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Summer Research Opportunity Program

The Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) is an eight-week competitive research experience at Northwestern University for sophomores and juniors from colleges and universities across the United States. All fields of research at Northwestern are open to SROP participants including the social sciences and humanities, physical sciences, chemical and biological sciences, technology, math and engineering fields. 

The 2015 Summer Research Opportunity Program will be held from June 22-August 13. The application opens on November 1, 2014 and completed applications are due by February 10, 2015.  To submit an application please visit If you have any questions regarding the application please contact

Each student chosen to participate in the SROP will receive:

  • A $4000 stipend
  • A round-trip plane ticket (to Chicago)
  • University housing (single rooms)
  • A meal subsidy of $450 (not intended to cover all meals) 

To be considered for acceptance into SROP, you must:

  • Be a current sophomore or junior.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Have an interest in pursuing a doctoral degree (PhD) at Northwestern University. Those interested in pursuing an MBA, JD, or MD are not eligible.

Those belonging to groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in graduate education (e.g., certain racial and ethnic minorities, first-generation college students, etc.) are encouraged to apply to participate.

Early Admission Decision Program

Rising juniors who successfully complete their SROP research project and demonstrate that they have the potential to succeed in a Northwestern PhD program may be invited back for a second SROP experience. If they choose to accept the invitation, and the first 4 to 5 weeks of their second summer experience go well, they may be invited to participate in the Early Admission Decision Program. The program enables prospective students to apply and participate in interviews without submitting GRE scores, and renders an admission decision by November 1.

Expectations for Participating Students and Faculty Mentors

SROP participants must be prepared to make a full-time commitment to their research. Participants are expected to:

  • Contact their faculty mentor before the start of the summer session to discuss the research project and ask for reading material.
  • Work on their research for at least 30-40 hours per week.
  • Meet with their faculty mentor on a weekly basis.
  • Attend all activities and events published in the SROP Calendar (excluding social events).
  • Complete and submit all assignments, evaluations, and other documents on time.
  • Prepare and submit a research paper based on the SROP project (10 pages for STEM, 20 pages for non-STEM).
  • Prepare and deliver a 10 minute research presentation at the SROP research forum.
  • Refrain from taking classes (academic classes or test prep classes) and working a job during the SROP session.

Faculty mentors are expected to:

  • Help design and monitor the full-time research project for their student.
  • Work with the student on an abstract, outline, rough draft, and final paper based on the research.
  • Work with the student on an oral presentation of the research in preparation for the Research Forum that will take place at the end of the program.
  • Permit time in the student's research schedule for meetings required of all SROP participants and for the SROP conference.

Provide a detailed evaluation of the student's performance at the mid-point and end of the program.