Science and Research Office

Joan Toohey
Olin-Rice 271

Rebecca Hoye
Chemistry Professor
Olin-Rice 390

Liz Jansen
Biology Professor
Olin-Rice 220

Electronic Student Research Application

Students applying for on-campus summer research positions in Math and the Sciences for summer 2016 will use the Electronic Student Research Application (ESRA) process.  This process provides a systematic way for students to know if faculty members are doing research and the requirements/skill sets needed to work in faculty members’ labs. The steps involved in the electronic application include:

  • Review faculty descriptions
  • Talk with faculty about their research
  • Submit an application, and continue talking with faculty. You may apply to as many as four (4) professors' labs

Applying For A Summer Research Position at Macalester

There are three steps to complete BEFORE you apply for summer research opportunities at Macalester for summer 2016. Do not submit your application until you have completed the following steps:

  1. Read about faculty research to learn more about all the research done on campus. Select up to four faculty members with whom you would like to work. It is always a good idea to talk with the faculty members to learn more about their research and whether it would be a good fit for you based on your coursework to date, experience and goals. The faculty descriptions for summer 2016 will be updated and available by Dec 1st.  
  2. Understand how research on campus is funded
    Depending on the lab and a faculty member's funding, you may need to complete additional steps or applications.
  3. Complete your application. The actual application consists of your resume, your college transcript, and a cover letter that is individualized to the faculty member with whom you hope to work.  The following are resources that can help you with:

       Developing a professional resume

       Writing an effective cover letter

       Tips on how to download your transcript

Submit your Application
Once you have read about faculty research projects, understand how research is funded at Macalester and what additional steps may be required of you, and how to apply using this system, you are ready to submit your application! Label the documents in your application as <coverletteryourlastname>, or <resumeyourlastname>. For example, coverletterJones or resumeJones. Either pdf or doc format is fine. Use the ESRA moodle site  to submit your application. You may submit your application beginning on January 6th, 2016.

NOTE: It is important to understand that this process is designed to streamline applications and allow faculty members to be aware of who is interested in doing research with them. Submitting the electronic application does not guarantee with whom you will work or even that there will be a position or funding for you next summer. Completing and submitting the application is the first step but you should also talk with faculty members, your advisor and apply to many opportunities both on and off campus.

Important Dates
Keep the following dates in mind as you make decisions about summer research.

  • Dec 1: Begin to review faculty descriptions
  • Dec-Feb: Talk with faculty about their research
  • Jan 6: First day to submit applications, continue talking with faculty
  • Feb 7: Last day to submit applications for some faculty

Some faculty will have an application deadline later than Feb 7th.

Helpful Reminders
The following may help you succeed in obtaining a summer research position.

  • Decide what you would like to accomplish during the summer
  • Review the descriptions of faculty research and take note of eligibility requirements
  • Talk with the faculty member about his/her research and demonstrate your interest
  • Talk with your academic adviser about opportunities you are exploring
  • Remember to also explore and apply to opportunities off campus

Most importantly, apply to multiple programs. Although there are many positions available for student research, they are competitive. It is best to complete applications for several opportunities both on and off-campus.