Resources for undergrads
So you want to pursue Neuro?
First, hone in on the topics that most interest you. Neuroscience is actually a relatively new field, about 50 years old, so it’s still growing! You might lean more towards psychology, medicine, engineering, cell biology, artificial intelligence, or even neuroethics. Once you have a vague idea of a field you’d like to learn more about, identify people doing research or work on these topics near you, likely at a university, hospital, or company.
Then, reach out to them for mentorship! Professors receive lots of emails a day, so make sure yours stands out by indicating what excites you most about working with them (after you’ve read some of their published work). The key to getting a research position is persistence; don’t give up if you don’t get a response.
You can also reach out to a #BlackNeuroMentor who is doing work you’re interested in, even if they aren’t located in the same area as you.
Note: This page will continuously be updated with further opportunities, so please bookmark it and check back in periodically.
FUNDED SUMMER FELLOWSHIPS FOR UNDERGRADS
Unfortunately, it is common practice for undergraduate researchers to work as volunteers, meaning that many positions won’t be paid by default. However, there are lots of ways to make sure you earn money while doing research instead of working side jobs to pay rent. One thing you should definitely have in mind is that there are schools that will pay you thousands of dollars in stipend (varies depending on location), pay for your travel, and provide you with lodging, all so you can spend 8-10 weeks with them over the summer to get some research experience. Why? How? Well, those schools write their own big grant applications to ask federal agencies to provide them with funding to run a research program. Then they use that funding to put the program together and pay young scholars like you to visit for the summer and get research experience in their labs. In the United States, two major federal agencies that fund these kinds of programs are the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Typically, a program funded by the NIH is called summer undergraduate research fellowship (SURF) while programs funded by the NSF are typically called research experiences for undergraduates (REUs). It shouldn’t make a difference to you who’s funding what, though. Our goal here is to provide you with various lists of these programs. You can go through them, pick out ones that interest you, make a list, and start applying:
List of summer undergraduate research programs compiled by the American Association of Medical Colleges
List of all REUs from the National Science Foundation in all STEM fields
List of psychology-related research opportunities compiled by the American Psychological Association
FUNDED FELLOWSHIPS FOR UNDERGRAD
500WomenScientists - Fellowship for the Future
This fellowship is for women of color in STEM who also have a strong background and commitment to equity, social justice, and public engagement.
Thermofisher - Thermo Fisher Scientific Antibody Scholarship Program. Offering $35,000 in scholarship funding in order to provide educational opportunities for future generations of science scholars
Gamma Mu Foundation - Scholarships Program
Provides support to gay men who want to further their education at the undergraduate level. Also awards two other scholarships scholarships annually to students from the broader LGBT community
Point Foundation - The Point Scholarship
Aims to promote change through scholarship funding and mentorship empowering scholars from the LGBTQ+ community (there’s also a scholarship for community college students)
Goldwater Foundation - Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship
Seeks to identify and support college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this Nation’s next generation of research leaders in natural sciences, mathematics and engineering
Masergy - STEM Scholarship
To support the next generation of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) innovators
Cards Against Humanity - Science Ambassador Scholarship
A full–tuition scholarship for a woman in science, technology, engineering, or math
NIH - Amgen Scholars Program
Summer research internship at the NIH, including stipend and transportation benefits.
Full-time summer research program, aiming to increase number of community college students who transfer to four-year programs.
POST-BACCALAUREATE PROGRAMS WHICH YOU CAN APPLY TO AFTER COMPLETING UNDERGRAD
A one or two-year full-time research program at the NIH for recent undergrad graduates planning to apply to graduate or professional school. IRTA trainees are also eligible to participate in the NIH academy, in which they would receiving additional training in health outcomes and disparities.
FUNDED FELLOWSHIPS FOR GRAD SCHOOL WHICH YOU CAN APPLY TO AS AN UNDERGRAD
Hertz Foundation - The Hertz Foundation Fellowship
The fellowship includes up to five years of funding, valued at up to $250,000, and the freedom to pursue innovative projects wherever they may lead
Ford Foundation - Predoctoral Fellowship
To increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students
NDSEG Fellowships last for three years and pay for full tuition and all mandatory fees, a monthly stipend, and up to $1,000 a year in medical insurance (this excludes dental and vision insurance)
Scholarships are awarded for a minimum of 1.5 years and a maximum of 5 years of funding. Must be willing to accept post-graduate employment with the DoD.
Paul and Daisy Soros - Fellowship for New Americans
The PD Soros Fellowship for New Americans is a $90,000 merit-based fellowship exclusively for immigrants and children of immigrants who are pursuing graduate school in the United States
Five-year fellowship recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions
Tylenol - Future Care Scholars
Scholarships ($10,000) will be awarded to students and practitioners who are seeking a degree to actively treat patients
The goal of this program is to increase the number of minority students who pursue doctoral degrees in the natural science disciplines — chemistry, physics, earth sciences, mathematics, biological sciences, and computer science. Applicants to this program are accepted as early as their senior undergraduate year, as well as candidates currently enrolled in a Master’s of Engineering program and working professionals. Programs include:
MS Engineering Fellowship
PhD Engineering Fellowship
PhD Science Fellowship
Thermofisher - Thermo Fisher Scientific Antibody Scholarship Program (supports undergrad or grad)
Offering $35,000 in scholarship funding in order to provide educational opportunities for future generations of science scholars
Point Foundation - The Point Scholarship (supports undergrad or grad)
Aims to promote change through scholarship funding and mentorship empowering scholars from the LGBTQ+ community
As you start out in science, you might encounter unfamiliar terms that might be confusing. That’s okay! We’re defining some here to help with that, but remember there’s absolutely zero shame in asking someone to define something to you or explain it!