Research at Pitzer

At Pitzer, students are encouraged to get involved with research early on in their college careers, either with faculty on campus, or off campus through programs like REU, funded by the National Science Foundation. Below you’ll find a list of the most common research grants and opportunities afforded to Pitzer students!

National Science Foundation (NSF) – Research Opportunities for Undergraduates (REU)

“NSF funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites program. An REU Site consists of a small group of undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers. Students are granted stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel. Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions.

natalia for research page

Natalia Duran ’19

Natalia conducted a 10-week team-based research project at Harvey Mudd College, as a part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Her focus was within the Data Science and Politics Departments, and her research focused on urban bicycle infrastructure within Southern California. Her team conducted multiple surveys and experiments using Python, ArcGIS, and Tableau to yield statistically significant information about how environmental justice
plays an impact on the bike riding populations of SoCal. Her research was funded by the National Science Foundation and Harvey Mudd, and compensation for the summer included housing and $5000 stipend for every member of the research team.

Keck Science Department Summer Research Program

Keck Science offers an extensive summer research program, in which students receive paid 10-week fellowships to work with faculty throughout the department.

A study co-authored by W.M. Keck Science Department’s Associate Professor of Biology Patrick Ferree was published in Science Advances, a member of the prestigious Science family of academic journals. As with many of his articles, Ferree had student co-authors, and roughly 15 students earned experience and summer stipends over the course of the study. Read more about Dr. Ferree’s work.

Student Research and Award Funds

Each academic year, Pitzer College awards grants of up to $300 to Pitzer students to assist them with research in connection with Independent Study or Senior Thesis projects.

Summer Faculty-Student Research Assistantship Program

The Summer Faculty-Student research assistantship program provides Pitzer students a $3,000 stipend to undertake a full-time, eight-week research assistantship with a faculty member during the summer.

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Olivia Landgraff ’22

“This summer I will be conducting research with linguistics professor Carmen Fought. Carmen is a current professor at Pitzer, and alongside Karen Eisenhauer (PZ ’13), has been researching language and gender in Disney and Pixar films for multiple years, culminating in a soon to be published book on her research! This summer, I will be doing both qualitative and quantitative linguistic work to continue her research, and fill in some of the films she has not analyzed yet (like Frozen 2)! Pitzer offers multiple $3000 grants every summer for the purpose of student researchers to assist faculty, but even without this specific grant there are plenty of opportunities for funded research.”

The Katie Lawson Memorial Award Dedicated to Helping Others

Grants will be awarded to students (typically sophomores and juniors majoring in psychology or sociology) who propose summer projects that involve community engagement, rather than library research. Number and dollar amount awarded yearly varies—typically 3-5 awards of $500-$1500 each are granted.

Emfield Student Summer Research Award in Global Health

The purpose of the award is to allow undergraduate students to witness firsthand the inequities in access to quality health care that exist within the US and worldwide. Students may apply for a summer stipend to underwrite their out-of-pocket expenses to pursue an unpaid medical volunteer opportunity with an established nonprofit, charity-based organization, or university working to provide care in an underserved community. This award will cover an opportunity that is at least several weeks up to an entire summer. Number of awardees and dollar amount awarded yearly varies depending upon the budget request submitted by award applicants.

Conference Travel

Pitzer students who are presenting at an academic conference in collaboration with Pitzer faculty can receive funding of up to $500 to help cover travel costs.