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Summer Research Opportunities Programs

Initiated in 1986 by the Graduate Deans of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) encourages talented underrepresented undergraduates to pursue graduate study, and subsequently, academic careers. At the University of Maryland, the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS), the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR), and the School of Public Health (SPH) offer exciting summer research opportunities consistent with the SROP’s goal of increasing the number of those underrepresented in the sciences. Explore this section to learn more about Summer Research Opportunities Programs at the University of Maryland.

BSOS Summer Research Initiative (SRI)

The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences' Summer Research Initiative (BSOS SRI) represents a long-standing commitment (since 1999) to increasing the diversity of those who pursue doctoral degrees in the social and behavioral sciences. The program provides rising juniors and seniors with an 8-week intensive experience to develop research skills, learn about doctoral training, and increase graduate training readiness. Departments involved in the SRI include African American Studies, Anthropology, Criminology & Criminal Justice, Economics, Geographical Sciences, Government & Politics, Hearing & Speech Sciences, Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, Psychology, and Sociology.

The 2021 BSOS SRI will be a virtual experience (Zoom and phone) to decrease potential exposure to COVID-19. We piloted the virtual SRI experience in the summer of 2020 and student participants reported high satisfaction with the quality of the research experience and the helpfulness of the online seminars for their preparation for graduate school.

Under normal circumstances, the SRI is a full-time, 40-hour-per-week commitment. Therefore, students participating in the virtual SRI model must set aside considerable daytime hours during the week to participate in all the activities. Although the program is not in-person, participants are required to attend all virtual seminars and program events, meet virtually with mentors and research teams regularly, and complete all research and professional development assignments. Participants will be expected to work with their faculty mentor or research team to prepare and share a video research presentation of their project at the end of the program. A high level of motivation, self-initiative, and ability to work independently is necessary for students to get the most out of the virtual summer training.

The 2021 program dates are Monday, June 7, 2021 - Friday, July 30, 2021.

BSOS SRI Contacts: Please send questions to the BSOS SRI Coordinator, Wanda Hauser, at

IMPORTANT: BSOS SRI applicants must complete BOTH (1) the online BTAA SROP application and (2) the BSOS SRI supplemental application. For guidance on the supplemental application please see the BSOS SRI Overview and Application Instructions and the BSOS SRI Supplemental Personal Statement Instructions.



College of Arts and Humanities SROP 2021: Peoples of the Historical Slave Trade (

Faculty Mentor: Daryle Williams, Associate Professor of History and Co-PI,

Generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the open-access site " Peoples of the Historical Slave Trade" invites scholars, family historians, and the general public to grapple with the opportunities and challenges of data-driven humanistic research and inclusive research communications in slavery studies. In 2021, will be working towards expanding the records available on the Hub, via strategic partnerships and rigorous peer review of new datasets and associated metadata; expanding educational resources, especially related to enslavement in Brazil and Maryland; and continuous alignment with FAIR Guiding Principles for Scientific Data Management and Stewardship. is led by faculty in Maryland’s College of Arts and Humanities as well as Matrix: The Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at Michigan State University. Across these two BTAA peers, the project’s Co-Principal Investigators coordinate, supervise, and collaborate with a team of humanists, data scientists, developers, information studies specialists, and student assistants. Each team member bears some responsibility for inclusive research communications, for disciplinary peers, traditional and new media, and funders.
The 2021 SROP researcher will join this effort, working closely with project partners to develop a suite of datasets to be published in the Journal of Slavery and Data Preservation as well as an accompanying twitter feed and podcasting series #behindthedata. 
Successful applicants will work closely with Co-PI Daryle Williams for 10-15 hours each week, attend weekly team meetings, and participate in seminars to learn more about the graduate school experience and the graduate school application process. Review criteria will include an expression of interest in public humanities. 
The 2021 dates are June 7 through July 30, 2021

Email questions to: 
Dr. Ralph Bauer -

Dr. Daryle Williams -


Summer Opportunities in Agricultural Research and the Environment (SOARE)

The AGNR Opportunities in Agricultural Research and the Environment (SOARE) is a partnership between the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) Dean’s Office, AGNR Academic Programs, and the UMD Graduate School. The Summer Research Opportunity Program is a gateway to graduate education. The goal of the program is to increase the number of underrepresented students pursuing graduate study and research careers in agricultural, environmental, nutrition and food science, and natural resource areas of study. SOARE provides underrepresented undergraduate students with an on-campus research experience to establish important relationships with faculty in their respective fields of study and to conduct graduate-level research under the supervision of a renowned AGNR faculty member. 

Students participating in the SOARE will spend the summer at UMD working closely with AGNR faculty members as part of their research teams. Students are expected to spend about forty hours per week working with their research teams and to be contributing members. Participants will attend weekly seminars to learn more about the graduate school experience, the graduate school application process as well as social activities during their stay.  At the end of the SROP period, students will have produced tangible results from experimental research and will report the results in a special research forum. Participants will also become acquainted with the culture of graduate school and learn what is needed and expected of them as graduate students in their respective discipline.

