Summer Research Programs

The Kearns Center’s summer research programs offer undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in nationally funded research groups across multiple disciplines. Designed for students with an interest in pursuing graduate education, the program provides a firsthand glimpse into life as a graduate student and prepares undergraduates to take that next step. Students are selected to work closely with a specific faculty mentor and their team of researchers throughout the summer on either an ongoing research project or a project condensed to fit the 9-week timeframe.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out via email to

Community of Scholars

The summer is a short time to undertake a research project, but a long time to be away from family and friends. A unique feature of the Kearns Center’s Summer Research Programs is that we facilitate interaction among all our visiting summer research students. This allows scholars to get to know students conducting research in the humanities, social science, natural science, and engineering and provides more opportunities for you to develop friendships with students from across the country.

Room and Board

Room and board for the duration of the summer research program are covered at no expense to summer program scholars. Accommodations include a double occupancy dorm room and a small meal plan. Scholars will be matched with roommates from within the summer program.

Alcohol is not allowed in the residence halls or on campus during the summer. The University of Rochester is also a tobacco-free and smoke-free campus.

Seminars and Workshops

In addition to discipline-specific symposia and seminars offered by the individual research programs, scholars have the opportunity to attend general academic and professional development workshops.

Workshop topics include:
- Applying to graduate school
- Writing an effective purpose statement
- Taking the GRE
- Communicating your science through presentations

A concluding research symposium gives scholars the opportunity to showcase their research and prepare for professional conference presentations.

Social Events

It's important to have fun too! Several group activities are offered to summer scholars at no cost or a very minimal cost. Activities include:

  • Mid-Summer Research BBQ
  • Tour of Rochester, NY
  • Rochester’s International Jazz Festival

Individual research programs also plan social activities, such as bowling, ice cream socials, Red Wings baseball games, and more.

Kearns Summer Research Symposium

The David T. Kearns Center’s Research Symposium celebrates the accomplishments of nearly 90 research scholars who participated in the McNair, Xerox, Nano to Network, Computational Methods, Quantum, Bio, Nano Photonics, Kearns Summer Research Scholars and IRIS programs. Visit the Kearns Summer Research Symposium page to learn more.

Planning on participating in the symposium? Check out the resources below:

The documents below are meant to provide an overview of the logistics and expectations for the symposium. All information in these documents can also be found on the Kearns Summer Research Symposium page.