Skip to content
For WHOI personnel and vendors: COVID-19 Guidelines


The application for summer 2021 will open in late November. We are planning for an in-person program although the format will be determined by safety and health regulations due to COVID-19. We will offer a remote or hybrid program, if needed. In 2020, our entire program continued in a virtual format.

Summer Student Fellowships are awarded to undergraduate students who are completing their junior year at colleges or universities and are studying in any of the fields of science or engineering including but not limited to the fields of biology, chemistry, engineering, geology, geophysics, mathematics, meteorology, physics, oceanography, and marine policy. Students must have at least a tentative interest in the ocean sciences, oceanographic engineering, mathematics, or marine policy. Persons from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

WHOI actively recruits underrepresented minorities in ocean science as defined by the National Science Foundation (African-, Hispanic- and Native-Americans, and Pacific Islanders) in all of our education programs, as well as programs of the Woods Hole Diversity Initiative, such as the Woods Hole Partnership Education Program.  More information can be obtained by contacting:


In addition to the on-line application form, the following are required:

  • A current CV or resume that shows educational background and work experience;
  • A current unofficial transcript, a PDF document. (Note: An Official Transcript will be required from any applicant who receives a Summer Student Fellowship.);
  • At least three letters of recommendation from professors or others familiar with the applicant's academic credentials (Recommendation forms are available through the link on the References page.);
  • A completed Course Record worksheet (within the application) listing undergraduate coursework by subject category, primary textbook used for each course, and the grade received for completing the course;
  • A research statement, no longer than three double-spaced, typewritten pages, that addresses the following five questions:
    1. How would a summer of research at WHOI benefit your education and career plans?
    2. What skills do you expect to obtain from this research experience?
    3. What skills do you have that would make you a good researcher?
    4. Have you previously been involved in research projects as part of your classwork, a job or an internship? If so, what skills did you apply or gain from this experience?
    5. What areas of marine research are you interested in and why? You may refer to a specific lab at WHOI or a general area, see WHOI Areas of Research and 2020 Potential Projects

You may access an application form by using the link on the right. Once you have submitted an on-line application, use the 'Application Status Login' link to submit any remaining application materials, or to monitor the status of your application.

Please Note: Applicants must direct their reference writers to the References page on this website. References listed on a student's application will not be automatically contacted by the application server.
» View the References page

Questions can be directed to:

Completed applications must be submitted by February 5. Applicants will be notified of decisions in mid March.

All students who are offered a position at this REU Site have until March 15th or later to accept or reject the offer. Any student who is asked to accept or reject an offer prior to March 15th should contact the NSF Division of Ocean Sciences REU Program Director, Elizabeth Rom.

Funding for this REU site is provided by the National Science Foundation's Division of Ocean Sciences located in Arlington, VA. (Award NSF REU OCE-1156952) The NSF contact for this program is Elizabeth Rom. NSF does not handle REU applications; please contact each REU site directly for application information.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Organization.

Deploying a plankton net from the R/V Tioga. (Kama Thieler, WHOI)