Math and Science Research

Hamilton College offers its students outstanding opportunities to conduct hands-on collaborative research in the sciences and mathematics. To get  an idea of the scope, in the summer of 2015 roughly 90 students conducted research on campus, collaborating with faculty on projects in archaeology, biochemistry, biology, chemistry, computer science, geoarchaeology, geosciences, mathematics, neuroscience, physics and psychology. Many of these projects resulted in student presentations at professional meetings and papers coauthored by students.

Any Hamilton student with a serious interest in science research is encouraged to explore the possibility of a summer grant. Grants are awarded to rising sophomores, juniors and seniors.

PLEASE NOTE: Competition for science research grants becomes more intense each year, and no student can be assured of being awarded a grant. We encourage all students to back up their applications by applying for off-campus research positions and by pursuing other summer employment opportunities.

Faculty Sponsorship

The first step of the application process is to seek the support of a faculty sponsor and commit to a single research project with one faculty member.


Once a faculty member has agreed to serve as your sponsor, you will need to fill out a brief online application.  This online application must be submitted by 8 a.m.  Monday, Feb. 29. Grant decisions will be announced as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, March 11. The application requires each candidate to specify a faculty supervisor and also requests the dates of employment, which are to be determined in consultation with your faculty supervisor. In some cases, students may be allowed to work with more than one supervisor.

About the Program

Student researchers will be paid $11.75 per hour for as much as a 40-hour work week. Eight- to 10-week research appointments are typical, but applications for both longer and shorter projects will be considered. Research usually begins in late May or early June, but the time frame is flexible and will be determined by the goals of the project and the research supervisor's schedule.

Students accepting a summer research grant agree to abide by the Hamilton College Standards of Conduct, as outlined in the Student Handbook, and must also demonstrate the professional behavior expected of an employee of Hamilton College. Students should understand that research will be the primary focus of their summer work, the equivalent of a full-time job, for the duration of their project. Students receiving a summer research grant are required to write an abstract at the end of the project and present a poster at the annual science research poster session during the fall semester.


Substantial funding for summer research is provided by Hamilton College. Additional support for student research comes from grants received by individual faculty members from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society and the Research Corporation. Generous funding also comes from:

  • The Ralph E. Hansmann Science Student Support Fund
  • The Sergei S. Zlinkoff Student Medical Research Fund
  • The Edward and Virginia Taylor Fund for Student/Faculty Research in Chemistry


On-campus housing is available at the College at reasonable cost to students who are employed on campus. Additional information about summer housing is available from the Residential Life office, and a summer housing lottery will be held in the spring.

Contact Information

If you have questions, please contact the Summer Science Research Coordinator of the department in which you are interested in working:

Archaeology, Nathan Goodale (ngoodale@hamilton.edu)
Biology, William Pfitsch (wpfitsch@hamilton.edu)
Chemistry, Ian Rosenstein (irosenst@hamilton.edu)
Computer Science, Mark Bailey (mbailey@hamilton.edu)
Geosciences, David Bailey (dbailey@hamilton.edu)
Mathematics, Tim Kelly (tkelly@hamilton.edu)
Physics, Seth Major (smajor@hamilton.edu)
Psychology, Doug Weldon (dweldon@hamilton.edu)

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