The 2021 (Virtual) program dates are May 23 - July 30, 2021

AGNR SOARE Contact:  Email questions to Dr. Evelyn Cooper, Director (

IMPORTANT: AGNR SOARE applicants will need to complete the online SROP BTAA application and then complete the UMD AGNR SOARE supplemental application. For guidance on the supplemental application please see the AGNR SOARE Personal Statement AND Essay Instructions


SPH Summer Training and Research (UM STAR)

The School of Public Health’s Summer Training and Research (SPH UM STAR) Program was launched in 2008 with funding from the National Institute of Health's National Health Lung and Blood Institute.

UM STAR is designed to provide traditionally underrepresented undergraduate students with two consecutive summers of a 10-week research training and career development program to enhance their potential to apply for and complete graduate degrees in biomedical and behavioral science relevant to preventing and treating cardiovascular disease. 

The 2021 program dates are TDB

SPH UM STAR Contacts:  Email questions to: / 301-405-2487  (Dr. James Hagberg, Director  /  Mr. Ryan Sapp, Coordinator)


Advantages and Benefits of Participating

  • Increase your knowledge of doctoral-level training.
  • Mentoring, networking, and enrichment opportunities through a faculty mentor, graduate students, fellow program participants, and professionals working on campus and throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.   
  • Lectures and workshops to enhance your knowledge of the graduate application process, assist you with negotiating the academic rigors of graduate school, and help develop your career path.
  • For SRI Program only, provides: round-trip travel, room and board in University on-campus housing, and $3,150 (before taxes).
  • For UM STAR program only, provides: round-trip travel, room and board in University on-campus housing, and $4800 (before taxes).
  • Graduate application fee waivers available for all participants.
  • Take advantage of our close proximity to Baltimore and Washington, DC - our nation’s capital.
  • The area supports a vibrant science and policy environment given the local network of universities and professional and scientific organizations.
  • A very large and diverse group of college students converge on the DC metropolitan area for summer internships.
  • Convenient and easy to use local transportation via an extensive subway and bus system.
  • Visit historic, social, and cultural offerings in Washington, DC; Baltimore; Annapolis; and beyond. Great diversity of people and events held throughout the summer. It’s exciting here in the summer.
  • Our campus is just a 2-hour drive from the beach or the mountains, and a short train ride away from Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City.

Who Should Apply

Applicants interested in BSOS SRI, AGNR SOARE, and SPH UM-STAR should meet ALL of the following requirements:

  • Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States
  • Be enrolled full-time at an accredited four-year higher education institution and obtain junior or senior status by the Fall 2020 academic year
  • Possess an excellent academic record including a 3.0 or better cumulative GPA
  • Be interested in pursuing graduate study in one of the offered SROP programs at UMD
  • Completion of the SRI or SOARE supplemental application which will require applicants to submit a current résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Please note:  Priority is given to summer applicants who intend to pursue a research doctorate

Please see department websites for specific faculty research interests, additional eligibility information, and important program information: BSOS SRI, AGNR SOARE, and SPH UM-STAR

How to Apply: 

All Big Ten Academic Alliance institutions share the same SROP online application, allowing you to apply to multiple programs with only one submission of your materials. To apply for an SROP program at the University of Maryland, please submit your application through the SROP Online Application, and be sure to choose the University of Maryland during that application process.  The SROP Online Application is open from November 1, 2020, through February 10, 2021. 

Supplemental SROP Applications for UMD programs

After completing the BIG Ten SROP online application, BSOS SRI and AGNR SOARE applicants are required to submit a supplemental application.  The supplemental application will ask a series of questions and require you to submit two documents - a current curriculum vitae (C.V.) or résumé and a 500-1500 word personal statement. Both of these documents must be prepared in a PDF file format.  The supplemental application can be found on the UMD ONLINE AWARDS PORTAL.  Before going online to complete your supplemental application, please review the instructions SRI and SOARE. 


BSOS SRI Application Guidance        

BSOS SRI Personal Statement Instructions


AGNR SOARE Personal Statement AND Essay Instructions



UMD SROP Program Dates & Application Deadlines

BSOS SRI 2021 June 7, 2021 - July 31, 2021 (Virtual)
SPH UM STAR 2021 Summer 2021 (TBD)
ARHU SROP 2021 June 7 - July 30, 2021
AGNR SOARE 2021 May 23, 2021, through July 31, 2021 (Virtual)
BIG 10 SROP Online Application Deadline February 11, 2021
UMD Supplemental Application Deadline  (SRI & SOARE) February 11, 2021


Contact Information

Contact Christopher Perez, Director, Office of Graduate Diversity and Inclusion for general SROP questions.
Contact Robyn Kotzker, Assistant Director, Office of Funding Opportunities for questions regarding system issues.
Contact / 301-405-3644 with questions about UMD Graduate School.
Contact the SROP program directly for specific questions regarding BSOS SRI, SOARE, ARHU SROP, or UM STAR.