National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU): Beyond Basic Science – Connecting Climate to Communities

February 14, 2022

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences REU Sites Program (NSF Award ID 2051024)

COVID-19 UpdateFor summer 2022, we are planning for an in-person program for only those in the tri-state area. Given uncertainties about the ability to house students in Columbia University’s dorms for summer 2022, we will be offering a program only to participants who can commute to Columbia University. We apologize for this inconvenience. If things change in the spring and we are able to house students, we will inform everyone with an announcement on this page.

Important Dates

  1. Friday, January 13, 2022 - Applications open
  2. Friday, February 25, 2022 - Applications due by 5:00pm EDT; we will allow up to one additional week for letter writers to submit their letters online (your application must be complete at this time), letters are due by 5:00pm EDT on Friday, March 4, 2022).
  3. March 28 – April 1, 2022 - Applicants will be notified about decisions

2022 program dates: June 6 to August 12, 2022

This REU site at Columbia University's Columbia Climate School is an internship program opportunity for both undergraduate students and K-12 educators. These research experiences will introduce participants to transdisciplinary science being done at the Columbia Climate School. Participants will work through the scientific process to better understand the latest climate change research and how it is gathered, analyzed, and communicated for relevant stakeholders and policymakers.

The summer intern program will support participants to engage in team learning around a meaningful project, participate in professional development activities beyond direct research, and build learning and professional relationships through layered mentoring in a world-renowned research environment. Ultimately, the experience will encourage participants to better understand the context, connections, and perspectives of climate change in a way that directly connects the science and the field to people and communities.

The program features:

  • Research project under the supervision of a Columbia Climate School expert;
  • Opportunities to work on impactful interdisciplinary projects with both Columbia staff and external stakeholders that bring climate science research to direct community users
  • Training in data analysis and techniques, lab safety, professional ethics, and career and networking opportunities
  • Special lectures and workshops
  • Housing (not available for summer 2022)
  • Stipend of $6000

Summer 2022 Opportunities

To learn about the opportunities that are available for summer 2022, please review our complete list of 2022 project descriptions. BEFORE you start an application, we strongly recommend that you read through the answers to the frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the program. We provide many useful tips and best practices for how to put together a strong application.

In order to be able to complete the online application properly, you will need to have the following items ready, in either a Word of PDF format:

  • Your resume 
  • Transcript (unofficial is acceptable)
  • Statement of interest (maximum 1,500 words)
  • Names and emails of two individuals who will be able to provide letters
  • Your top 3 choices of research projects

Program Eligibility

The program is open to US citizens or permanent residents who have will have completed at least their sophomore year in college or community college. Preference will be given to rising sophomores who are thinking about majoring in STEM or related interdisciplinary fields, as well as juniors majoring in environmentally related STEM disciplines. Neither graduating seniors nor international students are eligible for these opportunities.

Applicants should have an interest in conducting research in STEM fields and have a particular interest in leveraging science to co-create and translate climate research into accessible knowledge and solutions for stakeholders through a community-based approach. At a minimum, applicants should have completed courses in college level math (i.e. statistics, calculus, OR algebra), research methods, and an introduction to earth and environmental sciences and/or climate science. However, exceptions may be made in cases where the applicant’s college does not offer equivalent courses. While GPA is not the sole criterion for acceptance, students that demonstrate academic excellence are strongly preferred.

If you’re interested in applying, please read more about the application requirements and access the application itself. When you’re ready to submit your application, please click on the APPLY NOW button below.


Program Contact

The Columbia Climate School contacts for the program are Cassie Xu and Dr. Josh Fisher. The NSF contact for the REU Site program Dr. Josie S. Welkom. Please note that NSF does not handle REU applications; please contact each REU site directly for application information.

Click here to watch a recording from an info session to learn more about summer 2022 projects and the application process.