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Vanderbilt Undergraduate Summer Research Program

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students working in the field
student teaching children

The Vanderbilt Undergraduate Summer Research Program (VUSRP) provides Vanderbilt undergraduate students with the opportunity to fulfill 10 weeks of full-time research during the summer under the mentorship of any full-time Vanderbilt faculty member, including faculty in the graduate and professional schools. The goal of VUSRP is to encourage and enhance student-faculty mentoring and joint research efforts. The program dates for 2021 are June 7 through August 13.

Guidance for Summer 2021 VUSRP Applications

Applications for summer 2021 are open from November 18, 2020 until February 4, 2021 at noon CT

  • Students will fulfill 10-weeks of research with the articulation of both a Plan A for in-person work and a Plan B for fully remote work:
    • In-person research would be side-by-side, on-campus
    • Remote research will require regular contact between the student and Vanderbilt faculty member to approximate side-by-side interaction
  • Students will receive $5000 to cover necessities and room and board, whether in-person or remote
  • Full-time work is expected
  • Practice rounds toward the end of the ten weeks are mandatory
  • Presentation at the Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Fair is required (fall or spring)
  • Students who accept VUSRP funding are encouraged to use the experience to satisfy their Immersion Vanderbilt requirement

For Students:

  • Submit an application for summer research with your preferred Plan A and a backup Plan B as a contingency should travel and/or in-person activities still be restricted in summer 2021
  • Both plans should be for the same research project with the same faculty adviser
  • If your optimal plan does not include travel and can be completed in a fully remote environment, then please note that in your project description and enter “N/A” in the prompts for your backup plan

For Faculty Advisers:

  • Guide students to the possibilities in two scenarios, the first being all possible options are available with no restrictions in place for students being on campus and the second being the possible research options if on-campus research is not allowed for undergraduates during summer 2021
  • Faculty are limited to advising two student VUSRP applications, whether in-person or remote
  • If students can complete their portion of the summer research in a fully remote environment, then please consider that as the primary option for summer 2021

Program Highlights

  • VUSRP is a 10-week program that is traditionally done side-by-side with any full-time Vanderbilt faculty member, generally on campus
  • The program dates for 2021 are June 7 through August 13
  • The main component of the program is the scholarly work done by the Vanderbilt undergraduate student (VUSRP student) in collaboration with their faculty adviser
  • VUSRP involves full-time work
  • Out of 184 applicants, 87 students received awards in 2019

Student Support

  • A $5000 stipend is awarded, with a limited number of $6000 Littlejohn and Goldberg Fellow awards for exceptional applications


  • Students who accept VUSRP stipends are required to:
    • attend a spring workshop to review program logistics
    • complete 10 weeks of full-time research with their faculty adviser over the summer
    • present at a roundtable discussion toward the end of the 10-week period
    • present at the fall or spring Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Fair
  • An information session for students was held on November 18, 2020
  • Vanderbilt faculty may advise only two applications per competition