Research Opportunities Board

For our guide to how to land a research position, visit our Undergraduate Research page You can learn about many of these opportunities listed below at our twice yearly Physics Undergraduate Research Fair, held the first Thursday after the start of classes each semester.

Semester

Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (URAP)

Highly motivated undergraduates may apply for semester or year-long opportunities to work closely with faculty mentors on faculty-led research projects. Undergraduates with a 2.0 GPA or above are eligible to apply and those selected may enroll in Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies (UGIS) 192 (1-4 units, P/NP). Limited funding is available over the summer as well.  Check the URAP website for Fall 2020 opportunities in late June.  Applications are due the first day of the second week of classes.   

Undergraduate Laboratory at Berkeley (ULAB)

ULAB works to make the transition into research at UC Berkeley less formidable and more accessible. Over the course of an academic year, program participants develop and execute a research project of their choice with the guidance of experienced undergraduate mentors. ULAB offers student positions to those interested in starting research and staff positions to those looking to get more involved in the research community.

N3AS Undergraduate Research Program

The Network for Neutrinos, Nuclear Astrophysics, and Symmetries (N3AS) is a multi-institutional collaboration dedicated to recruiting and training postdoctoral and undergraduate researchers interested in neutrino physics and astrophysics, nuclear astrophysics topics ranging from supernova and neutron star modeling to dark matter, and fundamental symmetries.  N3AS offers a paid research and mentorship program that pairs undergraduates with N3AS mentors to participate in research, and explore their academic and career goals.  The program accepts students in the fall and spring.  

Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL)

SSL is located just up the hill from campus at the top of Centennial Drive and is an Organized Research Unit (ORU) with the primary goals of fostering outstanding research in space-related sciences and providing education for the next generation of space scientists.

Office of Undergraduate Research & Scholarships (OURS)

OURS is an online clearinghouse for information about undergraduate research opportunities and funding on the UC Berkeley campus. Their web site provides up-to-date information on undergraduate research programs, as well as links to summer opportunities and extra-campus programs. They are located in 5 Durant Hall. 

Opportunities at Other Universities

A very comprehensive guide to Summer REU opportunities outside the Berkeley community was put together by Tiffany Reardon in the College of Engineering.  Please note, nearly all of these opportunities are available year-after-year, so please disregard "2017" in the document title.

Summer

The Pi2 Summer Scholars Program

Berkeley Physics is proud to launch the Physics Innovators Initiative (Pi2) Scholars Program. This program provides funding for undergraduates to perform research, learn to design the tools that enable such research, develop their scientific independence, and realize their potential as physicists. 

The National Science Foundation (NSF)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Programs. REUs support undergraduate research participation and encourage students to join research projects each summer at universities around the country. Detailed information is available at the NSF website. Click here for REU sites in the field of physics. 

SULI/Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship 

SULI is a research program for undergraduates that is sponsored by the Department of Energy.  There are three separate internship terms (Fall/Spring/Summer). Applicants will need to supply a transcript, essay, and two letters of recommendation.  You can learn all about the SULI/LBL application process here.

Space Sciences Lab (SSL)

SSL is located just up the hill from campus at the top of Centennial Drive and is an Organized Research Unit (ORU) with the primary goals of fostering outstanding research in space-related sciences and providing education for the next generation of space scientists.  

Pathways to Science

Database of lots of different opportunities - REU, Post-Bacc and Internships.

Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarships (OURS)

OURS is an online clearinghouse for information about undergraduate research opportunities and funding on the UC Berkeley campus. Their web site provides up-to-date information on undergraduate research programs, as well as links to summer opportunities and extra-campus programs. They are located in 5 Durant Hall. 

Research Scholarships and Funding for Undergraduates

The Pi2 Summer Scholars Program

Berkeley Physics is proud to launch the Physics Innovators Initiative (Pi2) Scholars Program. This program provides funding for undergraduates to perform research, learn to design the tools that enable such research, develop their scientific independence, and realize their potential as physicists. $5500 summer stipend will be provided for Pi2 scholars.

