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The UCLA Summer Programs for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) offer upper division undergraduate students with outstanding academic potential the opportunity to work closely with faculty mentors on research projects. The programs are designed for students who wish to learn more about the graduate school experience and possibly pursue an academic career in teaching and research. Opportunities are available in virtually all academic fields (e.g., arts, humanities, social sciences, life sciences, health sciences, physical sciences, etc.).
Student participants in many SPUR programs will work with a faculty mentor with special expertise and interests matched, as closely as possible, to the student’s research interests and career goals. Most, but not all, SPUR programs pair students with a faculty mentor. Students will either assist the faculty member in an ongoing research project or work collaboratively with the mentor in designing a new project of mutual interest.
Most SPUR programs feature seminars on:
For further details about specific programs, please refer to the UCLA Summer Programs for Undergraduate and Graduate Research Booklet.
As a condition of acceptance into the program, program participants will be asked after their departure to update information on their educational and career activities. This tracking is done solely to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. It is critical that we be able to conduct this long-term evaluation in order to maintain continuing funding for the programs. The information collected remains strictly confidential.
Please check with your respective summer program of interest about whether it will be conducted remotely or in-person.
Most programs run eight weeks, from June 2024 to August 2024. Some programs in the sciences, technological, engineering and mathematics fields run 10 weeks, from June 2024 to September 2024. One program in the humanities and social sciences runs six weeks, from June 2024 to August 2024.
The tentative dates for SPUR 2024 are June 16 to August 10 (8-week programs) and June 16 to August 23 (10-week programs).
All application materials and supporting documents must be received by March 31, 2024 unless otherwise stated in the program description. Preference will be given to applications that are completed by the program’s deadline. Notification of decisions will be made by the end of May 2024. Please contact the individual program coordinators for questions regarding the application and application deadline.
Programs interested in being added to the those included in SPUR (or those on hiatus and seeking to resume inclusion) must reach out to RaShawna Williams, SPUR Program Representative, at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 31, 2024. We do our best to include all requests, but cannot guarantee participation.
There are multiple programs participating with UCLA SPUR. Below are brief summaries of each program. The summaries include the specific program components, eligibility requirements and length of the summer program. Please view the chart of participating summer programs at UCLA for a quick reference of programs and their related academic fields.
Please click on the links to learn about each program. You will be able to apply to a maximum of two (first choice and second choice) in our online application.
Application Deadline: February 1, 2024
The Amgen Scholars Program is a national program to increase learning and networking opportunities for students committed to pursuing a career in science or engineering. Students interested in summer research in any area of biomedical science, chemistry, bioengineering or chemical engineering are encouraged to apply. Students will be paired with a UCLA faculty mentor if the student does not already have one. Program typically includes stipend; housing; meals; 2-day biotechnology in Los Angeles; luncheons with faculty; workshops; seminars and poster presentations.
Application Deadline: TBD
The Bioscience Scholars Program (formerly known as SPUR LABS) provides a rigorous eight or ten-week research training experience for undergraduates with interests in a broad range of bioscience disciplines– —from molecules to organisms and from basic to translational science. Exceptional research training, integrated with professional development activities, will prepare students to succeed in leading Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. programs. The program aims to contribute to diversity, inclusion, and the elimination of barriers to participation in bioscience research careers and is designed for students participating in honors research programs that foster transition to doctoral programs (e.g., Minority Access to Research Careers, MARC). Participants receive a stipend & food allowance of $4,000 for 8 weeks or $5,000 for 10 weeks. Participants will be matched with an appropriate faculty member based on research interests. There are over 400 faculty mentors in ten bioscience research areas.
A complete application includes the submission of the online application form as well as all supplementary materials, including two letters of recommendation and a personal statement that describes your bioscience research interests and any research experience, including how these interests and experiences have shaped your personal and professional goals, and how Bioscience Scholars Program would help you meet these goals. See Bioscience Scholars Program website for full details of supplementary application materials.
Selection criteria: academic preparation and achievement; leadership potential; relevance of research interests and experience; potential for the program to help the applicant achieve his/her career goals; and potential to contribute to the diversity and excellence of the bioscience research enterprise.
