Frequently Asked Questions
- Are Engineering Physics majors eligible for this program?
Yes, provided you work with a faculty member in Physics, Applied Physics or SLAC. If you wish to work with a faculty member in the Engineering School, you should apply to that department's summer research program.
- Are there opportunities available for external/non-Stanford students?
Yes, we have two opportunities for external physics students: the CAMPARE program, and the Leadership Alliance Summer Research - Early Identification Program (SR-EIP). Click here for more information.
- Do I have to be a declared Physics/Engineering Physics major to apply?
Priority will be given to declared Physics and Engineering Physics majors who have declared on Axess by the application deadline. If you have a particular reason for not declaring, mention it in your application, or consult with Rick Pam, Academic Director of the Program, prior to submitting your application.
- What if I want to work with a faculty member outside of Physics, Applied Physics or SLAC?
Under certain circumstances, Physics/Engineering Physics majors can work with a faculty member outside Physics/AP/SLAC:
- your topic should be closely related to physics (e.g., biophysics, medical physics) and you must be directly involved in research;
- if the faculty member is in a department with its own summer research program, you should seek support from the other department.
- If we have more applicants than we can support, priority will be given to students working with Physics/Applied Physics/SLAC faculty, all other things being equal.
- If you are considering working for a faculty member outside Physics, Applied Physics or SLAC, please consult with Rick Pam before finalizing your application.
- What if I want to work with a faculty member who is not on the list of Summer Research Positions?
You can work with faculty who are not on the list. The list itself consists of faculty members who are actively looking for students. The Physics Summer Research Program provides funding directly to Physics/Eng Physics majors, not to faculty. Thus you are welcome to find other faculty members to work with, subject to FAQ #3, above.
- Do I have to be available for the full eight or ten weeks?
Yes, you should be here for the 8 or 10 "official" weeks so that you can participate fully in all activities associated with the Physics/AP/SLAC Summer Research Program. If there are particular circumstances that prevent you from attending these weeks, mention them in your application or consult with Rick Pam prior to submitting your application.
- Can I apply if I was already supported through this program for summer research in Physics in a previous year?
All other things being equal, priority will be given to students who have not received support through the Physics/AP/SLAC program in previous years. RIsing seniors/coterms who have received support in 1 or 2 prior years are required to apply for a Student Major Grant from Undergraduate Advising and Research Programs (UAR). You are still encouraged to apply to the Physics/AP/SLAC program in case we have additional funding. Rising seniors/coterms who have received support in 2 prior years are unlikely to be funded (due to limited funding, not because we don't like you). You should still apply for a Student Major Grant , but also investigate other sources of support, starting with your faculty research mentor.
- Can I apply for summer research in physics if I am a Freshman?
Doing research after your Freshman year is not out of the question. Look carefully at the preferences in terms of skills and courses listed for each faculty member in the table of Summer Research Positions. Some faculty state a preference for coursework that Freshmen are unlikely to have, while others have more minimal requirements.
- Can I apply for summer research in physics if I am a rising 5th year or coterminal student?
Rising 5th year or Physics coterminal students will have the same priority for funding as rising seniors (see #9 below). However, funding is not available for coterminal students who have received their B.S. degree prior to the start of the Summer Research program.
- What are the selection priorities in the event there are more applicants than funding?
- Rising seniors with no prior SRC funding (*)
- Rising juniors with no prior SRC funding
- Rising sophs with no prior SRC funding
- Rising juniors with prior SRC funding
- Rising seniors with prior SRC funding (*)
* -- rising seniors with prior SRC funding will be asked to apply for a Student Major Grant from Undergraduate Advising and Research for honors thesis work.
- Does my faculty mentor absolutely have to give one of the weekly seminars?
No, not absolutely. In fact, we anticipate that we will have more mentors than available slots.
- By submitting an application to the physics summer research program, am I committed to the program if I am accepted? What if I want to apply to other summer programs, such as other Stanford programs or one of the NSF REU programs at other universities?
You are not committing to the program by applying, and are in fact encouraged to explore multiple programs since we cannot guarantee funding for all interested students. If you are accepted, you will be asked to commit by the start of Spring quarter.
- Do I have to live on campus while in the program?
No, you don't have to live on campus. If you are interested in living on campus, see the web page for Summer Housing
- Does the fellowship also cover living expenses?
You must pay your own living expenses out of the $7000/$5600 stipend (10weeks/8weeks). This can be either in on-campus Summer Housing or anywhere else you choose to live.
- Can I attend summer school while participating in the Summer Research Program?
In general, no. In past years faculty have found that attending summer classes reduces a student's effectiveness in their research. You should plan to devote full time to your research over the 8 or 10 week period.