Grants

Bates has a several grant programs to which students and faculty can apply for research funding (including student salaries, research costs, travel, etc.). These are called Internal Grants, because the proposals and applications are written by students/faculty and the funding is derived from within Bates College.

Faculty-Led Grants. Internal grants submitted by faculty (sometimes in collaboration with students) are listed on the Funding for Faculty Scholarship and Teaching webpage. Students should peruse this list of programs and talk with faculty about potential collaborative grants. Funding for summer research students is often acquired through the following two STEM programs:

Student-Led Grants. Internal grants submitted by student are listed on the Student Research webpage.

External Opportunities

There are also research opportunities and internships outside of Bates that you can apply to for summer experience. These opportunities are competitive and require an application and letters of recommendation. please ask your professors if they are willing and able to write on your behalf well in advance of the deadlines; 4 weeks advance notice is generally enough time for a letter of recommendation to be written. These opportunities can be found in a variety of places, including other educational institutions, government agencies, and non-profits. Examples of these types of programs are listed below. Many more exist!

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) sites are funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and provide students opportunities to work at universities and/or research institutions during the summer months. The REU Site program is described generally here. There are many different types of REUs; simply google “REU” and a general term for your field of interest to learn more. For current lists of REUs in the Earth and Ocean Sciences, see below.

  • Earth Science REU: 20+ programs listed here
  • Ocean Sciences REU: 20+ programs listed here

Internship with Other Educational Institutions, Federal and State Agencies, etc

Writing proposals and summer research applications takes longer than you think. Ask for input from your professors and from the Writing Center at Bates early on in the process. The more feedback you can get, the stronger the proposal.

Similarly, if you need a letter of recommendation, please ask your professors if they are willing and able to write on your behalf well in advance of the deadlines; 4 weeks advance notice is generally enough time for a letter of recommendation to be written.