I was looking through PURM, and was wondering how exactly it works? Are all first and second year undergrads guaranteed summer research this way, or is there still chance/luck in submitting an application?

Also, do many undergrads get funding through CURF, or is it extremely competitive to the point where only a very select few get it?

no, not all first/second year undergrads are guaranteed summer research positions, but you still have a chance when you submit an application (basically you have nothing to lose)!

it's a mutual process: researchers need students interested in their project in order to receive funding and move forward, and students apply to PURM because most of them want research experience. first you look through a (really long) list of research projects, identify up to 3 preferences, and submit a brief application for each one.

then, if you're selected by a researcher(s), you'll receive an email telling you who's considering your application. typically they hold interviews after this round, and you'll find out later if you receive an offer.

i think CURF has many opportunities for funding that you should take advantage of, but i'm not sure how competitive each one is. don't hesitate to work with CURF advisors! i met with dr. vernon-grey (https://www.curf.upenn.edu/profile/vernon-grey-ann), and she was really helpful with directing me to the proper resources.

Hopeful Horse, 3/22/20 1:08pm