Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate research opportunities in engineering and applied sciences

Opportunities for undergraduates to conduct research in engineering, the applied sciences, and in related fields abound at Harvard. As part of your coursework, or perhaps as part of individual research opportunities working with professors, you will have the chance to undertake some extraordinary projects covering topics ranging from bioengineering to cryptography to environmental engineering.

Our dedicated undergraduate research facilities and Teaching Labs also provide opportunities for students to engage in hands-on learning. We encourage undergraduates from all relevant concentrations to tackle projects during the academic year and/or over the summer.

Keep in mind, many students also pursue research at private companies and labs as well as at government institutions like the National Institutes of Health.

If you have any questions, please contact or stop by the Student Affairs Office, located in Pierce Hall, 110.

Opportunities

SEAS Teaching Labs

The SEAS Teaching Labs provide support for courses and independent workshops with a fundamental focus on hands-on research.

Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE)

Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE) is a 10-week summer residential community of undergraduates participating in research. Free on-campus housing to accepted participants.

Harvard College Engineering Society (HCES)

The Harvard College Engineering Society is a student-run organization at Harvard College aimed at promoting engineering and cross disciplinary collaboration on campus through participating in competitions and working on various engineering projects, as well as serving as a resource for undergraduate engineers at Harvard.

Harvard iGEM

Synthetic biology is a new field of biotechnology that aims to engineer cellular systems for applications in medicine, alternative energy, and basic science. The Harvard iGEM team is a group of undergraduates participating in the International Genetically Engineered Machines competition, the premiere synthetic biology design competition held annually at MIT. iGEM students participate in original research during the summer and present their work at the international jamboree in the fall.

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) offers summer research opportunities focused on materials research and nanoscale science and engineering. Accepted participants receive a stipend and housing on campus.

Harvard College Office for Undergraduate Research

The Office for Undergraduate Research Initiatives is designed to help Harvard College students navigate the broad array of institutional, domestic, and international research opportunities that are available to them, and to develop connections among stakeholders in the academic research landscape:  schools, academic departments, the housing communities, and student organizations.

Research through student employment at Harvard

Summer and term-time opportunities are available through the Student Employment Office.

Office of Career Services

The Office of Career Services (OCS) offers opportunities for students to conduct research in industry settings.

Harvard Fellowships Office

The Harvard Fellowships Office is probably the largest and most centralized office involved in undergraduate grant administration. Relevant fellowships, sponsored by the University, for engineering and applied sciences students include:

  • Herchel Smith Harvard Undergraduate Research Fellowships (to pursue personally significant, self-designed scientific research experiences in the sciences during the summer or a leave of absence, in the U.S. or overseas); and
  • Weissman International Internship Program (to foster the development of Harvard College students’ understanding of the global community in which they will live and work).

David Rockefeller International Experience Grants

For the past two years, David Rockefeller International Experience Grants program has funded over 400 students pursuing an internship, study, research, or service abroad.

David Rockefeller International Experience Grants fund significant international experiences, which may consist of an internship, service, research assistantship, or study abroad and should be  eight or more weeks in duration during the summer break.

The Harvard Undergraduate Research Journal (THURJ)

A biannual publication that promotes undergraduate science by publishing undergraduate research and highlighting relevant advancements in the scientific community of Harvard University.

Working in a SEAS Lab

If you are interested in working in a faculty lab, visit the individual faculty or lab group sites and look for open opportunities or contact the faculty member directly.