Application Deadline: March 1, 2024
Bruins-in-Genomics (B.I.G. Summer) is an 8-week full-time immersion program for undergraduates interested in learning how to read and analyze genes and genomes. Through this program students will have the opportunity to experience graduate-level coursework, and learn the latest cutting-edge research, tools and methods used by leading scientists to solve real-world problems.
Applicants must be:
Students interested in applying should only do so here.
For more information:
Application Deadline: TBD
The UCLA Brain Research Institute (BRI) sponsors a summer undergraduate research experience (BRI-SURE) pathway program for students currently participating in the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) and other honors research programs whose goal is to increase diversity. This program solicits applications from students from universities and colleges across the nation. BRI-SURE Pathway is an 8-week, intensive summer research-training program for exceptional students interested in pursuing research careers in Neuroscience or Physiology. The program is designed to provide a rigorous, in-depth research experience to prepare participants for top-quality Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. graduate programs. The BRI-SURE residential program offers a summer stipend. The BRI-SURE non-residential program does not offer a summer stipend. Although we anticipate an on-campus summer experience, we may have to resort to an online-only Summer Research Experience for 2022.
To learn more about how to apply to this program, please contact Dr. Gina Poe (Program Director) at email@example.com
Application Deadline: Contact the program representative for your campus’ CSU Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars Program
This program is restricted to undergraduate and master’s-level students in the California State University Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Program. The Program is designed to increase the pool of potential university faculty by supporting the doctoral aspirations of CSU students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages. Each of the selected CSU Sally Casanova pre-doctoral scholars works closely during the academic year with a CSU faculty sponsor to develop an overall plan leading ultimately to enrollment in a doctoral program. Each of these plans is tailored to specific goals and educational objectives of the student. The Program places special emphasis on increasing the number of CSU students who enter doctoral programs at one of the University of California institutions. Summer Program includes: stipend, on-campus housing or housing allowance, meal allowance, funds toward roundtrip transportation cost, GRE test preparation, workshops and oral presentations.
Application Deadline: February 16, 2024
This is an 8-month research internship designed for community college students. Student interns are assigned a graduate and undergraduate research mentor and meet remotely on the first Saturday of each month from May to June to design a field biology-based research project. In July we travel as a group to a remote field station for 7 days to enact the planned intern research projects. The program culminates with student research presentations in December.
For more information and to apply, please visit the Community College Field Biology Alliance website. If you have any questions, please email them Amanda Robin (Program Director) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application Deadline: March 18, 2024
The Cultivating Interest in Research Careers (CIRC) program is a partnership between University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU). The program starts with a ten-week summer research program at UCLA, AND extends into a year-long continuum. The goal of CIRC is to provide community college students underrepresented in medicine and science (UIMS), such as African American, Latinx, Native American, Pacific Islander, disabled and socioeconomically disadvantaged students, with hands-on exposure and training in scientific research aligned with the scientific mission of the NHLBI.
The CIRC program will provide these community college students with educational workshops, near-peer mentoring, and skills to help them transfer to a 4-year college or university and ultimately be prepared to pursue a health profession or scientific research career.
A) Identify as a member of one of the following racial/ethnic groups:
B) Have a disadvantaged family background, defined as either 1 OR 2 below:
C) US citizen or permanent resident
D) Have taken at least one college course in the general domains listed below and have composite grade point average of 3.2 or above in this coursework:
Application Deadline: TBD
The Diversity Project is a 10-week* research-intensive summer program funded by the UC-HBCU initiative and the National Science Foundation focused on increasing participation of underrepresented minority students in marine and evolutionary biology. Through fieldwork and laboratory training, students will learn an integrative approach towards the study of the ecology and biodiversity of coral reef ecosystems at the Gump South Pacific Research Station on the island of Mo’orea, French Polynesia. TDP complements student-centered fieldwork and laboratory research with mentoring on career development, ranging from successfully applying to graduate school to choosing a career. TDP faculty also work with students to publish their research and to present their work at national and international meetings. Some funding dedicated to students from Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). *Note: This year’s program begins Monday, June 5, 2023.
