Summer Research Program


Summer Research Program

GSAS-Leadership Alliance Summer Research Program

Program Dates: June 5 - August 6, 2016
Final Application Deadline: Monday, February 1, 2016

Program Overview

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences hosts the eight- to ten-week Summer Research Program (SRP) for undergraduates from groups that have been historically underrepresented in academia. Participants conduct graduate-level research under the supervision of a Columbia faculty mentor, approximating the graduate experience through exposure to the mentor/advisee relationship, scholarly research opportunities, and independent living.

The aim of the program is to foster a deeper knowledge of the field in question, to hone skills that are necessary for success in doctoral study, and to encourage students to pursue academic careers.  The SRP does not offer preparation for the professional schools (e.g. business, education, engineering, journalism, medical, law, and social work).

The Summer Research Program began at Columbia in 1989 and is hosted in conjunction with The Leadership Alliance, a consortium of 32 institutions of higher learning that has a mission of helping underrepresented students develop into outstanding leaders and role models in academia, business, and the public sector.

Read a recap or download the event program from the 2015 SRP Symposium.


The Academic Journey

Faculty and Research

Each student will undertake a discipline-appropriate summer research project in collaboration with an assigned faculty mentor. Many will find themselves integrated into ongoing research, working closely with faculty and graduate students.

Weekly Seminars and Workshops

Beyond research, SRP students take part in a number of other professional activities, including weekly seminars and workshops, symposia, and a number of group events both on and off campus. These include tutorials on the graduate school application process, oral presentation for conferences, and the Scholarly Journey series, in which advanced Columbia graduate students, faculty, and professionals with doctoral degrees share their intellectual biographies, offer advice, and discuss opportunities in academia and the private sector. During the weekly seminars, students have ample opportunity to discuss their research projects.


Meetings with staff and mentors provide an informal setting for discussions of varied topics such as the nature, rewards, and challenges of a research career in academia or the private world.


Students present their research to faculty, graduate students, and administrators at the Columbia Symposium. Students also attend the annual national Leadership Alliance Summer Symposium.

Participating Departments

In recent years, research internships have been available in the following departments or disciplines of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences:


Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Biomedical Sciences

See the Biomedical Sciences website for an overview of biomedical programs and more information on departments, Ph.D. programs, and subfields.

Costs and Fellowship Information

There is no charge for the program, and no application fee. Students accepted for the Summer Research Program will receive the following:

  • Accommodations: Housing is provided on Columbia's Morningside Heights campus for the duration of the program (June 5 - August 6, 2016).  All SRP students are required to reside on campus while enrolled in the program.
  • Transportation: Reasonable travel costs to and from Columbia University up to a maximum of $500 are covered, if necessary.
  • Stipend: Students receive a stipend of $5,000 to cover living expenses.
  • Meals: No meal plan is provided, but many weekly meetings, seminars, workshops, and special events are catered.

Information for C3-LADO Students

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences welcomes applications for the Summer Research Program from students in the Creating Connections Consortium (C3) and students from Liberal Arts Diversity Officers Organizations (LADO) institutions.

Undergraduate institutions in the C3 are Middlebury College, Williams College, and Connecticut College; a list of LADO institutions is available on the C3 website.

How to Apply

The GSAS-Leadership Alliance Summer Research  Program (SRP) seeks talented undergraduate students who have a passion for scholarly or scientific research and demonstrate academic promise in research and/or teaching in the natural sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences.

Applicants must apply for the Summer Research Program using the Leadership Alliance application. Students will apply to the Leadership Alliance and designate Columbia as a top choice for their summer campus.

Application Deadlines

  • Leadership Alliance: Monday, February 1, 2016

Eligibility Requirements

The program seeks college students who have a passion for scholarly or scientific research and demonstrate academic promise in research and/or teaching in the sciences and selected disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Applicants must:

  • Be entering their junior or senior year in fall 2016
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a 3.0 grade-point average (GPA) or higher
  • Show potential for doctoral study in proposed field; transcript should demonstrate course work in proposed area of research.
  • Belong to a group historically underrepresented in academia and have therefore overcome challenges or hardships related to race, ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic background, family history of post-baccalaureate opportunity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.