Summer research

Overview

The Physics Department strongly encourages students to work with faculty over the summer. This is a great opportunity to explore a new area of science, develop a deeper understanding of what it means to do research, and work in a rich intellectual environment with a mix of faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and other undergraduates. Summer research positions in the Physics Department usually start in early June and last 10 weeks or longer.

Applications for Summer 2021 are due by 4pm EDT on March 16, 2021.

The application process is kept to a minimum, and every effort will be made to keep applicants informed of the status of their applications, beginning with an acknowledgment e-mail to be sent shortly after the submission deadline. We expect to start making offers as early as March 30, 2021.

If you decide that summer research is for you, you will need to proceed as follows:

  1. Please browse the Summer 2021 Research Opportunities. You may find more information about each host and research area by following the links within this document, by browsing this website, or by getting in touch with a host. Note that you are under no obligation to get in touch with a host ahead of applying to the program; the hosts you select during the application process may schedule informal interviews after reviewing your application materials.
  2. Gather your application materials: you will need to upload a CV, an unofficial college transcript, and a personal statement. Your CV and your personal statement may not exceed one page each (12-pt font, 1-in margins) — your goal should be to introduce yourself concisely to your potential hosts, not to provide an exhaustive list of your academic accomplishments. One page is a maximum not to exceed; shorter submissions are welcome. In your personal statement, please (i) describe briefly your motivations for applying to the summer program in general, and to the research opportunities you selected in particular; and (ii) be sure to provide all the information requested under "Special application instructions" at the bottom of the research opportunities you are applying for. In lieu of an unofficial transcript (which could simply be a screenshot taken on the Registrar's website), you may submit a list of the courses you have taken while at Princeton (in which case you should be sure to indicate the semester in which you took each).
  3. Fill out this application form by 4pm EDT on March 16, 2021. As part of the application process, you will be asked to select up to three research opportunities. Although you must specify one, you need not list more opportunities than you are truly interested in. Before submitting your application, please carefully review your entries; once you submit your application, you will not be able to make changes to it or to submit a new one.
  4. Should you encounter any difficulty, please let us know by e-mailing Karen Kelly (kkaras@Princeton.EDU). We are here to help, and committed to making this process as stress-free as we can.

Students interested in summer research opportunities abroad with non-Princeton faculty should check out the Princeton International Internship Program (IIP). You can apply to one of the many existing internship opportunities (deadline typically in December), or you can create your own if you have a specific PI abroad with whom you'd like to work (deadline typically in mid-October!). Please be alert to these early deadlines when considering IIP. While the Physics Department encourages participation in summer internships like the ones offered by IIP, we typically are not a funding source to support them.

Funding

In Summer 2021, the Physics Department intends to fund in full all undergraduate summer researchers. Should your application be successful, more information will be provided in your acceptance letter. If at any point before or after the application deadline, or before or after receiving an acceptance letter, you receive external funding for summer research, congratulations! And please notify Karen Kelly (kkaras@Princeton.EDU) at your earliest opportunity.

Named departmental fellowships

Undergraduate research jobs in the Physics Department are supported by generous gifts from University alums and friends of the Department.

Treiman fellowships

The Treiman fellowships for summer research are made possible through a generous donation to the Department in honor of Prof. Sam Treiman, a theoretical particle physicist who was the chair of the Princeton Physics Department from 1981 to 1987 and remains one of the more notable influences on the department. Recent recipients include Zachary Atkins, Dongwoo Chung, Bharath Alamanda, Jonah Herzog-Arbeitman, Arnold Mong, Yinan Zheng, Reilly Bova, Victor Zhang, Debopriyo Biswas, and Richard Huang.

Leach fellowships

The Leach fellowships for summer research are made possible through a generous donation by the Charles H. Leach II Foundation. The goal is to inspire future physics majors, especially women. Recent recipients include Ana Diaz, Maria Okounkova, Mrinalini Basu, Aizhan Akhmetzhanova, and Michelle Baird.

Frederick Osborn fellowships

The Frederick Osborn fellowships for summer research are made possible through a generous donation from Mrs. Frederick Osborn and family in memory of her husband, Frederick Osborn, an Art & Archeology major in the class of 1937. Frederick Osborn was an active member of the United Nations Committee On the Peaceful Use of Outer Space (COPUOS). He was inspired and fascinated by what could be done and learned from space. His particular focus was on solar energy. The award goes to supporting students engaged in research "looking up." Recent recipients include Abanti Basak, Fikret Ceyhan, Cissy Chen, and Rocco Amorosso.

Bell-Burnell fellowships

The Bell-Burnell fellowships for summer research are made possible through a generous gift from Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, the discoverer of the first pulsar. Bell-Burnell fellowships are aimed at encouraging women to pursue physics. Recent recipients include Sara Anjum, Carlota Corbella-Alcantara, Nina Filippova, Cara Giovanetti, Emily Ho, Paige Kunkle, Rebecca Rousseau, and Gemma Zhang.

Joseph Henry Summer Fellowships

The Joseph Henry Summer Fellowships for summer research are made possible by the Physics Department in appreciation of the value of summer research opportunities. Recent recipients include Nathan Agmon, Cristian Andronic, Dongwoo Chung, Zack Stier, Anvay Grover, Thomas Morris, Jaewon Kim, Georgy Noarov, Jan Offermann, Nicole Ozdowski, Iris Rukshin, and Jack Wolfgramm.