Applying to be a First2 Summer Research Program

First2 Network understands the power of early research experiences and engagement within a STEM community of practice to motivate STEM students to persist in their STEM majors. To that end, we support two-week duration residential summer internships for rising freshmen at higher ed and industry institutions across the state. These internships target first generation STEM students and other under-represented students in STEM. We invite you to consider being a 2021 research site!

As a summer research site, you will host a student cohort of 5-10 students or more. Older undergraduate students– most likely First2 Student Leaders–will support your efforts to plan a successful program and will mentor the 2021 student cohort in many important ways. Your site will:

  • Recruit first generation and other underrepresented students who are majoring STEM to participate the summer before their freshman year begins in order to maximize their success in college;
  • Sign a memorandum of understanding with First2 Network to participate in the First2 Network research program;
  • Participate in the recruitment , selection, supervision and evaluation of older students who will serve as planning partners and mentors before and during the site internship;
  • Develop and supervise immersive research experiences for rising freshmen;
  • Develop and maintain a budget and coordinate logistics for your site;
  • Participate in regular meetings with other site leads to learn First2 promising practices as a starting point for customizing your own program;
  • Collaborate to improve the internship experience for First2 students through iterative testing and documenting of change ideas;
  • Participate in First2 conferences to share your experience and learn from others;
  • Provide a final report within 15 days of the conclusion of your program;
  • Help sustain the engagement of student interns by supporting academic year campus clubs at your institution.

How to Apply

Submit a Letter of Interest
Deadline: Nov. 15, 2020

The Letter of Interest lets the First2 Network know that your institution is interested in hosting a 2-week internship for rising freshmen STEM majors who are first in their family to go to college or otherwise under-represented in STEM. Please submit on institutional letterhead and include: site location and institution, lead person, and contact info, STEM disciplines in the proposed internship research, number of students and mentors requested, and any special needs or circumstances related to your site. Please submit to Sarah Riley at

Attend an Informational Session
Date: Dec. 8, 2020

This session will explain the proposal process in more detail including proposal elements, and evaluation criteria. In addition, you will have the opportunity to ask questions of faculty who have hosted summer research internships in the past.

Attendance is strongly encouraged. The more questions asked and answered the more prepared you will be to write a competitive proposal. We will send a Zoom invitation link to persons listed in the Letter of Intent.

Submit a full proposal
Deadline: Jan. 8, 2021

Download Request for Proposal. Proposals will include letters of commitment from the institution, plans for undergraduate mentor roles, proposed tentative schedule of activities, proposed budget, plans for housing and meals, and a history of involvement with First2 Network or evidence of alignment with its mission and goals. The letter of commitment should be signed by the College Dean, Provost, or President. Other information that may be useful to include: a description of institutional resources, proposed research projects and a description of laboratory safety training to be provided to the students.

If you would like to be considered for a research internship site, in 2021, you are asked to propose a two-week duration, residential immersive STEM research experience. Internship dates from July 18-July 30, 2021 are recommended, but we are also open to proposals for other dates during the summer. Programs on each site will be considered programs of that institution, and the institution will be named as an official FIrst2 Network partner. As programs of each institution at each institution, the institution’s liability insurance will cover the program, and the program will adhere to any other compliance requirements of the institution. We welcome supplemental funding from your institution to support additional students beyond what First2 can afford. Supplemental funding may be necessary, depending on actual costs at the institution.

The First2 Network will provide support to successful sites for the following (NB- these are 2020 figures. subject to change:

  • Up to $50/student/day for room and board during the internship;
  • 2-3 older undergraduate student mentors who will assist with planning and be active mentors during the internship (average based on 10 students/site);
  • Up to $40/student for recreational/team building activities
  • Up to $100/student for lab supplies
  • An honorarium to recognize the work and effort of the site lead and supporting faculty.
  • Mentorship and training to undergraduate mentors and faculty in setting up your program.


Proposal Resources

Request for Proposal Complete instructions for completing your proposal.

Example Proposal from 2020 NB: There may be additional sections in this year’s proposal. Thank you, Marshall, for sharing!

2020 Summer Research Resource. Sample schedule, research project descriptions and external evaluation

Internship Implementation Toolkit

Developed with our 2020 mentors, this is an invaluable collection of materials to help you plan an excellent First2 internship.

Timeline of Events

Milestones for the 2021 Internship.

Planning the Internship

Recruiting and followup, sample schedules, research project descriptions and more!