Summer Research

Each summer, Vassar sponsors academic internship programs in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences, where students work one-on-one with faculty mentors on original research. All internship participants receive stipends to cover living expenses and to meet their summer earnings requirement.

Undergraduate Research Summer Institute (URSI)

URSI began in the summer of 1986 to support collaborative student-faculty research in the sciences at Vassar. Each year, over 50 students spend 10 weeks during the summer working with faculty members from anthropology, astronomy, biology, chemistry, cognitive science, computer science, geology, mathematics, physics, and psychology on research projects at Vassar and at other sites. Recent URSI students have worked at archeological sites in Alaska; examined interacting galaxies NGC3395 and NGC3396 with the aid of the Kitt Peak Observatory in Arizona; studied autonomous learning in robots; explored the relationship between marriage and physical health; and studied proton transfer in perovskite oxides at Los Alamos National Laboratories. URSI students routinely coauthor publications for scientific journals with their faculty mentors and make presentations at scientific conferences and meetings. To see a complete list of projects or to read papers coauthored by URSI students, visit the URSI website.

Ford Scholars Program

Established in 1988 with an initial grant from the Ford Foundation, the Ford Scholars Program fosters student and faculty collaboration on research projects in the humanities and social sciences. Faculty mentors initiate and mentor each project and design them to include significant student participation. Students (about 20 each year) become junior partners in professional scholarship, course preparation and teaching-related research. Recent Ford Scholars have conducted research on 19th-century art objects from the Magoon Collection in preparation for an exhibition at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center; participated in an oral history project on the Vietnam War involving former U.S. and Vietnamese policy makers; developed a website on Dante's Divine Comedy; and conducted research on filmmakers William Wyler, Sidney Lumet, and John Sayles. To read abstracts of recent Ford Scholars projects, visit the Ford Scholars website.

Former English prof. Judith Nichols, Ford scholar Jamily Duarte ‘16, and education prof. Tracey Holland, worked together to document the challenges children face in attending school in rural Nicaragua.Read More