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Harvard Forest Summer Research Program in Ecology

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Academic Level:
For most summer research programs, this is your upcoming status as of the fall. Always check with the individual program's website for details.

Undergraduates - First Year
Undergraduates - Sophomore
Undergraduates - Junior
Undergraduates - Senior

Note: this opportunity encourages applications from community college students.

The Harvard Forest Summer Research Program in Ecology is an 11-week research experience to pursue scientific inquiry in an immersive field station setting. Program participants join a community of fellow students, mentors, and researchers from across these networks, gaining experience in the full scientific process by working in diverse collaborative teams, developing data science skills, and building professional networks to launch careers. The holistic view of the program is a 3-legged stool consisting of research, education, and community.

The Harvard Forest Summer Research Program provides a critical opportunity for undergraduates to gain research experience in topics related to ecology, environmental science, and data science. An education in these areas is not complete without hands-on immersion in the process of field and/or lab research, data analysis, and presentation of results. Students who participate in the program are better prepared for graduate work and future careers, whether in the life and social sciences, policy, environmental law, or nonprofit sectors. Working directly with experienced researchers/mentors, students will develop independent research skills and gain a deeper understanding of science research. Students can also leverage their summer experience to develop senior theses, author professional publications and participate in national conferences in upcoming academic years.

About Harvard Forest: Since 1907, the Harvard Forest has served as a center for research and education in forest biology, ecology and conservation. The Harvard Forest is a research department of Harvard University and one of 28 Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites supported by the US National Science Foundation. Researchers from around the world come to Harvard Forest and other LTER sites to apply long-term observations, experiments, and modeling to develop an understanding of the structure and dynamics of a diversity of ecological systems. Everyone who works at Harvard Forest - students, staff, research scientists, and faculty - contribute to its core mission.

Stipend:This paid internship opportunity includes a $6,600 stipend, full room and board, and travel to/from Harvard Forest.

Responsibilities: Research may include field sampling, laboratory studies, data analysis and scientific writing. Educational activities such as weekly seminars (given by nationally known scientists) and professional development workshops (proposal writing, data science skills, and communication) are required. In addition, participants will live on-site and join in community building.

Qualifications: Similar to most REU programs, the Harvard Forest Summer Program receives many more applications than available funded positions. Overall, the pool of students hired will come with a wide variety of experience and educational backgrounds. A small but significant portion of students hired are rising freshman who show an interest in science, but of course do not have significant course work or experience. The majority of students hired are sophomores and juniors who have a background in relevant science courses. The most competitive applicants have demonstrated an ability to take initiative and responsibility, whether by work or volunteer experience.

Participating Institution(s):
(Click an institution to see all programs it hosts)
Harvard University (Lead)

Program Materials:
 • Program Website 

This Program can be Described by:
Academic Disciplines:
Conservation Biology & Wildlife
Environmental Sciences
Natural Resources
STEM Fields

Climate Change
Forest Ecology
Plant Ecology

Learn More and Apply!

This program is funded by:
National Science Foundation (NSF)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

Page last updated 3/22/2023
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