Collaborative Research Grant

Collaborative Research Grant

The Collaborative Research Grant, launched in Fall 2017, provides an opportunity for undergraduate and masters students to undertake paid research alongside renowned Columbia University faculty (including research scientists and professors of practice) for up to two semesters.  The program is unique in that it is student driven, allowing students to select and pursue a topic they are passionate about, while receiving guidance from a leading member of the scientific community. Prior to applying for funding, students must identify a project and seek the written approval of a faculty mentor. Students will be asked to submit a project outline and timeline, as well as the signature of the faculty member who will be overseeing the project.  See below for more information on the application process and upcoming deadlines.

The Program

The Collaborative Research Grant provides undergraduate and masters students at Columbia and Barnard with an exciting opportunity to work alongside Columbia University faculty on a research project of the student’s choosing.  Students may apply for funding for up to two semesters (fall/spring), which will enable them to explore the research project more fully than a typical one semester project would allow. Students gain hands-on research experience, allowing them to learn and grow under the guidance of a faculty mentor.  Faculty, research scientists and professors benefit from mentoring bright and motivated students, who can contribute to their own research area. Applications will be accepted from students from a variety of backgrounds and departments, so long as the research focuses on an area related to environmental sustainability.

The Projects

Students will create and execute a research project of their choosing. It is recommended that students connect their project to the research area of the faculty mentor. In this way, students will benefit from the intellectual process of exploring a research topic, while working under the supervision of an experienced faculty member. 

To Apply

Collaborative Research Grants are available to undergraduate and masters students at Columbia and Barnard.  PhD students are not eligible to apply for funding, but are encouraged to work with students under the supervision of a faculty mentor.  All positions pay $16 per hour and interns work part-time during the fall and spring, approximately 10-15 hours per week, for a maximum of 120 hours per semester.


Fall 2020 Deadlines:
August 14 - Funding application for 2020-2021 opens
October 5 – Applications due

Application Process

Applicants will need to submit an online application with the following information:

  • Project outline: detailing the research question and proposed activities (no longer than 2 pages in length).
  • Project timeline: detailing how the research activities will be explored during 2 semesters.
  • Email from faculty member (includes research scientists and professors of practice) agreeing to oversee the project.

For more information, contact Natalie Unwin-Kuruneri, Associate Director,

To Apply: