Undergraduate student researchers and volunteers contribute significantly to research in the Department of Natural History. Each year, several hundred undergraduate students work on projects, including fieldwork, laboratory experiments, curatorial activities in the museum collections, and exhibit development.

These projects allow early researchers to gain experience working with research collections and analyzing and interpreting data alongside a team of professional scholars. In being part of the discovery process, students are encouraged to ask questions and develop research projects to suit their own interests and build a foundation for potential future investigations after graduation. As well as more informal work with museum researchers, there are also two competitive UF programs, the Emerging Scholars Program and the University Scholars Program, which provide stipends for selected students to work with mentors – see below for more information.


Students interested in volunteering, doing an internship, performing research for a senior thesis or class-based project, or registering for research credit, should consult museum faculty and staff in their area of focus. There is also a UF training module on how to be a successful undergraduate researcher available here.


The Emerging Scholars Program provides a stipend to undergraduate students involved in research projects with UF mentors. It is open to students in their freshman or sophomore year, with no prior formal research experience. Applications for the next round of funding are due November 22nd, 2023, and research will take place in the following Spring and Summer or Fall semesters. Students should submit their applications directly to the Center for Undergraduate Research as described at the above link. If there are more applications than the Florida Museum of Natural History is able to support, the museum’s University Teaching Committee will select the most meritorious.


The University Scholars Program provides a stipend to more advanced undergraduate students involved in research projects with UF mentors. Research will take place during Fall 2024 and Spring 2025, and students cannot be graduating before May 2025. See the above link for more details.

The Florida Museum of Natural History expects to submit the applications of up to 5 students who are working with museum mentors. The museum’s University Teaching Committee (UTC) will therefore review applications and submit the most competitive for consideration by the USP program. Please email applications to the UTC Chair, Dr. Keith Willmott (kwillmott@flmnh.ufl.edu), by February 16th, 2024, so that the UTC will have time to review them before the USP deadline of March 1. Applications should include:

1. The 2024-2025 USP application form, available here.

2. A one-page research summary.

3. Letter of support from FLMNH mentor, stating that the mentor will agree to supervise this project and providing any other information to support the student’s application.

If you have additional questions please contact Dr. Keith Willmott (kwillmott@flmnh.ufl.edu).