Sophomore Early Research Program


Research Stipends for Student Research with Faculty in the Natural and Social Sciences

The Office of the Provost and Dean of the College will provide stipends of $2100 during the 2024-2025 academic year for members of the class of 2027 to carry out collaborative research projects with natural science and social science faculty mentors. These stipends will enable up to 28 students (20 in Natural Sciences and 8 in Social Sciences) to work closely with faculty for approximately 6 hours/week per student during their 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. This program supports eligible students who belong to groups underrepresented in these disciplines. Because these are work-study positions, and as the nature of research sometimes requires it, students can anticipate that some of the work may be more tedious than other aspects of the work. However, all participating students can expect to gain basic research skills in the discipline in which they work.

Eligibility & Selection Criteria:  

  • Students MUST be eligible for work-study positions. International students who would otherwise be eligible for work study can apply as well.


  • Students MUST be from one or more of the following backgrounds:
  • low-income/high need;
  • first-generation college student;
  • or from groups traditionally underrepresented in the natural or social sciences.

The funds supporting this program dictate a strong preference for supporting interdisciplinary work. Therefore, we particularly encourage applications from faculty who are able to provide students with compelling interdisciplinary research experiences. 


Application Process: The following process should be followed and deadlines will be strictly observed.

  1. Research projects are posted through the links above. Students interested in working on a particular project should contact the faculty member to arrange an interview. While students are encouraged to contact more than one faculty member to express interest and learn more about their research, please note that students can submit only one application with one faculty member. Therefore, it is advised that students communicate clearly and thoroughly with faculty members if they wish to submit an application with a particular faculty member in a timely fashion. 
  2. Faculty may also seek out students with whom they might like to work. The faculty member may also advertise their project. As faculty members may potentially receive interest from more than one student, it is the responsibility of the faculty member to select one student with whom they will proceed with the application process after they confirm interested students’ eligibility for the program. Faculty can apply with more than one student if they have independent funding to support additional students.
  3. To determine a student(s)’ eligibility for SERP, only faculty can submit the student(s) name and Wellesley ID. Please note: Faculty will not know how the students are eligible but if they are eligible as we cannot share sensitive information.
  4. After the student’s eligibility is confirmed, the student and the faculty member should agree to submit a single application. Faculty are also encouraged to notify students of their selection in a timely fashion to provide students the opportunity to seek out different projects and contact other faculty members.
  5. The application comprises two paragraphs from the faculty-student team: one paragraph from the faculty member about what the student would do and a second paragraph from the student explaining why they want to do this work. Faculty supervisors should submit the completed application as a single pdf here: 2024-2025 SERP Application by the DEADLINE of 9 AM ET on Tuesday, June 4.
  6. The committee will rank matches, using the acquisition of research skills and meeting student financial need as the primary criteria. Every effort will be made to notify the faculty members and students selected by the first week of the fall semester. Please note that positions are not finalized until the faculty member and student are notified of selection into the program and the student has submitted their SERP contract paperwork.
  7. Please apply! Faculty members should address questions to Ayana McCoy, Assistant Director of the Science Center (x2903; amccoy3). Students should address questions to the Office of the Science Center,