Student Funding

The ERI supports student research in environmental sciences, including multidisciplinary work on projects that cross boundaries of environmental sciences, social sciences, policy, humanities, and other multidisciplinary collaborations.  For projects in environmental social sciences and humanities, students may apply to the Class of 1942 Environmental Studies fund. ERI funding is available to support the following (links are accessible to .vassar.edu users):

  1. Mentored research
  2. Summer research, internships, or field science courses
  3. Travel to conferences and meetings

1. Mentored Research Funding Support

The Collins Student Research Fund is administered by Vassar’s Environmental Research Institute (ERI) for the purpose of supporting student environmental research. Funding requires Vassar faculty mentorship within a department or program. Funds up to $1000 will be awarded for students to engage in faculty mentored research. A full research proposal must be submitted  Proposals to fund student research are accepted on a rolling basis, with a preference given to those submitted by  the Monday after Fall break and the Monday after Spring break.  A sample (funded) application is provided here.

Application form for Mentored Research Funding


2. Summer Environmental Research/Internships/Field Science

Summer Environmental Research/Internship/Field Science Funds

ERI funds up to $3500 for students to pursue summer environmental research projects, internships, or field science courses of ~8-10 week duration. Courses other than field science courses are not ordinarily considered. Applications for summer support will be evaluated on a competitive basis.  ERI will fund up to $5000 + cost of carbon offsets if travel is included (the budget should include carbon offsets for travel from Terrapass or another similar site). Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with preference given to those submitted by the Monday after Spring Break.  Check out the blog for some previous student summer experiences!

To Apply: please submit the Application Form for Summer Environmental Funds

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Summer NOAA College-Supported Internship Program

ERI is proud to partner with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to support student participation in the summer NOAA College-Supported Internship Program which places students with NOAA scientists  to conduct marine or atmospheric (e.g. weather and climate) research, policy, communication, or outreach work.

Funding Information: If students are accepted into this program, ERI will provide a student stipend of equivalent to $5000 for a 10 week in-person placement as well as up to $300 travel assistance to travel to the onsite internship location.

There are two steps to the application process. The first step is to submit the application materials listed below to ERI for consideration. If your application is accepted by ERI, then NOAA will work to place you into one of their internship positions.

To Apply (deadline February 1, 2024): To get started, visit the NOAA Summer Internship website (Current Opportunities) to read about the various placement opportunities, and identify your top three placements. Please do not directly contact the mentors listed on the NOAA website (if you are accepted for placement, NOAA will put you into contact with the mentors). Submit the following materials as a single pdf file by February 1, 2024 to the ERI coordinator (joschwarz@vassar.edu)

  • Resume (including your email and phone number).
  • A personal statement that includes: (1) three projects from the website that you are interested in, (2) the name and contact information for a reference, (3) what you are looking to gain from the internship and how it fits into your academic experience at Vassar, and (4) if the position requires specific skills, please describe your experience with those skills.

If your application is accepted by ERI, NOAA will then work to place you into one of your top choices and determine the internship begin/end dates and other logistical details.


3. Travel to Meetings and Conferences

The ERI has funding available to support student travel to environment-themed meetings and conferences, particularly where the student is presenting work. This funding is meant to supplement funds available from other sources.  Applications should include funding for carbon offsets from Terrapass or similar.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and are to be emailed to Darcy Gordineer (dagordineer@vassar.edu)

Link to Student Travel Application


Questions about Collins funding can be directed to any member of the ERI steering committee: Lynn Christenson (Biology; Coordinator); Alison Keimowitz (Chemistry; Coordinator); Jodi Schwarz (Coordinator); Mary Ann Cunningham (Geography; director of Environmental Studies Program); Jeff Walker (Earth Science and Geography); and Yvonne Elet (Art History).