Research Mentorship Program

Research Experience

Students participating in the Research Mentorship Program are actively engaged in the pursuit of new knowledge alongside UC Santa Barbara researchers. To prepare participants for arrival on campus, the program will commence with a multi-day virtual component, designed to introduce students to resources that will support their success. During this portion, students will meet RMP mentors and learn about their research.

Students will convene at UC Santa Barbara for the Welcome Event that will kick off a rigorous six-week in-person experience. Research will begin the next day after students are matched to a project of their choice. 

four RMP students on laptops talking

Depending on the nature of their project, students will dedicate 35 to 50 hours a week to research. They will utilize library resources, participate in fieldwork, engage in data collection, and may occasionally find themselves working into the night. Over the course of the program, students will learn to effectively describe their research findings in a technical research paper, present at a formal academic symposium, and earn college credits that will become part of their permanent record. Due to its intensive nature, students may not concurrently enroll in other courses, activities, or programs during RMP. 

For more information about residential and commuter options, check out Cost of Attendance.

Research Project Selection

Our program is unique because it allows students to explore areas of interest from a wide variety of interdisciplinary research topics. They will choose projects and be paired with a mentor (graduate student, postdoc, or faculty) who is a field expert to conduct hands-on, university-level research.

Research topics change each summer depending on the available mentors; however, the focus is always on recent research developments that demonstrate the use of university-level methods of investigation in departments across campus. Research areas include, but are not limited to:

RMP student in lab with mentor



Anthropology Earth Science  Geography Music
Biochemistry Ecology Global Studies Neuroscience
Biology Economics History Physics
Chemistry Education Marine Biology Psychology
Chicana/o Studies Engineering Mathematics Sociology 
Computer Science Environmental Policy Media, Arts & Tech Statistics

Research Mentorship Program Courses

Students earn a total of 8 university credits by enrolling in two interdisciplinary research courses, described below. 

This course will introduce students to writing techniques that are specific to communicating research findings at a university level. Students will learn about the elements and construction of a formal research paper. This includes constructing an abstract, introduction, research goals and methodology, discussion and results, and references section. At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to translate their hands-on guided research experience in the field, library, or laboratory into a collection of findings that other researchers can build upon. 

As students conduct research, the exploratory course will prepare them to share their findings with varied audiences across different formats. Students will focus on oral presentation methods, poster presentation structure, and elevator pitch techniques. As part of this course, students will attend GRIT talk lectures and engage with UC Santa Barbara researchers who are seminal leaders in their fields. These researchers will offer insight into high-level interdisciplinary research while modeling a formal research presentation.

Competitions and Further Research

After completing RMP, students may wish to share their research experience in a variety of contexts, including but not limited to competitions, college applications, and other academic activities. In order to reference the research conducted during the program, students must receive proper permission from involved parties — their mentor, the Principal Investigator of the research project, and the Director of Academic Programs. Failure to receive proper permission is subject to legal action. In some instances, it is possible for our students to continue their research remotely throughout the school year, though this must only be done with the guidance and consent of the research mentor and the Director of Academic Programs.

For more information or to download the research consent form, please visit RMP Alumni Resources.


Previous Research Symposium Programs

2023 Program

2022 Program

2021 Program

2020 Program

2019 Program