Undergraduate Research

An important element of the undergraduate honors experience is the academic work that happens in connection with the classroom but often outside of it: academic research. A cornerstone of the Macaulay experience is undergraduate research. The National Council on Undergraduate Research defines undergraduate research as “an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.” Through a research assistantship, an undergraduate student works closely with a faculty mentor — and, where appropriate, his/her research team — to gain invaluable research skills appropriate to a discipline, and have opportunities to contribute to the production of original scholarly or creative work that might lead to formal presentations, such as at conferences or in print or other media.

Macaulay Research Assistantship Program

The Macaulay Honors College Research Assistantship Program matches CUNY faculty members pursuing original research in their various disciplines with curious and dedicated Macaulay students who are eager to learn more about a given intellectual field of inquiry. These pairings of scholars and students work together to create new knowledge in a discipline, affording students an opportunity to make valuable contributions to the work of their faculty mentors.

Students will learn through hands-on research experience under active supervision. Students may request a stipend from the Opportunities Fund account.

The process of matching student interests and faculty needs is simple. Faculty write a short proposal describing their project and the work involved, which we post on CareerPath (our online job portal). After students submit the required application materials, the faculty mentor will invite the potential candidate to interview before choosing an assistant. If selected for the position, the student must complete a Research Assistant Commitment Form and have this document signed by the faculty mentor. Then, the student must have their Macaulay Advisor review the job description and the Commitment Form. The Macaulay advisor will give final approval of the application.

Students are eligible to apply for a stipend from their Opportunities Fund. Students and faculty both write short (two-page) narratives, describing the work accomplished. Students are also asked to present their work at the annual Macaulay Scholars Research Expo in May.

Positions are posted on a rolling basis. Click here to log-in and learn more about this program and to see a list of available research opportunities.

To learn more about the Macaulay Research Assistantship Program, please contact the Assistant Director of Internships and Undergraduate Research

National Funded Research Opportunities

There are summer research opportunities in a variety of labs across the country.  Formal programs are paid, include seminars and mentoring, and can be highly competitive. Note programs often require U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency.

  • The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. REU projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program. Click here to view research programs across the country.
  • The Amgen Scholars Program allows students to take part in important university research projects, gain hands-on lab experience and contribute to the advancement of science. Click here to learn more about the Amgen Scholars Program at participating colleges.
  • The Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program (SR-EIP), offers undergraduates interested in pursuing a PhD or MD-PhD, the opportunity to work for eight to ten weeks under the guidance of a faculty or research mentor at a participating Alliance institution. Through this one-on-one collaboration, students gain theoretical knowledge and practical training in academic research and scientific experimentation. The SR-EIP is designed to encourage students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, social sciences and humanities to consider research careers in the academic, public or private sectors. Click here to learn more about this program.

The Pathways to Science Project website allows students to search for research opportunities by discipline. To see these opportunities, click here.  Click here for the Pathways to Engineering search site.

Springboard Course

The Macaulay Springboards represent a pilot effort at Macaulay Honors College to work with students to redefine the capstone project. For seniors who are interested in fulfilling their capstone project requirement in a new way, this course will be offered to all graduating students as a two-semester (3 credits per semester) course, helping students to prepare springboard projects, an alternative to the traditional capstone or honors thesis. Students will design and create springboard projects, which will be launched at graduation (and eligible for Capstone Reimagined Awards). (see macaulay.cuny.edu/eportfolios/springboard for more information)

Cross-Campus Access

With permission from your Advisor (and, where necessary, from the instructor), you may register for courses or pursue research opportunities with faculty on any senior CUNY campus, including doctoral courses at the CUNY Graduate Center. With permission, you may also register for courses at a four-year institution outside of CUNY.

Your Macaulay Advisor can provide guidance regarding the permit process (e-permit) to register for a course at another CUNY campus, as well as in transferring any credits taken outside of the CUNY system. Ultimately, however, the responsibility for completing all steps of the process associated with cross-campus registration, permits, and credit transfers, is yours.