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 nine (9) 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.

In summer 2023, we plan to continue the on-campus in-person program, which will run for nine weeks from June 3 - August 2, 2024. Participants are expected to be on campus Monday-Friday through the end of the program and attend the Summer Research Colloquium 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 GPS: Jan 8, 2024
  • Priority application deadline: Feb 26, 2024, 11:55 pm EST
  • Final application deadline: April 1, 2024, 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 5 - end of Apr, 2024
  • Residential summer program: June 2 - August 4, 2024
  • Research summary statement and program survey deadline: TBD
  • Participation in program outreach panel: TBD

Application links (in GPS)

Eligibility and application process

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 Feb 26, 2024, 11:55 pm EST. Applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the final application deadline (April 1, 2024, 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 GPS includes a program questionnaire, itemized research-related budget (see below), UNOFFICIAL Princeton transcript (obtained via TigerHub), and resume or CV. You can find the on-campus research application here and the off-campus research application here

Part 2: Academic Recommendation /Faculty or Research Adviser Commitment Form: Applicants should identify their intended research adviser and provide their contact information in both the Academic Recommendation section as well as in the OURSIP Application form in GPS; a request will be sent to your research adviser automatically. 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. 

For Off-Campus OURSIP Applicants: If you intend to conduct research at another domestic university, you will be asked to list two recommenders. The first will be your primary research adviser of your external host university. This adviser will fill out the faculty or research adviser commitment form as the mentor supervising your research. You will also be asked to list a Princeton faculty member who will fill out a general recommendation form. In it, they will speak to the strength of the proposed research project and its relevance to your academic development at Princeton. Both forms are requested through theOff-Campus OURSIP Application in GPS in the Recommendation section and the application form.

Stipend and other program support

You do not need to include a food and lodging request in your GPS application as selected on-campus applicants will be provided on-campus housing and receive a standard stipend intended to cover meals and help offset miscellaneous expenses; the total award amounts to $700 per week. Off-campus fellows (those not conducting research on the Princeton campus but at another US institution) will receive a weekly stipend of $700 intended to cover living expenses during the length of the internship (must constitute a full-time commitment of at least 35 hours/week). Off-campus fellows may request supplemental funds to cover travel expenses to the internship host, unless the site is within 25 miles of their home town. All off-campus fellows are required to submit their travel plans to the Enroll My Trip platform and receive approval no later than one week prior to research.

Both on-campus and off-campus fellows are eligible to apply for funds to cover research-related expenses (up to a maximum of $500).

Allowable research-related expenses 

  • Small equipment and parts
  • Consumable supplies
  • Software specific to your research project not available through your department
  • Payments to Human Subjects (note: departmental and IRB approval required)
  • Copying costs
  • Books (covered only when not available through University library)
  • Database access costs
  • Off-campus laboratory data acquisition

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 [email protected] (link sends e-mail).

Post-OURSIP activities

  • Complete an intern profile form for the Summer Research Colloquium archive.
  • Serve as an OURSIP ambassador by undertaking publicity and outreach efforts in the fall following the summer program.
  • We ask that you also acknowledge the Office of Undergraduate Research support in any report, publication, or testimonial provided to any University department/program or outside entity that makes reference to this summer research internship project.

Program contact

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