International Summer Research Program

Students engaged in field research

The International Summer Research Program (ISRP) provides students from partner universities with an opportunity to engage in a research internship under the guidance of a faculty mentor at UC Santa Cruz during the 8-week UCSC Summer Session which runs from mid-June to late August.

The Division of Global Engagement administers the ISRP in collaboration with academic departments at UC Santa Cruz. Partner universities are invited to nominate their students to apply after project summaries are announced in late fall.

A successful launch for International Summer Research Program

During summer 2021, 19 international undergraduate students participated as virtual interns in the pilot of the International Summer Research Program (ISRP), conducted in collaboration with the Baskin School of Engineering. Read more.


Internships are conducted over the 8-week Summer Session at UCSC (exact dates vary each year, see official academic calendar). For summer 2024, program dates are: June 24 to August 16, 2024.

  • Sunday, June 23
    • Student Interns arrive to UCSC
    • Move-in to campus housing
  • Monday, June 24
    • Welcome Orientation & Lunch
    • Program begins

* Note: Tuesday, July 4th is Independence Day, an observed public holiday

  • Friday, August 16
    • Farewell Luncheon
    • Program ends
  • Saturday, August 17
    • Student Interns depart UCSC


ISRP Program Fee: $1,600
Inclusive of application processing, pre-arrival support, airport transfers, welcome orientation and farewell luncheons, and certificate of completion. Additional costs are not covered by this Program Fee, including but not limited to:  airfare, mandatory health insurance, U.S. embassy/consulate fees for visa application, any materials fees specific to the research project, and any other personal expenses.

On-campus Housing and Meal Plan for 8 weeks

Pricing for summer 2024 will be confirmed in late winter 2024. Prices below are estimated based on past pricing and 8-week program duration.  Actual housing and meal plan charges will be based on the Student Interns’ duration of stay, room type, and meal plan selected by the Student Intern.

  • Double occupancy room w/ shared bath and kitchen: ~$2,300 (estimated)
    Single occupancy rooms may be available for an additional nightly, per-person surcharge, to be determined. Pricing is for room only; Meal plan selected separately.
  • Meal plan (“Flexi-Dollars”): ~$700 – ~$1,400 (estimated)
    Meal plan pricing for 2024 is yet to be determined but an estimate for 8 weeks is provided above.

Total Program Cost: $4,600 – $5,800 *

* This is an estimated range only and subject to change. Final summer 2024 pricing will be provided to prospective Student Interns as soon as it is made available by UCSC Housing and Dining Services in late winter 2024.


Designated mobility staff at partner universities will be asked to review each of their students’ applications and provide an endorsement, certifying that each student meets the following eligibility requirements:

  • The student is in good academic standing, and is currently enrolled in and pursuing a degree program at their home institution.
  • The student will return to their home institution to complete their degree following participation in the internship program.
  • Participation in the internship will fulfill objectives for the student’s current degree program.
  • Participation in the internship is approved by the student’s home institution (faculty or staff academic advisor).

Note: Application endorsement does not guarantee placement in an internship. Faculty sponsors may have limited space in their labs/projects and intern selection may be competitive. All student applications will be reviewed by faculty and selection will be made based on applicant qualifications, motivation, and suitability for the specific research project(s) outlined in the internship descriptions. Final decisions regarding student selection for an internship rests with the UC Santa Cruz faculty.


  • Late October 2023
  • January 22, 2024
    • Deadline to receive completed and endorsed student applications (Extended deadline: February 29)
  • Late January to Early February 2024
    • UCSC faculty review applications and select student interns
    • Faculty may choose to conduct online interviews with students before final selection decisions
  • Late February to early March 2024
    • Notification of results sent to students and partner universities
    • Students must confirm acceptance of internship before placements are finalized
  • February – May 2024
    • Selected student interns request DS-2019 and apply for the J-1 Student Intern visa at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country

Step-by-Step Overview

Step 1:  Student Submits the Application via InfoReady Application Portal

While a student may only be selected for and participate in one internship, they may wish to be considered for possible placement in up to three internship opportunities. Students interested in this possibility will submit up to three separate applications, indicating their order of preference for placement on each application (i.e. first choice, second choice, third choice).

Detailed application instructions are available within the InfoReady Application Portal. Applications will require the input of basic student biographical information, and upload of the following supporting documents:

  1. Statement of Interest
    • Write a Statement of Interest (500 words or fewer) introducing yourself and explaining your motivation for applying to participate in a summer research internship with a faculty member at UC Santa Cruz. Please be sure to address the following points in your Statement:
      • Highlight any past research experience, academic or personal experience, skills, and/or interests as they relate to the research project in which you are seeking an internship placement.
      • Discuss any future academic and career goals, and how your participation as a student intern will help to advance those goals.
      • Provide any other relevant details that would help faculty to evaluate your preparedness to undertake a research internship.
      • Note: Students should write a separate Statement for each internship to which they may be applying.
  2. Resume/CV
  3. Official copy of most recent academic transcript
  4. One letter of recommendation (from a professor/academic advisor)
  5. Proof of English proficiency (if applicable) such as TOEFL/IELTS scores; Faculty may also elect to conduct online interviews w/ applicants.
Step 2:  Partner University Reviews/Endorses Student Applications

Endorsement by the home institution serves as confirmation that the applicant meets the program eligibility requirements, as listed above under ‘Eligibility’. 

Partner universities will be requested to designate a single contact (mobility staff or faculty advisor) who can review and endorse their students’ applications in the application system. These designated mobility staff will be notified by email once the application system opens for intake of student applications in early November.

Step 3:  UCSC Faculty Review Nominees; Notification Emails Sent

Students will receive email notification of their application results. During the review period, students may also be contacted for an interview with the faculty before final selection decisions are made.

Step 4:  Student Confirms Internship Placement

Students who have been selected will be notified by email to log in to the iGlobal system – the UCSC International Student & Scholar advising platform – to confirm their acceptance of their internship placement, and to initiate their request for the DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility to apply for a J-1 Student Intern visa. During this step, students must provide additional biographical and passport information and upload the following as part of their DS-2019 request (more detailed instructions will be provided within the iGlobal system):

  1. A copy of the photo page of the student’s valid passport
  2. Financial documentation
Step 5:  Student Applies for J-1 Student Intern visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy/Consulate

U.S. embassies act as headquarters for U.S. government representatives abroad. They help U.S. citizens and non-citizens with travel and immigration-related issues.

Contact Partnership and Program Manager Colin Cole.

Last modified: Apr 26, 2024