Participating in undergraduate research is excellent preparation for graduate school or employment. Remember that your interests may evolve during and after college, and that preparation for one career will provide you with skills that you can use if you pursue other options later in your life.
We hope the links below will be helpful, but please be aware that some of the sites may be out of date.
Select one of the topics below:
Talk to your research mentor about options early in your junior or senior year. Include questions like:
- What schools are strongest in your field? The best researchers in your field may be at a school you haven't heard of.
- Where does your mentor think it would be best for you to apply?
- What schools have students finish in a reasonable time period?
- What schools offer the best support to their students?
Look into programs and fellowships that you can apply to as an undergraduate to fund graduate school. Examples include:
- Database at Graduate Student Funding Opportunities (from the Leadership Alliance)
- Database at Pathways to Science
- Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program (marine science from NOAA)
- Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Grants
- Hertz Foundation
- National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP)
- Ruth Kirschstein National Research Service Award
- Fullbright Program, including Study/Research Grants and Science & Public Health Grants
- List of Scholarships for Women
Take advantage of online resources for graduate school preparation. For example:
- Tips on preparing for and applying to graduate school (from the Leadership Alliance)
- How to effectively obtain a letter of recommendation (and other graduate school preparation resources from UCSC STEM Diversity)
- Graduate School from WebGURU
These programs provide recent college graduates who are planning to apply to graduate or professional (medical/dental/pharmacy) school an opportunity to spend one or two years performing full-time research.
If you are already on an NIH or NSF grant, your PI may be eligible to apply for funding to support your research after you graduate. The PI should contact his or her program officer for more information.
Databases & Listings
- American Physical Society (APS) Bridge Program (for physics)
- The Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP)
- UCSC PREP Program
- PREP at Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has several programs. Investigators doing work you might be interested can be identified here.
- UTMB in the Health Sciences
- Ask your research mentor what people s/he knows are doing. S/he might have some great contacts for you.
- Look at the information related to the topic on the webpage of any professional organization you belong to. Often the sites have excellent, pertinent advice.
- Do informational interviews and talk to professionals whose positions are similar to what you think you might like to do
- The Career Center can help you contact alumni who are interested in talking to undergraduates through the Career Advice Network
- Ask questions about how the person's career path, professional life, and work/personal balance
- Take advantage of advising at the UCSC Career Center and throughout the university. Go to Career Fairs and professional development workshops. Check the Calendar for relevant events.
- Ask your research mentor where the industry or non-profit jobs are advertised. Many disciplines have specialized job boards that are not widely known about.
- You can also check out some of the job databases: