Tips for applying for research opportunities


Summer opportunities that include research at FLC or other universities (REUs), internships, or programs at government laboratories have different deadlines. The most common schedule has students preparing materials early in the fall semester and applying for those opportunities in November or December.

Typically, companies, government, and universities, review the applicant pool in January, make decisions, and notify successful applicants in March. The ideal time to apply is the Fall of your junior year.

Preparing early and then narrowing down your choices in October is the ideal strategy.

Most applications require a cover letter, resume, and letters of recommendation from current/former employers or faculty that can comment on your work ethic, communication ability, and technical competence. You should focus the letter of recommendation and cover letter on a specific opportunity rather than producing a generic letter and sending it to multiple opportunities. Organize, search, prepare and apply to multiple organizations to ensure success.


An internship is work experience directly related to your major or career interest. Internships are a great experience in a field of interest that will help you make more educated career choices, make professional contacts in an area that can help you get hired and get ahead in your career, and can lead to full-time employment with the organization.

Summer Research

Summer research is an experience for undergraduate students, giving you a chance to work in a meaningful way with faculty and researchers to conduct ongoing research programs or projects. The benefits of a summer REU include building your academic foundation, getting hands-on experience in the field, explore fields of interest, make valuable connections with faculty and is a great stepping stone to graduate school.