Undergraduate Summer Research Program

Mentoring Summer Research Internship Program (MSRIP)


Established in 1987, MSRIP is an eight-week summer research program designed for UCR undergraduate students from educationally and/or economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Participants work under the supervision of a faculty mentor on the mentor’s research project. MSRIP is intended to encourage outstanding students from diverse backgrounds to pursue their PhD by strengthening their academic and professional development. The program provides an opportunity for these students to develop a competitive profile with which to seek admission to UC Riverside and the University of California in general, as well as colleges and universities nationwide.

At the end of MSRIP's summer program, MSRIP participants participate in our annual Symposium where students have the opportunity to present their research to staff, faculty, and peers. Visit our 2021 Symposium and 2022 Symposium for event details on past years. 

Primary Objectives

The program’s primary objectives are to:

  • Provide preparation for graduate studies through a variety of workshops.
  • Provide a mechanism that fosters faculty/student interrelationships.
  • Give the students a first-hand look at graduate opportunities at UCR.
  • Assist the students in realizing their potential for graduate studies both at UCR and at other institutions.
  • Provide the faculty mentors a recruitment pool through which to bring interns into their departments as graduate students. 

Potential Faculty Mentors

For Students: Students are encouraged to review the Potential Faculty Mentors list (on the right-hand side of this page under the 2023 MSRIP Application button). This list includes the names, research interests, and labs of UCR faculty who students may wish to work with. 

For Faculty: Faculty who are interested in mentoring a UCR student participating in MSRIP are encouraged to submit an interest form (on the right-hand side of this page). 

Note: The list is non-exhaustive, students may work with UCR faculty members who are not on the list. If a student requires assistance in reaching out to a potential faculty mentor (whether or not they are on the list) the APRO Office can assist. 

Program Dates

2023 Program Dates: June 26, 2023 - August 18, 2023
Please note dates are subject to change due to COVID-19.


  • Eligibility
    • Must be a U.S. Citizen, Permanent Resident or AB540 [NC1]
    • Students from UCR, including prospective transfer students 
    • Students interested in pursuing a graduate degree (i.e., master's, doctoral)
    • First-generation college students, those from socioeconomic hardship backgrounds, or students qualified by other pertinent criteria**
    • In good academic standing in undergraduate degree program 
    • Undergraduates must be enrolled full-time 

    **Though state law prohibits selection with preference based on race, color, national origin, or gender, students from minority backgrounds and women in underrepresented fields who meet the eligibility criteria are strongly encouraged to apply. 

  • Research Areas Available (will be based on faculty availability)

    To view the list of participating faculty for the 2023 academic year, please see

  • Program Activities
    • Weekly professional development workshops on topics pertinent to the graduate school application process
    • Guidance in developing a research abstract
    • Graduate student experience workshop
    • Making a successful presentation workshop
    • Cultural and social activities available
    • Research Symposium


  • Program Provisions
    • Stipend ($4500); please note stipend is subject to income tax)
  • Program Prohibitions
    • Outside employment during the term of the MSRIP program is not recommended.
    • Summer classes are also discouraged as program is a full-time commitment. 


  • Application Procedure, Deadline and Notification
    • Familiarize yourself with the program and indicate research area(s) you are interested in (please try to be as specific as possible).
    • Application requires biographical information, educational information, recommender information, and a one-page personal statement (see prompt below).
      • Submit unofficial college transcript(s) from all higher education institutions you have attended, including most recent grades. This option will be available on the MSRIP application. 
      • Submit one faculty (preferred) recommender contact information. Applicant will enter recommender's information on the MSRIP application, and they will be sent a recommendation form to fill out.
    • Complete and sign the application.

    MSRIP Personal Statement Prompt:

    The Personal Statement is required of all applicants. Please describe the strengths and challenges of your preparation for graduate study, your reasons for undertaking graduate study at the doctoral level and your career objectives. Provide your personal insights as to why you should be selected for participation in this program and what you expect to gain from this experience. In addition, please identify the contributions that you wish to make to your chosen field of study as well as to your community. You should address each of these topics in a statement not to exceed 1,000 typed words. (Please double space your statement)

    Application Deadline:  Applications will be open from December 1st to March 13th
    Notification Deadline:  TBA

  • Student Testimonials

    Coming soon...