Application Deadline: TBD
The HBCU: Evolutionary Medicine-Pathways to PhDs program is open to undergraduate juniors and seniors from HBCUs. Participants will work on Evolutionary Medicine topics at UCLA. Evolutionary Medicine is the study of how evolutionary and ecological principles affect medicine and medical applications, and how medical and clinical problems generate new research questions and ideas in evolution. Evolutionary medicine is fast emerging as an important new field in the biomedical sciences. Representing an interdisciplinary subject that combines ecology and evolutionary biology, anthropology, psychology, zoology, systems biology and microbiology with medicine, the field of evolutionary medicine has the potential to transform the way biomedical researches and doctors examine medical questions, conduct biomedical research, and treat patience. Summer interns will work closely with a principal investigator (PI) from UCLA’s Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department and a PI from the David Geffen School of Medicine. Application requirements:
Application Deadline: TBD
The Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) U*STAR Program is a two-year, NIH-funded, undergraduate honors program that seeks to increase the number of biomedical scientists from diverse backgrounds that significantly impact health-related research. The program specifically seeks to strengthen the skills and research training of students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. This program is appropriate for students interested in pursuing a PhD or dual PhD degree upon completion of their baccalaureate degree.
The MARC Program offers research training, financial support, mentoring, networking opportunities and academic preparation for strong and motivated students. The UCLA MARC program is one of the longest-standing MARC programs at Research I universities across the nation, and graduates from the program have embarked on highly successful careers.
To learn more about eligibility, program requirements, and scholarship/funding please refer to the MARC website. Additionally, the online application and other details about the application process will be hosted on the MARC website. For any additional questions, please contact Larone Ellison (email@example.com).
Application deadline: March 15, 2024
*Deadline may be extended as needed.
The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Writing and Research Training Program at UCLA is an intensive writing and research program for 20 current Mellon Mays Fellows from participating Mellon Mays colleges and universities. Fellows participate in a rigorous scholarly writing and research methodology course, individual and group mentoring sessions, workshops, events, and a final research colloquium. The program also includes on-campus housing and a meal allowance.
Application Deadline: TBD
The Summer Training for Excellence in Education Research (STEER) program has been a successful staple of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies (GSE&IS) at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Through participation in the program, Historically Black College and University (HBCU) students and faculty, and GSE&IS faculty share in a research apprenticeship experience that has contributed to STEER students’ admittance to some of our nation’s finest graduate programs including the UC system. In the proposed effort, our aims are to continue to: (1) Develop relationships between the UCs and HBCUs, (2) Prepare students for UC graduate application, and (3) Prepare and mentor a cohort of tremendously talented students to conduct educational research in competitive UC programs and beyond.
All applicants must refer to the STEER website for the most up-to-date information regarding the application process. Additionally, the online application and other details about the application process will be hosted on the STEER website.
For additional information, see STEER program website or contact the Program Coordinator, Brande M.Otis, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Program Co-Directors are Dr. Robert Cooper and Dr. Kimberley Gomez.
Application Deadline: TBD
This program is restricted to current University of California undergraduate students in the UC system-wide UC LEADS Program. In line with the goals of the two-year program, the 2nd summer research program seeks to develop the students by providing research and educational experiences to further prepare them to assume positions of leadership in academia, industry, government and public service. UC LEADS students who are considering UCLA for graduate studies/PhD should seriously consider applying to UCLA’s summer program as a way to familiarize themselves with the campus and to network with potential mentors. The UCLA UC LEADS Summer Program includes: GRE test preparation, workshops and seminars, and the opportunity to present summer research findings at the end of summer symposium/poster session.
Application Deadline: TBD
The SOMA-Neuroscience program supports a deeper Hispanic/LatinX participation in neuroscience, and ultimately the pursuit of a neuroscience doctoral degree. Each summer, we will select and invite a small group of interested students (3-7 students annually) from our partner Hispanic-Serving Institutions, or HSIs, for an 8-week summer immersive, in-person experience at UCLA to do research in a host laboratory. Open to undergraduate students.
The requirements for acceptance into the program include:
Application Deadline: TBD
The UCLA-HBCU Neuroscience Pathways program is open to undergraduate students that attend historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the United States. The goals of this program are: 1) to increase the impact on students and faculty at both HBCU partner institutions and UCLA and, 2) to incentivize quality mentorship of the interns in our UCLA host labs. We will engage in active research and teaching partnerships that accompany students before and beyond the 8-week internship at UCLA.
