While CALS undergraduates definitely have opportunities to conduct research at Cornell, some students have an interest in carrying out research in another country, as it can:
- provide first-hand access to unique, site-specific subjects;
- enhance one’s academic record and provide a foundation for an Honors Thesis, and
- afford the opportunity to navigate another culture.
For example, students have monitored wildlife endemic to South America, Africa, or New Zealand, examined traditional healing practices in rural communities in developing countries, and assisted researchers with resource management issues in coastal areas. The opportunities are vast, and of course, include social and behavioral sciences.
Students may choose to participate in research (or independent study) abroad during the academic year or over the summer or winter. Below are resources to assist students in plotting their course.
When international travel is sponsored, supervised, controlled or funded by Cornell, there are two situations in which undergraduate students must receive pre-approval to travel abroad:
- Undergraduate students traveling without faculty supervision (exempt from this are study abroad programs, internships, or coops where the program is run by another corporation or university); or
- Undergraduate travel to a region that is on the US State Department travel-warning list
Students must ensure they submit the Cornell International Travel Pre-Approval Request Form to the International Travel Advisory and Response Team (ITART) with sufficient advance notice to permit effective consultation with the members of ITART.
Academic year or semester-long
The CALS Exchange Program and Cornell Abroad both offer programs that include opportunities to conduct research (or independent study) while abroad. Since these opportunities are part of a formal semester abroad, research is not the sole focus as coursework is included before, after, or during the research period. For example, some programs providers available through Cornell Abroad integrate field-based independent or directed research into their programs. On the other hand, universities abroad (including the CALS Exchange Program) may offer students the chance to work in a lab setting on campus, under the supervision of a professor of that university. Usually with formal study abroad programs, credit is earned for research, although credit for research conducted at universities can vary.
While it is not possible to list every study abroad program or university that offers research opportunities, CALS students frequently participate in the following programs which offer research (or independent study): CIEE, Cornell’s Nepal Study Program, Ecoquest, Institute for Central American Development Studies, Minnesota Studies in International Development, The Organization for Tropical Studies, The School for Field Studies, and SIT.
Summer or Winter
There are number of channels available to obtain Summer or Winter research opportunities, although bullets two and three require more detective work than the first:
- Go through a study abroad provider, and conduct research under a formalized study abroad program. Many of the programs that offer semester-long study abroad (listed above) also have summer programs. Tuition and fees are charged by the provider. The Financial Aid Office can help students determine if financial aid applies for these programs.
- Conduct independent research not connect with any institutional program.
- Participate in research offered by institutes, organizations or institutions abroad.
International Research Resources
- Pasteur Foundation: Paul W. Zuccaire Undergraduate Internships (Biosciences and Biomedical Research), Paris, France
- Research in Industrial Projects for Students in Los Angeles, Berlin, and Beijing
at The Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM)
- Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE), Germany
RISE is a summer internship program for undergraduate students from the United States, Canada and the UK in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences and engineering. It offers unique opportunities for undergraduate students to work with research groups at universities and top research institutions across Germany for a period of 2 to 3 months during the summer. RISE interns are matched with doctoral students whom they assist and who serve as their mentors. The working language will be English. All scholarship holders receive stipends from the DAAD to help cover living expenses, while partner universities and research institutes provide housing assistance.
- School of Life Sciences Summer Research Program, Lausanne, Switzerland
Students must be enrolled in a degree program in biology, physics, chemistry, bio-engineering, or computational sciences and plan on pursuing a career in the life sciences. Basic Life Sciences background is essential. Previous lab experience is a plus.
- Some Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) through the National Science Foundation involve research abroad. Use the keyword search for best results.
- Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
The Weizmann Institute of Science's annual Kupcinet-Getz International Science School accepts each summer a select number of outstanding undergraduate students to participate in research projects in mathematics, physics, chemistry and life sciences. It is an enrichment program designated for undergraduate students from all over the world, who are majoring in the Sciences, to experience science first hand by becoming part of a research group at the Weizmann Institute. Each student is associated to a laboratory or a theoretical research project under the supervision of an experienced scientist; the students become, for a short time, full-fledged members of the scientific team. It is hoped that this will help the students shape their scientific course and reinforce their commitment to research as a career.