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Office of Undergraduate Research Student Initiated Internship Program (OURSIP)


Important update regarding summer 2020 OUR internship appointments:

As we continue to monitor events related to the Coronavirus outbreak, your health and safety remain our priority. For this reason and out of an abundance of caution, OUR-sponsored research internships requiring international travel, domestic travel or on-campus occupancy this summer will not be going forward as previously planned; instead, we will be shifting our support to projects that can be done remotely from a student’s primary place of residence. We understand this news will come as a disappointment to many of you who were looking forward to in-person research experiences this summer.

Given these extraordinary circumstances, if you have been selected as an undergraduate research intern, we want to give you time to consult with your research mentor and, if possible, revise your research plan to something that can be accomplished remotely from your primary place of residence. Please reach out to your mentor as soon as you are able

We recognize revising your research plan will be challenging; we encourage you to think creatively and exercise flexibility as you consider making adjustments during these uncertain times. Please note that in response to COVID-19, over five million books from Princeton University Library’s print collection are now available to all Princeton students; feel free to reach out to library staff for assistance on conducting research online. 

We ask that you complete the OUR Remote Internship Application for Summer 2020 form by 11:55 pm, Monday April 20, 2020 to receive full consideration for funding. In the course of reviewing your application, please note that we will contact your research mentor to confirm their endorsement. Projects with demonstrated remote feasibility and intentional plans for mentor-mentee communication will be given priority.

Participants will receive a $400 weekly stipend to cover living expenses from their primary place of residence for the eight-week duration of the program (from June 8 to July 31, 2020); students may request up to $500 for research-related expenses.  Please refer to the updated list of allowable expenses provided below.

Feel free to contact with any questions or concerns about the funding process. 

Allowable expenses for summer of 2020:

  • Books (covered only when not available online through University library)
  • Database access costs
  • Payments to Human Subjects: departmental and IRB approval (link is external) required, no in-person interviews permitted
  • Software specific to your research project not available through your department
  • Off-campus laboratory data acquisition

Expenses not covered for summer 2020:

  • Domestic travel
  • Rental or use of vehicles
  • Purchase of local phone or SIM card
  • Consumable laboratory supplies

Program description - see above update regarding summer 2020

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 - see above update regarding summer 2020

  • Application opens in SAFE: Monday, Jan 6, 2020
  • Priority application deadline: Monday, Mar 2, 2020, 11:55 pm EST
  • Final application deadline: EXTENDED to Wednesday, April 8, 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 (Wednesday, April 8, 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 - see above update regarding summer 2020

    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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