  • FAQ
    1. Are international students eligible?

      • Yes. There will be additional paperwork to fill out, but they are eligible to apply! For more information please contact UCR International Affairs

    2. Are undocumented students eligible?

    3. What are some tips for the personal statement?

      • Read the question carefully, create a rough draft first and have someone read/edit it. We can review your personal statements! Make an appointment with us.

    4. What are some tips for reaching out to potential faculty mentors?

      • Ask peers about their experiences or search faculty lab websites/research publications for areas of research that you may be interested in joining. You can also look on our website for a list of potential mentors. There is an e-mail template provided to help get you started!

    5. Do I have to find a mentor myself?

      • Acceptance into the program is contingent on being matched to a faculty mentor. Also, you will benefit more from the program if you work with a mentor whose research you’re actually interested in. For this reason, we recommend that you at least browse our faculty mentor list and identify the NAME of a faculty member whom you might like to work with. Please list this on your application. Ideally, we recommend that you also reach out to this faculty member and let them know that you are applying.

    6. What is the time commitment?

      • Full-time 40 hour-a-week commitment. Schedule to be worked out with a faculty mentor. Mandatory workshops Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Occasional workshops/social activities outside of these days.

    7. What does the symposium look like? Do we have to complete our research project in 8 weeks?

      • You don’t have to “finish” your research in 8 weeks. You and your faculty mentor should come up with a plan that would enable you to make enough progress in 8 weeks that you can present something at the symposium - even if it’s inconclusive.

    8. What do the workshops consist of?

      • Preparation for applying to graduate school! Mostly surrounding personal statements, networking, choosing a program, succeeding with research, etc.

    9. Can we take summer classes?

      • It is STRONGLY recommended to NOT take summer classes. Workshop attendance is mandatory. In rare cases, we can make exceptions for transfers or seniors who might be unable to graduate without them. But please contact us directly to discuss your unique case. Also note that if you take out a loan for summer classes, financial aid will automatically apply your stipend towards your loan balance. We have no control over this.

    10. Where do I start with applying?

      • You can fill out the application found under the MSRIP or UC LEADS page on our APRO site. Applications open in Fall 2023.

    11. What is the time commitment for faculty mentors?

      • The actual time spent with the student conducting research will depend on the project. Typically, faculty mentors are expected to meet with their mentee at least once per week (or more often, if needed to check the student's progress and to communicate weekly goals). However, if faculty mentors are busy/traveling, they can deputize a grad student to work with the MSRIP student.

    12. Can students from other UC campuses apply for MSRIP/UC LEADS?

      • For MSRIP, yes - but housing is not paid for and they will be given lower priority. For UC LEADS, we want them to come to UCR for their second summer.

    13. Can seniors apply?

      • Yes, but only to MSRIP. The UC Leads program is a 2 summer commitment so it does not accept current seniors. For MSRIP, we have a specialized track designed for seniors graduating the Spring before MSRIP begins!

    14. What type of research do students do?

      • All kinds! Visit our website to view research projects from years prior

    15. Is housing provided?

      • No. UC Leads scholars have housing paid for during their second summer experience at another UC. UC Leads students do not have their first summer housing at UCR paid for, amd for MSRIP there is no housing provided.

    16. Does the stipend continue past the summer?

      • No, it will all be dispersed in the summer. There will be no mandatory programming after the summer program ends.

    17. Can someone with no prior research experience apply?

      • Yes, students with no prior research experience are especially encouraged to apply.

    18. Do I need a letter of recommendation?

      • You need a recommender - they will be sent a form with prompts they will need to answer about you. They will not be able to fill out the form until after you’ve applied. We recommend that your letter come from a faculty member, but a TA or employer is fine too. Whoever can best speak to your dedication, responsibility, and potential as a future researcher.

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