Students who are accepted to a research program at Brown University will work with a mentor on a specific research project. These students will be matched with a mentor based on their interests and prior experience during the application review process.

Please click on the + sign below to learn more about departments and programs hosting research opportunities as part of the Brown University 2024 Summer Research – Early Identification Programs. 

Biological Sciences

Since 1992, Brown Medical School’s National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Short Term Training Program has given students access to outstanding researchers in heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders research. Research experiences have primarily been based in the departments listed above, as well as in the clinical departments of medicine, neurosurgery, orthopedics, pediatrics, and surgery. Though students might be working in a clinical research setting,. This program is for students who are interested in learning more about scientific and medical research and obtaining a PhD.

Students are most frequently offered an opportunity for research with one of the following departments:

Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Biochemistry (MCB)

Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology & Biotechnology (MPPB)

SR-EIP students are often placed in the Pathobiology Program, an interdisciplinary field devoted to basic research into the mechanisms of disease. There are four major research and concentration themes within the Pathobiology Program: 1) toxicology and environmental pathology, 2) infection and immunity, 3) cancer biology, and 4) aging.

Carney Institute for Brain Science

carney institute logoThe Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Institute for Brain Science is accelerating the pace of scientific discovery about the brain and helping to find treatments and therapies for some of the world’s most devastating diseases. With more than 200 affiliated faculty members, the institute is pursuing research that has real-life, human applications. Each year, the institute organizes the Carney Summer Scholars program, a nine-week program that offers hands-on training in computational brain science to students from historically underrepresented groups who are enrolled at universities across the United States. Through this program, students gain direct experience in computational brain science research — from the challenge of troubleshooting code and formalizing equations to the satisfaction of understanding a model by building and playing with it.

Computer Science

Since our inception in 1979, Brown’s Department of Computer Science has forged a path of innovative information technology research and teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Realizing the importance of computing and algorithmic thinking in so many scientific, social and technological endeavors, we collaborate extensively with colleagues in archaeology, applied mathematics, biology, cognitive and linguistic sciences, economics, engineering, mathematics, medicine, physics, and neuroscience. 

Research in the department crosses traditional boundaries and projects spring from shared interests more than from established groups. Faculty work with post-doctoral students, graduate students, and undergraduates. Ideas and expertise are drawn from other disciplines and departments at the University. A long tradition of combining theory and practice is as strong and relevant today as it ever was. Research areas the department participates in include: algorithms; cloud computing; computational biology; computational geometry; computational neuroscience; computational photography; computer graphics; computer networks; computer vision; cryptography; data management; distributed systems; educational technology; electronic commerce; information visualization; intelligent agents; machine learning; mobile and ubiquitous computing; nanocomputing; natural language processing; operating systems; optimization; parallel computing; programming languages; robotics; scientific visualization and modeling; security and privacy; sensor networks; software engineering; user interfaces; theory of computation; verification and reliable systems; virtual reality.

Brown CS has a grant from National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Site in Artificial Intelligence for Computational Creativity to fund 8 undergraduate students each summer in collaboration with the Leadership Alliance, SR-EIP program. Applicants interested in the REU Site should apply to SR-EIP and NSF ETAP.

SR-EIP students are most frequently offered an opportunity for research in one of the following research areas:

Students interested in CS research areas not listed above are still encouraged to apply, given the multidisciplinary nature of our research projects.

Department of Education/Department of Anthropology

Students working on joint projects with the Department of Education and the Department of Anthropology will focus on projects that consider how traditionally underrepresented populations are affected by education systems and cultural and societal influences in the United States. Students working on these projects will engage with both qualitative and quantitative data.

Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences

view of earth space

The Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences (DEEPS) Graduate Program is rated among the top programs in the nation and the world. Faculty members, nationally and internationally acknowledged leaders in their fields, conduct research that spans the study of Earth’s climate and environment, the properties and evolution of Earth’s dynamic interior, and the surface environment and interiors of other planets.

In collaboration with the Leadership Alliance, DEEPS offers an NSF REU Site: Dynamic Earth in the 21st Century.  For more information on faculty mentors and potential projects, please visit the program webpage. 

We welcome applications from students who have backgrounds in any of these fields: Geoscience/Earth Science, Environmental Science, Planetary Science, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering, and Biology.

Potential projects span a wide range of key science questions, including these and others:  

  • What processes drive climate change and what are the likely conditions of Earth’s future climate?  
  • What are the drivers of air and water quality in urban environments?
  • What processes control volcanic eruptions, and how do volcanoes on Earth differ from those on other planets?  
  • What is the structure of the tectonic plates on Earth and how does the strength of Earth’s interior affect its feedbacks with melting ice sheets and rising sea levels?

More information on potential research projects and faculty mentors can be found on the program webpage.

Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

The Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology at Brown University comprises a dynamic group of researchers who study processes that sustain and create life on Earth. The faculty’s research on this topic is highly integrative and includes work that spans genes, individuals, populations, and ecosystems. Projects occur both in the laboratory and in the field, incorporating species as diverse as flies, humans, and dinosaurs. 

One of the major research foci in EEOB is organismal movement. In particular, faculty investigate mechanical properties that guide how animals move through time and space, ways that animals leverage movement in their environment to find food or communicate with others, and consequences of organismal movement on the processes that fuel evolution. SR-EIP (REU) students will be invited to participate in a range of these on-going projects, working closely alongside faculty, graduate student, and postdoctoral mentors. Research topics include, but are not limited to: 

  • Aeromechanics of animal flight
  • Neurobiology of complex locomotory patterns
  • Muscle mechanics of running and jumping  
  • Communication through gesture and body movement
  • Molecular genetic basis of adaptive performance
  • Human evolution and population genetics
  • Human demographic history and adaptation
  • Animal movement and foraging ecology

For more information please see our REU website. Students interested in topics not listed above are still encouraged to apply, as faculty research topics are fluid and varied. The most important quality is enthusiasm and curiosity about ecology, evolution, and organismal biology.

MD-PhD - Alpert Medical School

street view brown med schoolFor students interested in a career as a physician-scientist, the Brown SR-EIP offers an MD-PhD track.  Part of the Brown SR-EIP, the MD-PhD track is a paid research internship with a faculty member. In addition to working in a research environment, students have the opportunity to shadow physicians in clinical settings and participate in a weekly summer seminar at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Students in the MD-PhD track of the Brown SR-EIP will:

  • Gain valuable research experience under the mentorship of Brown faculty and post-doctoral researchers
  • Have the opportunity to shadow physicians in a variety of clinical settings
  • Participate in a weekly seminar introducing students to clinical medicine
  • Develop the knowledge and skills to help prepare students for success as  physician-scientists
Public Health

The School of Public Health takes a “lifelong health” approach to improve people’s lives. It begins before conception, through research on environmental exposures that affect fertility and cause birth defects. It continues through the prime of life: public health at Brown focuses on prevention and treatment using a population perspective to promote the health of all individuals so that they can live longer and more fulfilling lives. Internship opportunities with the Brown SR-EIP are part of the VA Providence health care system and focus on training and research on key areas including evidence-based medicine, preventive medicine, community health, HIV/AIDS, statistical sciences, and primary care for Veteran health. Veterans are strongly encouraged to apply.