The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is located in Woods Hole, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, about two hours south of Boston. It was founded in 1930 by a group of scientists who wanted to create a centralized institution for studying oceanography. Its rich history includes many scientific achievements in oceanography, such as the discovery of hydrothermal vents and the sunken Titanic.

WHOI, on the southern point of the beautiful Cape Cod

Their Summer Student Fellowship is a summer research award designed for undergraduate students interested in oceanography. The program is very competitive, with admission rates of around 12%. Students finishing up their junior year of university from all over the world are eligible to apply. The program typically accepts around 30 students per year, 2-4 of which are international students. Students are awarded with 10-12 weeks of housing, stipend at $520/week, and travel reimbursement of up to $500. Although international students would have to pay a 14% federal tax on the award, this program pays much more than minimum wage and many expenses are covered, so do not let financial restrictions prevent you from applying.

Students work on a range of projects, from engineering to biological, chemical, physical, and geological oceanography. Students supplemented with the choice to participate in a range of activities, from the Summer Lecture Series, a cruise, to other interesting recreational paraphernalia. Students after this program typically go on to do awesome things in oceanography (jelly, brah? I know I am…). Generally, this program is a holistic experience that is both perfect for students interested in oceanography and for the WHOI faculty in meeting prospective graduate students. I strongly encourage interested students to apply – it may become one of the best experiences of your life!


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