A group of interested students, selected jointly by the HBCU partner institutions and UCLA will be invited to spend 8 weeks at UCLA doing research in an appropriate host laboratory. Ideally, the research at UCLA will be commensurate with the experience at the HBCU partner institution. We will engage in active research and teaching partnerships that accompany students before and beyond the 8-week internship at UCLA of mentorship in the lab. Interns will be mentored and trained by the faculty members who run the respective labs. Additionally, we will host one “chaperone” HBCU faculty member per year to accompany the student for the first week of the internship- which is intended to foster both scientific collaboration and quality mentoring. To incentivize graduate studies at UCLA for HBCU interns, the BRI will offer a full 5-year stipend annually for at least one student, annually, who applies for and is accepted by the NSIDP. Furthermore, we will conduct outcome studies and publish them in a peer-reviewed journal, similar to other BRI outreach efforts. In short, we will take an innovative and holistic approach by providing not only a summer opportunity but by following the student before and after through online tools.
Application Deadline: TBD
The UCLA Neuroscience Scholars program is a 10-week intensive summer research training experience for exceptional UCLA sophomore and junior undergraduates that are committed to pursuing a graduate degree in neuroscience. Neuroscience Scholars will be paired with a UCLA faculty mentor based on their research interests. Students will conduct discovery research in the laboratories of their faculty mentors. The program also includes: on-campus housing, $5000 stipend, journal clubs, lunches with faculty, career development workshops, seminars, and poster presentations.
To learn more about this program, please contact Program Directors Dr. Jeff Donlea & Dr. Elaine Hsiao; NeuroScholars@ucla.edu
Application deadline: January 31, 2o24
*Applications for summer 2024 cohort open November 1, 2024 and close January 31, 2024.
The UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program provides undergraduate students the opportunity to explore the field of public health through hands-on training, structured workshops, group excursions, and leadership and professional development. Located in Los Angeles, the program offers scholars the opportunity to train at UCLA, to explore public health in one of the most diverse counties in the US, and to experience the city’s vibrant culture. We work with community The UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program provides undergraduate students the opportunity to explore the field of public health through hands-on training, structured workshops, group excursions, and leadership and professional development. Located in Los Angeles, the program offers scholars the opportunity to train at UCLA, to explore public health in one of the most diverse counties in the US, and to experience the city’s vibrant culture. We work with community-based organizations, health systems, and government agencies to offer field placement opportunities for scholars that focus on health equity.
Additional criteria outlined in the application and website. For questions, please contact email@example.com.
Application deadline: April 15, 2024
This research experience is a full-time, 8-week immersive research experience in vision science at the Stein Eye Institute, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). This program is designed to increase the diversity of undergraduates in vision science through dedicated faculty mentorship, hands-on research training/interactive learning, and career development opportunities. The program is open to undergraduate students with disadvantages backgrounds in the Greater Los Angeles Area in 2024.
Students will have the opportunity to learn and work on an original research project in laboratories with research focuses including but not limited to:
1. Understanding of vision and ophthalmology research and their importance in advancing the understanding of the visual pathways, developing novel therapeutic in various eye diseases, including glaucoma, degenerative retinal disorders, and corneal diseases.
2. Understanding the use of various state of art technology in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine in ophthalmology.
Students learn how to be a scientist in weekly lab meetings and will have the opportunity to present their findings at a UCLA scientific poster session as well as at their home institution. Additionally, students will engage in social activities and career development workshops with other summer research students on UCLA campus, thereby expanding their science community and faculty/peer network.
To apply to the program, please send the following to eyeJEDI@mednet.ucla.edu:
For questions or additional information, please contact eyeJEDI@mednet.ucla.edu.
Please contact the Program Director of the individual summer program. Contact information for each of the SPUR programs can be found in the program description.
You may also contact the Diversity, Inclusion, and Admissions office at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also find program information in the
UCLA Summer Programs for Undergraduate and Graduate Research Booklet.
You must submit an Online Application & Support Materials. Please make sure you submit a complete application by sending all pertinent supporting materials via mail or private carrier.
Other Summer Programs for Undergraduate Research at UCLA.