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Office of Undergraduate Research Student Initiated Internship Program (OURSIP)


Program description

OURSIP provides a limited number of grants to Princeton first-year and sophomore students (and occasionally juniors with projects that are not related to their senior thesis research) who have independently created or secured an unpaid faculty-mentored research internship over the summer. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to support research experiences that complement the student’s academic interest. OURSIP participants receive an award intended to offset the cost of room and board as well as miscellaneous expense. (Proposed internships must be full-time (not less than 35 hours per week) and for a minimum of eight (8) contiguous weeks to be considered for funding.

While priority is given to on-campus projects, a limited number of off-campus (domestic only) projects will also be considered.

The on-campus program runs for eight weeks, from June 8 - July 31, 2020. Participants are expected to be on-campus Monday - Friday, through the end of the program and attend the Summer Research Colloquium (SRC) weekly workshops. SRC workshops focus on best practices in mentorship, communicating research (e.g., writing a research report, presenting research to a general audience), and contributing to a diverse research community. In addition, SRC hosts lunch faculty lectures to expose students to Princeton faculty members, their research, individual paths through academia and experiences with mentorship.

Important OURSIP dates

  • Application opens in SAFE: Monday, Jan 6, 2020
  • Priority application deadline: Monday, Mar 2, 2020, 11:55 pm EST
  • Final application deadline: Monday, Mar 30, 2020, 11:55 pm EST
  • Faculty / research adviser commitment form deadline: Priority application deadline (or no later than final application deadline - see above)
  • Decision period: Mar 15 - second week of Apr, 2020
  • On campus summer program: Jun 8 – Jul 31, 2020
  • Research summary statement and program survey deadline: Jul 31, 2020
  • Participation in program outreach panel: Fall 2020

Eligibility and application process

All enrolled Princeton first-year students, sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply. Students must maintain active enrollment at Princeton from the time of their application through the conclusion of the program, which is the following fall. Juniors who are seeking funding support for their senior thesis research over the summer are not eligible for OURSIP grants; rising seniors should apply through the senior thesis funding activity type in SAFE instead.

The priority application deadline is Monday, Mar 2, 2020, 11:55 pm EST. Applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the final application deadline (Monday, Mar 30, 2020, 11:55 pm EST) or until available funds are depleted (whichever occurs earlier). Only one OURSIP application per student will be considered per year.

The program application consists of two parts (incomplete applications will not be considered):

Part 1: OURSIP funding application in SAFE includes a program questionnaire, itemized budget (see notes below), UNOFFICIAL Princeton transcript (obtained via TigerHub), and resume or CV.

Part 2: Faculty / Research Adviser Commitment Form: Applicants should identify their intended research adviser and provide their contact information using this link as early in the application process as possible. A request will be sent to your research adviser automatically upon completing your part of the form. We encourage you to alert (and remind, if needed) your adviser that they will receive this request via email and that they must complete the form for your application to be deemed complete and eligible for review. You will receive a confirmation email once we receive your adviser's commitment form.

OURSIP Budget Preparation

For on-campus OURSIP applicants: You do not need to include a food and lodging request in your SAFE application budget as selected applicants are provided on-campus housing and receive a standard stipend intended to cover meals and help offset miscellaneous expenses. However, you may request up to $500 to cover research-related expenses such as small equipment and parts, consumable supplies, software, payments to Human Subjects (note: departmental and IRB approval required), copying costs, and books/journals when not available through the University).

For off-campus OURSIP applicants: Please take care to develop a thorough, accurate, and reasonable budget and justify your estimated costs in your project statement. Consult the list of allowable expenses below when building your budget. Costs are expected to be moderate; you are responsible for researching competitive pricing in order to maintain reasonable costs.

  • Travel to research internship host (unless the site is within 25 miles of your home town): Concur travel request approval is required for domestic travel no later than one week prior to research.
  • Weekly living expenses: food (meal budget is limited to $25 per day), accommodation and local transportation (off-campus only and expected to be through public transport unless safety is a concern).
  • Up to $500 to cover research-related expenses such as small equipment and parts, consumable supplies, software, payments to Human Subjects (note: departmental and IRB approval required), copying costs, and books/journals when not available through the University).

Selection process and award

OURSIP applications will be carefully evaluated based on the merit and feasibility of the proposed research project, relevance to the student’s academic course of study, and strength of the faculty adviser letter of commitment.

Any internship award you receive from the Office of Undergraduate Research will be considered taxable income (under the IRS non-qualified fellowship and scholarship ruling). If you are an international student, please note that you will have federal taxes automatically withheld from your stipend check. You will be issued a Form 1042-S reporting this income and tax in mid-March next year to determine if a refund will be processed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). However, Princeton University is unable to guarantee that a full or partial refund will be granted by the IRS. More detailed information can be found on the Finance and Treasury (link is external) website or you may reach out to the NON-RESIDENT TAX office at (link sends e-mail).

Post-OURSIP activities

Program contact

Undergraduate applicants and faculty advisers with questions should send an email to:



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