Undergraduate Research Fellowships

It is a common misconception that fellowships are only open to seniors and graduates—there are actually many fellowships and scholarships that support undergraduates! This page is a resource for students looking for fellowships to support undergraduate research (you can also check out our resource on language and study abroad). 

Not sure where to start? Click here.

Looking for thesis or senior project support? Click here.

Looking for something other than research? Check out our resources for travel and service fellowships (including for undergraduates!).


Research Opportunities for Undergrads

Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program
Promotes biocultural conservation – a broad endeavor to preserve the integrity of communities, their interdependent members (both humans and other species), and the ecosystems in which they reside. This program integrates multiple academic disciplines and ways of knowing, from a variety of conservation practitioners, to support scholars in finding a conservation practice and career path that is right for them.
Eligible: first-years and sophomores who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or DACA/DREAMers. Members of underrepresented socio-cultural or geographic groups or economically disadvantaged individuals, are strongly encouraged to apply.
Deadline: see website for details.

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship
Helps to develop the nation’s next generation of researchers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering, by awarding scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in these fields.
Eligible: sophomores & juniors in STEM fields who are U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents.
Deadline: apply for Wellesley’s nomination in early December annually.

National Institutes of Standards and Technology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (NIST SURF)
Designed to inspire undergraduate students to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) through research and mentorship experience at NIST labs.
Eligible: currently enrolled undergraduates who are US citizens or permanent residents, majoring in a STEM discipline.
Deadline: mid-February annually OR when the program has received the application limit, which may be sooner than the closing date.

NIH Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research (SIP)
Summer programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provide an opportunity to spend a summer working at the NIH side-by-side with some of the leading scientists in the world, in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research (At the NIH "biomedical research" includes everything from behavioral and social sciences, through biology and chemistry, to physics, mathematical modeling, computational biology, and biostatistics).
Eligible: U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are enrolled at least half-time in an accredited college.
Deadline: see website for additional details.

Wellesley Centers for Women Class of 1967 Internship Program
Offers students to gain (paid!) hands-on social science research experience under the mentorship of a Wellesley Centers for Women research scientist during the academic year
Eligible: current first-years, sophomores, and juniors.
Deadline: typically in March, for the following academic year

Wellesley Knapp Fellows Program in the Social Sciences
Matches interested faculty members and students to work together over the course of the semester. The program provides students with an opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty and to get exposure to the challenges and excitements of scholarly life.
Eligible: current first years, sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
Deadline: typically in September

Wellesley Social Science Summer Research Program
Offers students a unique opportunity to conduct research in a variety of social science disciplines under the supervision of faculty experts in that field.
Eligible: full-time undergraduate students.
Deadline: mid-February annually.

Wellesley Sophomore Early Research Program
Enables students in the natural sciences and social sciences to work closely with faculty for approximately 6 hours/week during sophomore year. Since hands-on research is so important in doing natural and social science as well as in career planning, these funds will make available academic year research opportunities as work-study positions.
Eligible: rising sophomores who are work-study eligible and from one or more of the following backgrounds: first-generation college student; low income/high need; and/or underrepresented racial/ethnic groups.
Deadline: late July annually.


Wellesley Honors Thesis/Senior Project Funding

Samuel and Hilda Levitt Fellowship
Supports the thesis work of nine honors students, three each in the humanities, the social sciences and the sciences. Each fellowship consists of $3500 and is awarded in the spring of the recipient’s junior year, so that it can facilitate honors work, both during the summer preceding the senior year, if needed, and during the senior year. The fellowship is also intended to recognize students with a commitment to service.
Eligible: Wellesley students planning to enroll in a 360 course in the first semester of their senior year, who have the approval of their thesis advisor and department.
Deadline: mid-May annually (typically the spring before a student's expected graduation)

Daniels Fellowship
Provides an opportunity for seniors to envision and carry out a piece of work that they would love to do before graduation—that may be but is not required to be an honors thesis.
Eligible: Wellesley seniors in good standing
Deadline: mid-September annually

Jerome A. Schiff Fellowship
Supports students pursuing independent research projects through the senior Honors thesis program. The fellowships are awarded on the basis of merit, and the number of fellows each year is determined by available funding and the number of qualified applicants.
Eligible: Wellesley students enrolled in a 360 in the fall or intending to enroll in a 360 in spring
Deadline: early October annually


More great resources


Postgrad Opportunities (for which you apply as an undergrad)

Beinecke Scholars Program
Seeks to encourage and enable highly motivated students with limited financial resources to pursue graduate study in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The Beinecke provides $35,000 towards application expenses and tuition fees for graduate study in MA, MFA, or PhD programs.
Eligible: juniors in the fields of the arts, humanities, or social sciences who are U.S. citizens or United States nationals from American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Deadline: mid-January annually.

Truman Scholarship
Supports the graduate education and professional development of outstanding young people committed to public service leadership; provides funding toward senior year and graduate school (up to $30,000) for juniors who are committed to careers in public service.
Eligible: current juniors who are U.S. citizens or nationals.
Deadline: apply for Wellesley’s nomination in early December annually.


Not sure where to begin?

Ready, set—liberal arts!
One of the huge benefits of a liberal arts education, like the one you’re getting at Wellesley, is that you get to delve into a lot of different interests, topics, and disciplines. If you’re not sure what you’d like to research, or even if you are interested in research, that’s okay! Now is the time to explore and see where your academic interests lie. You may be surprised where your path takes you — and remember that it’s okay to pivot and try something new!

Talk to your professors.
Wellesley professors are experts in their field, and they’re here to help you make the most of your education! Most offer office hours during the semester, when you can drop by and talk to them, either in person or virtually. You can go with specific questions about your class or assignments, or you can simply say that you’re interested in the material and want to learn more (no major/minor or thesis required!).

… and talk to your ACE!
Did you know that first-years, sophomores, and juniors are matched with Advisors for Career Exploration (ACEs)? Your ACE will provide the mentorship, tools, connections, and space for self-assessment and reflection to identify the paths you want to pursue. In addition, Career Education has Career Advisors who are experts in specific fields, so you can explore different disciplines and industries. They’d love to meet you and learn more about your interests!

Take your time.
We know it can feel like everyone around you has a super specific plan about exactly what they want to do—undergrad research, postgrad, and beyond. The truth is the quiet majority of folks are figuring things out as they go, and that’s totally normal. Being in college (especially during a tumultuous time like the one we’re living in) is a big adjustment, so give yourself the grace and the space to explore, take your classes, figure out your favorite place to study (and your favorite place to nap!), and see where your time at Wellesley takes you.