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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 include African American Studies, Anthropology, Criminology/Criminal Justice, Economics, Geographical Sciences, Government and Politics, Hearing and Speech Sciences, Psychology, and Sociology. 

The 2020 program dates are May 25, 2020-July 31, 2020.  

BSOS SRI Contacts: Email questions to: / 301-405-1097

IMPORTANT: BSOS SRI applicants will need to complete the online SROP BTAA application and then complete the BSOS SRI supplemental application. For guidance on the supplemental application please see the BSOS SRI Application Guidance and the BSOS SRI Personal Statement Instructions.  



Student Research Opportunity Program (SROP) Summer 2020
African American History, Culture and Digital Humanities (AADHum) initiative

The Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) in African American History, Culture, and Digital Humanities (AADHUM) at the University of Maryland is a gateway to graduate education at Big Ten Academic Alliance universities. The goal of the program is to increase the number of underrepresented students who pursue graduate study and research careers in the Digital Humanities. This program helps prepare undergraduates for graduate study through intensive research experiences with faculty mentors and enrichment activities. 

The College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland invites applications for a Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) in Black Digital Humanities (DH). The University of Maryland is the home of the Maryland Institute of Technology in the Humanities (MITH), one of the premier hubs in Digital Humanities, an emergent field of inquiry bringing together the arts and humanities with digital technology and new media studies. MITH and the College of Arts and Humanities have launched the African American History, Culture and Digital Humanities (AADHum) initiative.

AADHum tackles a significant, persistent challenge in higher education: promoting a Black Studies framework that centers Black life in humanistic inquiry amid transformation by digital technologies, while also constructing pathways to inclusive excellence across the humanities. A grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2015 enabled the AADHum team to lay the foundations necessary to meet these challenges by developing an integrated model of scholarship, training, and community engagement in African American cultural and historical studies within the digital humanities space. Through a thriving program of research, instruction, professional development, and institutional change, AADHum has played an instrumental role in growing the nascent field of Black digital humanities. Extended by a second major grant, the current iteration of AADHum (through 2022) extends the initiative’s scholarly network, refines and exports its technical and professional frameworks, and expands the career pipeline in Black digital humanities. AADHum’s ambition, ultimately, is to model excellence and innovation for students, scholars, and humanities scholarship in higher education and cultural heritage throughout the United States.

Successful applicants will work closely with an AADHum faculty mentor for 10 hours each week, and attend weekly seminars to learn more about the graduate school experience, the graduate school application process as well as social activities during their stay. AADHum is interested in working with students from humanities and social science with an interest in Black DH.

The student researcher will work on the University of Maryland Restorative Justice Project developing a digital work whose episodic structure integrates with and extends on-the-ground historical and contemporary events centered in a restorative justice paradigm. Through curation of primary sources from institutional and community archives and oral histories, each episode of this ongoing work establishes a continuum of racialized violence and also makes the same investment in establishing a continuum of resistance. Historian Vincent Harding refers to this phenomenon as “a great black river” that ebbs and flows, but nonetheless is in constant opposition to white supremacy. Curating this data offers the opportunity for analysis, meaning making, and a grasp--even if tentative--on negotiating an ongoing history. The student researcher will contribute to developing the interactive map locating sites of violence and resistance on and near UMD’s campus.

Email questions to: 

Dr. Ralph Bauer

Dr. Aleia Brown

Dr. Trevor Munoz

The 2020 program dates are June 1, 2020-July 24, 2020. 


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 2020 program dates are May 23, 2020 - July 31, 2020. 

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 2020 program dates are June 3, 2020 - August 8, 2020.  

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, 2019, through February 10, 2020. 

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 2020  May 25, 2020-July 31, 2020
SPH UM STAR 2020  June 1, 2020, through August 6, 2020
ARHU SROP 2020 June 1, 2020-July 24, 2020
AGNR SOARE 2020 May 23, 2020, through July 31, 2020
BIG 10 SROP Online Application Deadline March 1, 2020
UMD Supplemental Application Deadline  (SRI & SOARE) March 1, 2020


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.