Research Programs & Opportunities

updated 05/31/2023

For updates to this list, please contact Kelly Pillsbury at

Academic Research Consortium (ARC) Summer Program

The Academic Research Consortium (ARC) Summer Program provides mentored research experiences in all disciplines to undergraduates at the junior level and graduate students at the Master’s level who are seeking to gain experience and prepare for doctoral programs at UC Santa Barbara. ​ARC targets talented and motivated students from Hispanic Serving Institutions who can benefit from additional academic support and career development.​

Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA Grants)

The Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA) unit in the College of Letters and Science encourages undergraduates conducting independent research projects or creative activities to apply for funding to support these efforts. The funding for URCA grants comes from university, federal, and private sources and is intended to cover a project’s expenses, included research-related domestic travel. If you receive an URCA grant, you will be expected to present your work at the Undergraduate Research Colloquium in May.

Research Assistantship Directory

The Undergrad RA Directory is your go-to place for discovering new research projects taking place on campus. Professors can submit projects on a rolling basis to have their listing hosted on the directory. Although the Directory is categorized by department, don’t allow that to limit you. Many projects in the directory look for students from across the disciplines, so feel free to explore your interests and skills outside of your major or minor and get involved in interdisciplinary research.

Beckman Scholars Program

Scholars embark on a 15 month program designed to enrich their development as students and scientists through innovative research, mentoring, collaboration and practice in effective communication. The program offers students a unique opportunity to become immersed in the scientific community. Beckman Scholars will receive a scholarship of up to $19,300 over two summers. Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, or Chemical Engineering majors currently enrolled as a full time UCSB student in sophomore or junior year, with a GPA of 3.3 or above, are eligible.

CAMP Summer Research Internship (California Alliance for Minority Participation)

The Summer Research Program provides a 10 week intensive research experience for CAMP eligible students interested in a career in science, engineering, technology or mathematics. CAMP participants work in a UCSB laboratory with a graduate student or postdoctoral researcher mentor.

CAMP School-Year Research Internship (California Alliance for Minority Participation)

The California Alliance for Minority Participation provides resources and opportunities to under-represented students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The CAMP school-year research internship supports eligible students who are conducting research with a UCSB faculty mentor during Fall, Winter, and/or Spring.

Cooperative International Science and Engineering Internships (CISEI) 

This program sends US science and engineering undergraduates to international partner institutions for a 10-week summer research experience. Internships are available at research centers in Eindhoven-Netherlands; Dublin-Ireland; Cork-Ireland; Oxford-England; Shanghai-China; Saarbruecken-Germany and Goethenborg-Sweden.

Early Undergraduate Research Experience and Knowledge Acquisition (EUREKA)

The EUREKA! program is designed to enrich the academic experience of undergraduates at UCSB in science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM) disciplines early on in their educational careers. Applicants must currently be enrolled as a full-time UCSB student, hold at least a 3.3 GPA, and should be in their first year.

Future Leaders in Advanced Materials (FLAM)

Science and engineering students from UCSB and other universities acquire research experience in a variety of exciting fields through these internships. Interns meet regularly to share their experiences and report on their progress. Research interns often present at conferences such as SACNAS, SHPE, ACS, APS and others.

Maximizing Access to Research Careers – Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (MARC U*STAR) Program (MARC) 

This program seeks to increase the number of highly-trained biomedical and behavioral scientists, from disadvantaged or underrepresented backgrounds, in leadership positions to significantly affect the nation’s health-related research needs. MARC Scholars embark upon a two-year program of scientific research, leadership development and graduate school preparation guided by individual biomedical faculty mentors across UCSB science and engineering departments and staff at the Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships.

McNair Scholars

The McNair Scholars Program prepares qualified undergraduates for entrance to a PhD program in all fields of study. The goals of the program are to increase the number of first-generation, low-income and/or underrepresented students in PhD programs, and ultimately, to diversify the faculty in colleges and universities across the country. Student eligibility requirements include at least a 3.0 GPA, the completion of at least 60 units (transfers exempt), the intention to pursue a PhD, and be either low income as defined by the US Department of Education and a first generation college student (where neither parent completed a 4-year degree) or a student underrepresented in graduate education.

Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM)

This program provides 10-week summer research internships for students from UCSB, Jackson State University and the University of Texas El Paso.

Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE)

Science and engineering students from UCSB and other universities acquire research experience in a variety of exciting fields through these internships. Interns meet regularly to share their experiences and report on their progress. Our research interns often present at conferences such as at the annual Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research. Interns choose between two award levels, $500/quarter and $1000/quarter, based on the hours committed to research (between 50-100 hours/quarter).

Summer Institute in Mathematics and Science (SIMS) 

The SIMS program brings science, engineering, and mathematics incoming freshmen to the UC Santa Barbara campus for the Summer Institute in Mathematics and Science, a 2-week science intensive residential program hosted by CNSI. SIMS will provide university housing and meals on campus. You will have the opportunity to interact with science, engineering, and mathematics researchers through social, academic, and professional development activities.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) Program 

The CCS Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program provides a stipend to support CCS students in summer research projects working in a faculty-led research group at UCSB. This experience is perhaps the most effective means of training students in the sciences. It serves as a mode by which students can see what graduate research is like and give them the experience needed to be competitive in graduate admissions and graduate fellowship awards. Such research experience normally is most effective after the sophomore or junior years, and preference for SURF awards will be given to such students who are in good academic standing. Seniors who are graduating from CCS are not eligible to receive a SURF award. Limited funding puts CCS students who have previously received a SURF award at a lower priority for an award. Students graduating in less than four years or in BS/MS programs may be considered for funding in the summer of their Sophomore or Junior year.

University of California Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees (UC LEADS)

This program is designed to engage and educate California’s future leaders by preparing promising students for advanced education in science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM). The program is designed to identify upper-division undergraduate students with the potential to succeed in these disciplines, but who have experienced situations or conditions that have adversely impacted their advancement in their field of study. Participants should apply prior to their junior year and/or should be on track to receive the baccalaureate degree at the conclusion of the second year of the UC LEADS program.

Tokyo Tech Summer Program

Science and engineering students from UCSB can now attend a 10-week summer intern program at Tokyo Institute of Technology, July – mid-September. Travel and living expenses are paid by the UCSB CISEI internship program.

UCSB Mathematics Summer Research Program for Undergraduates 

Offers the opportunity to work closely with faculty mentors on mathematics research projects for eight weeks during the summer.Each student participant will be working individually or in a small group with a faculty mentor in one of the proposed research projects. Participating students receive an stipend of $3,500, housing at the university, and an allowance of $300 for travel expenses. Open to any undergraduate students who have not yet graduated. Students participating in this program must be United States citizens or permanent residents.

UC Education Abroad Research Programs

UCEAP provides outstanding opportunities to conduct research abroad! Explore their offerings to find programs where you can engage in independent research based on your personal interests, or contribute original work to research conducted by internationally renowned teams and colleagues in your field.