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Undergraduate Research

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Cutting-Edge Research Opportunities

Harvard College students engage in world-class research across all disciplines and fields. There is a vast array of opportunities for students at all experience levels to participate in academic inquiry, from research assistantships, to independent projects.

With support from a variety of funding sources, students collaborate with renowned faculty researchers whose work has been featured in top journals, awarded prestigious grants, and—most importantly—is changing the world. Whether you choose to assist or lead your own project, you will receive guidance, support, and the benefit of their expertise.

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships helps students navigate the many research opportunities available here on campus, in the Cambridge area, and around the world. URAF can help you find projects and make connections among stakeholders in the academic research landscape.

Term-time research

During the academic year, you can conduct research for credit or receive research funding:

  • Directors of Undergraduate Study in each department determine the process and requirements for receiving academic credit for term-time research.
  • The Harvard College Research Program (HCRP) provides term-time and summer grants for students conducting independent research in collaboration with a faculty mentor.
  • The Faculty Aide Program (FAP) provides half of a student’s total wages when working for an approved faculty member as a research assistant.
  • The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF) provides a term-time stipend, as well as the option for summer research funds, to a group of approximately 20 juniors and seniors who are selected in the spring of their sophomore years.
  • Additionally, many faculty members across academic departments hire students directly to serve as research assistants.

Summer research

During the summer term, you have many options for conducting research. Harvard College offers several residential research programs for students staying on campus. Additionally, funding is provided to support students conducting independent research with faculty members locally, domestically, and internationally:

  • More than 20 different regional centers and institutes support students conducting research throughout the world.
  • Several science funding programs support students working in labs in and around Cambridge.
  • HCRP provides summer support for your independent research.

Summer research programs

Harvard College offers several unique residential research programs, designed to promote positive and productive undergraduate research experiences. The following programs are administered by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, several other programs are administered by offices around the university.


The Behavioral Laboratory in the Social Sciences (BLISS) is a 10-week program for students working with Harvard faculty on designated research projects in the social sciences. BLISS provides a stimulating, collegial, and diverse residential community while students conduct substantive summer research.


The Program for Research in Markets and Organizations (PRIMO) is a 10-week summer program that allows students to work closely with Harvard Business School faculty on research projects covering topics from business strategy to social media, and from innovation management to private equity.


Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE) is a 10-week summer program that aims to build community and stimulate creativity among Harvard undergraduate researchers in the life, physical/natural, engineering and applied sciences.


The Summer Humanities and Arts Research Program (SHARP) is a 10-week summer immersion experience working on projects designed by Harvard faculty and library administration. The program offers many different opportunities for undergraduates to engage in formative and substantive humanities and arts-based research.

The Summer Undergraduate Research in Global Health program (SURGH) is a 10-week summer program in which students research critical issues in global health under the direction of a Harvard faculty or affiliate mentor. Participants live in a diverse residential community of researchers, attend weekly multidisciplinary seminars with professionals in the global health field, and make connections beyond the traditional health sphere.

To learn more about undergraduate research at Harvard, visit the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.


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