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Research Opportunities

Experiment, Investigate, and Explore

Harvard provides you opportunities to conduct research alongside world-renowned faculty in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Whether you choose to conduct your own research or assist with a faculty project, we will help find the funding to support you.

In recent years, students have received more than $7 million in research support from more than 60 sources, including a variety of international centers, specialized science initiatives, and academic departmental resources. Read more about research funding at Harvard for incoming first-year students.

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships provides students with information about the diversity of funding opportunities available and offers guidance on writing competitive applications.

Specific initiatives include:

  • PRISE, PRIMO, SHARP, BLISS and PEM are programs that provide discipline specific research in pre-designed projects over the summer.  On-campus room and board are provided and students live within a vibrant community of other scholars.
  • The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF) provides a term-time stipend and funds to support summer research to a group of approximately 20 juniors and seniors. Students are selected in the spring of their sophomore year, and selection is based on a student’s demonstrated interest in pursuing a PhD and serving as a mentor and advocate for diverse students in the academy
  • Harvard College Research Program (HCRP) provides term-time and summer grants to fund students’ independent research in collaboration with a faculty member.
  • Herschel Smith provides funding for exceptional student researchers conducting science research over the summer.  Projects may be undertaken anywhere in the world. Applicants must arrange their own research projects.

Engineering and applied sciences

Get hands-on research opportunities in the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, which seeks to produce “renaissance engineers”—students who excel in applied science and also have a broad knowledge of other disciplines.

The School has groundbreaking faculty, extensive course offerings, and far-reaching research opportunities, and you can graduate fully ABET-certified in four years.

Your research program could bring you to the following lab spaces:

  • The Northwest Science facilities, which add to ongoing research and teaching across a wide range of inquiry.
  • Harvard’s Stem Cell Institute, which aims to use the power of stem cell biology to understand and ultimately treat selected diseases and conditions.
  • The Broad Institute, a joint venture between Harvard and MIT, which includes many of the scientists who made significant contributions to the Human Genome Project. They are now working together to pioneer a “new model” of collaborative science to transform medicine.
  • The Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab, a wet laboratory with co-working space for early-stage, high-potential biotech and life science start-ups founded by Harvard students, alumni, faculty, and postdoctoral scholars. 

Environmental and sustainability research

Harvard faculty members are at the forefront of environmental research and policy initiatives. In 2008, Harvard announced a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 30 percent below a 2006 baseline by the year 2016, including all new growth. This initiative has created many opportunities for you to be directly involved in groundbreaking sustainability research.

Work within the Harvard community to support behavioral change, develop new ways of measuring and reducing energy usage, and implement sustainable policies. This real-world experience will pave the way for further research and work opportunities, while helping Harvard work toward a common goal.

Learn more about the opportunities available or about Harvard’s greenhouse gas reduction commitment at the Office for Sustainability.

Summer research programs

Spend your summer conducting research in any of a variety of disciplines. We offer funding opportunities to support your independent research, whether here in the Boston area or around the world.

More than 20 different international centers provide ample opportunities to conduct research in nearly any discipline, many of them supported by HCRP funding.

Here in Cambridge, a small number of local opportunities also provide financial support as you conduct research in close collaboration with faculty mentors as part of a residential community of scholars. Find out more about our several unique research programs.





Facts About Financial Aid


Amount that parents making less than $65,000 are expected to contribute.

Ninety percent of American families would pay the same or less to send their children to Harvard as they would a state school.


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