Each Pi2 scholar will work closely with dedicated graduate student and/or postdoc mentors on their projects. Pi2 Scholars will also participate in a number of activities with their cohorts which could include lectures, roundtable discussions and hiking excursions. Final projects will require a written report and a poster presentation open to the whole department at the end of the summer.

The Berkeley Physics Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (BPURS)

BPURS is designed to encourage Physics majors to engage in research. The Physics Department will award a monetary stipend to several physics majors involved in research with Physics faculty. Interested students must apply. Participants will be selected for the program by a committee of Physics faculty, based on evaluation of the student's enthusiasm and record, quality of the project, and level of involvement of the professor. Students selected for this program will be called Berkeley Physics Undergraduate Research Scholars. Faculty take their mentoring roles very seriously and will only sign-on students who are committed to their physics projects. The project may be a research paper, authorship on a published paper, or a senior thesis. For additional information see Kathleen Cooney (374 Physics North). 

Requirements:
1) Only declared and registered Physics majors are eligible.
2) A student must find a professor in the Physics Department who will act as a sponsor. The professor and student should complete the application form and commit to a proposed deliverable. Students accepted into the program will be notified ASAP.
3) At the end of the semester, the professor will sign off if the deliverable is complete. The deliverable  must be submitted to 368 or 376 Physics North by the last day of finals. The student must participate in the Undergraduate Poster session in the Spring. The $500 stipend will be awarded after the event.
4) A poster must be presented at the Undergraduate Poster Session to be held in early April.

Application and Deadline information:
Applications will be sent out to students on the Physics major email listserv before the fall and spring semesters. The deadline for the fall application is always the second Friday in September. The deadline for the spring application is always the first Friday in February. 

Notes
Some students opt to apply for BPURS in both the fall and the spring semesters, in which case they would earn a $1000 stipend after the April poster session. 
Check out this list of projects by past BPURS Scholars!

Cal NERDS

Cal Nerds is home to many programs to encourage and support STEM undergraduates in research.  Visit their site to learn about scholarship and fellowship opportunities (and many other programs for students in STEM!). 

Haas Scholars

Students who are selected as Haas Scholars receive upwards of $12,600 to conduct their research.  Recipients are considered from all majors.  Click here to learn more about the application process.  

SURF/Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

The SURF program offers four different fellowships each with particular eligibility requirements.

McNair Scholars Program

This program is for under-represented OR first generation college/low-income students who intend to pursue a PhD.  It funds an independent project and coaches them through the grad application process.

Looking for an Internship?

Career Center

Use the Career Center's career database Handshake for internship opportunities. You'll need to create an account and input a few details (major, expected grad date, etc.).  You can search by location, job title, company, industry, or particular skill.  Please make an appointment with Kathleen Cooney or Anna Hilke if you'd like your resume/CV reviewed in advance of your internship search.

The Segre Internship

The Segre internship is designed for undergraduate or graduate students who have taken the advanced laboratory course (Physics 111). It is a full-time eight-week commitment (during the summer) to work with faculty and professional staff in the laboratory; the goal is to develop new experiments to be used in future semesters in the Physics 111 laboratory. A modest amount of experience with electronic and laboratory equipment and experimental practices is necessary. Applications for the Segre Internship are available mid-April and due at the end of April every year. For more information and applications please contact Amin Jazaeri, (510) 642-5515.

Mentoring Opportunities

Berkeley Career Network

This is a cool new service offered by the Career Center.  Once you make an account, you can browse over 1,000 Berkeley Alumni who've expressed interest in mentoring undergrads.  Find someone with a job you want or experience you are interested in and start a conversation.  Remember, these are alums who want to be mentors so don't be nervous about making contact!

Student Mentoring and Research Teams (SMART)

SMART is a program that enables doctoral students to create mentored research opportunities for undergraduate students at UC Berkeley. The program provides summer funding for both graduate and undergraduate participants and opportunities to share research results on campus and at national conferences.  Click here to learn more and apply.

Additional peer mentoring opportunities are available through Physics Student Organizations, supported by PA Scholars and MPS Scholars programming. More information about these mentoring opportunities will be emailed to majors and intended majors at the beginning of the fall semester.