Princeton Summer Undergraduate Research Experience

PSURE Overview

The Graduate School offers an eight-week summer research experience for up to 20 undergraduates who express a serious interest in pursuing a Ph.D. and following a career in college or university teaching and research. The purpose of the program is to motivate and prepare students to make competitive applications to research doctoral programs, with a view toward completing the Ph.D. and going on to teach and conduct original research.

Princeton is a member of The Leadership Alliance, a consortium of 32 institutions of higher learning dedicated to increasing diversity in doctoral programs and on college and university faculties. The Alliance collaborates on a number of programs, from undergraduate research, to faculty development, to national symposia, to develop underrepresented students into outstanding leaders and role models in academia, business and the public sector. The Summer Research Early Identification Program (SR-EIP) is the keystone of Princeton's participation in the Alliance.

Program Details 

PSURE is open to all qualified applicants. Undergraduates who are racial/ethnic minorities, who are from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, or who are from small liberal arts colleges are especially encouraged to apply. Each student accepted for PSURE will work with a Princeton faculty member, either as a research assistant in a laboratory project (sciences and engineering) or as an advisee in editing and writing research papers appropriate to the field (humanities and social sciences).

Research projects and advising are offered under individual faculty sponsorship and will require a full-time commitment on the part of the student (normally 40 hours per week). Students in the humanities and social sciences might assist a faculty member engaged in a particular research, editing, bibliographical or course-preparation project. Alternatively, and by mutual arrangement, the student may work on a research paper with the faculty member. Students in the sciences and engineering normally work in a laboratory group on an aspect of the faculty member's current research.

The student and faculty member should expect to meet weekly to discuss research design, methods and progress. The Graduate School offers a GRE Preparation course, which meets weekly, and students also attend a weekly research seminar. During these sessions students also explore the graduate application process, prepare their Statement of Academic Purpose, and receive information about graduate student life and financial aid. Students are expected to give several brief oral presentations about their work during the course of the summer and a more formal presentation of their work, either in a platform talk or a poster, at the annual Leadership Alliance Summer Symposium. At the end of the program, students must present a final paper of no less than 20 pages. PSURE students do not take formal classes and do not receive academic credit from Princeton.

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