Summer Undergraduate Research Fund

The Center for the Environment’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fund provides financial support for student research projects related to the environment. In the context of this program, 'environment' refers to understanding the relationships and balances of the natural and constructed world around us, with a particular emphasis on understanding how anthropogenic activities and policies affect the environment, including the intimate relationships between energy use and demand, environmental integrity and quality, human health, and climate change.

Our restructured 2020 summer program, designed for students to work remotely from their spring sequester locations, will support a variety of remote research situations. Students are welcome to look through the HUCE research assistantship opportunity list and consider submitting an application with their top five preferences. In addition, we encourage students to contact a HUCE Faculty Associate to propose a research assistantship separate from this list. Finally, we are also reviewing revised proposals for independent student research that have been restructured to be done remotely.

The deadline for all applications is Friday, April 24 at 12:00PM.


The research assistantship program allows students to participate in more directed summer research experiences under the guidance of a Harvard faculty member. The Center has solicited a wide variety of research assistant opportunities from its faculty associates and lists them here on the program website. Students interested in a research assistantship position should:

  • identify assistantship opportunities of interest to them and list their top five on the application form
  • tell us your academic goals for the summer
  • let us know how long you would ideally like to spend on the project and any special financial circumstances that we should know about

We will take student preferences into account—in addition to input from the project supervisors—to match students with research projects. Students will have an opportunity to accept or reject the project to which they are assigned, but please do not list any protects for which you do not have a genuine interest. If there are students who are not matched with any of their top choices, we will offer them the opportunity to make a new selection from the list of remaining projects. 

View full list >>


Students are also welcome to contact an individual faculty member about sponsoring a project that is not on our list of opportunities. The project will be reviewed, and we will contact you and your faculty supervisor if there are aspects of the project that do not meet our requirements. Students in this category should:

  • provide us with a description of the project and duration
  • tell us how the project fits with their academic goals
  • ask the faculty member to confirm their approval by emailing Jillian Murphy //


HUCE is accepting applications from students who initially applied for funding for field or lab-based research and are now seeking support for research projects conducted from their spring sequester location. Students in this category should:

  • provide us with a description of the project and duration
  • tell us how the project fits with their academic goals
  • ask the faculty advisor to confirm their approval by emailing Jillian Murphy // (we have saved application materials from students who applied for the original April 3 application cycle).


The intention is that all of these projects will require a minimum of 20 hours of work per week. Students with research assistantships are expected to have regular meetings with their faculty supervisor approximately twice a week.

We will offer a standard stipend of $1000 per month, and students can apply for a fellowship duration between 1 month and 3 months (in 0.5 month increments). Funds will be administered on a monthly basis, so if suddenly new opportunities open up for alternative summer activities due to a reduction in COVID-19 restrictions, we can easily accommodate terminating your fellowship early. Our intent is to fund research opportunities for undergraduates that are as flexible as possible, given the current situation.

Jillian Murphy, Program Coordinator

The Center gratefully acknowledges Bertram Cohn for his generous support of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fund.