Shoals Marine Lab Summer Research

The Shoals Marine Lab will resume operation in Summer 2021. Monitor the Shoals COVID-19 webpage for updates.

COVID-19: Implications for UGAR programs

Monitor College emails for the most current information. Note the following:

  • Travel: the College ban on domestic and international travel has been extended through fall term and may continue beyond that. UGAR will not fund any research that involves domestic or international travel until the ban has been lifted.
  • Campus access: campus residency for undergraduates in the upcoming academic year will be restricted to two terms and will be limited to students enrolled in classes. The implications of restricted campus access for UGAR programs are listed below. These restrictions also apply to research at the graduate and professional schools as well as DHMC.

Research Scholar programs 
(Presidential Scholars, Sophomore Research Scholars, Junior Research Scholars)

  • Summer term restrictions:
    • Funding only for remote research (no campus access and no domestic or international travel)
    • Not all research can be conducted remotely so discuss options with potential faculty research mentors
    • Students may opt to engage in these programs during a leave term (the leave term petition requirement is waived until further notice)
  • Fall term restrictions:
    • Remote research: students on a leave term OR students enrolled in classes but not in residence on campus may apply for research that will be conducted remotely from their current location. If any element of the research involves in-person interaction or access to locations outside of their current residence, students will need to justify the necessity of these elements and provide details about safety protocols and permissions.
    • On-campus research: only an option for students enrolled in classes AND in residence on campus. If any element of the research involves in-person interaction or access to labs or other campus spaces, students will need to justify the necessity of these elements and provide details about safety protocols and permissions

Research grants and fellowships
(Leave term grants, honors thesis grants, conference travel grants, Senior Fellowships, Stamps Scholarships, E.E. Just Fellowships, Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowships)

  • Summer term restrictions: 
    • No funding will be awarded for research on campus, including the graduate and professional schools
    • Students whose research can be done remotely from their current locations (i.e. NO travel involved) would be eligible for leave term funding
    • For leave term and honors thesis grants, see the Canvas application site for further information
  • Fall term restrictions: 
    • Travel: No funding for research that involves international or domestic travel
    • Leave terms: No funding for leave term research on campus (for specific guidelines about UGAR leave term grants, see the application Canvas site)
    • Enrolled on-campus terms: Funding for research on campus is only an option for students enrolled in classes AND in residence on campus. Students must provide a justification for any element of the on-campus research involving in-person interaction and/or access to campus spaces (including labs). Students will also need to provide details about safety protocols and permissions.

Program description

Grants for students to work on projects at Shoals Marine Lab full time during the summer. The Lab is on Appledore Island off the coast of Maine and includes research facilities and classrooms in addition to living space for faculty, students, and staff. Students interested in the program should work with a Dartmouth faculty mentor to develop a research proposal in marine biology, sustainability, earth sciences, or environmental engineering. Faculty mentors are expected to be in frequent contact throughout the project and will travel to the island for several days during the summer. Small groups of students (2-3) have the option to submit a group proposal as some projects may be more appropriate for a team rather than an individual. Faculty who have supervised projects at Shoals include Professors Celia Chen and Mark Laidre from the Department of Biological Sciences.  

For an insider's perspective on research at Shoals Marine Lab, check out the DUJS article by Leah Valdes '18 and Professor Mark Laidre.

Listen to these interviews with Professor Mark Laidre and past and present members of the Laidre Lab. (Episodes 5 and 6 of the podcast series.)


  • Applications are accepted in winter term for summer research.
  • Grants are intended for current undergraduates. In some cases, applications may be considered from students who will graduate at the end of spring term. 
  • Applicants must be in good standing with the college and eligible to participate in college-sponsored programs. Students who are withdrawn from the college for summer term (medical or personal leave, etc.) are not eligible.
  • Students who have previously received funding through UGAR must be in good standing in that program in order to be considered for a grant (e.g. submitted all required paperwork and final reports).
  • If you have questions about your eligibility, contact UGAR prior to the application deadline.

Application deadline

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until April 29, 2020

Application checklist

* Before beginning your application, read the application do's and don'ts.

Note that all materials are submitted online:

  • Recommendation request form
    • When you submit the request form, your research mentor will receive an email with a link to the online recommendation form
  • Application form
    • Use only letters, numbers, and basic punctuation (e.g. periods and commas).  DO NOT use any special characters (e.g. dashes, quotation marks, tildes, umlauts, bullet points), tabs, or line breaks
    • Read the guidelines for writing an abstract BEFORE you begin the form
    • Click "submit form" when you have entered all information
    • When you submit the form, you will receive an automatic email. Save a copy of this email as it is confirmation of your application submission
  • Research proposal
    • 4-6 double-spaced pages (this page limit does not include references, additional figures, etc.) 
    • Read the guidelines for the written proposal before submitting
    • The proposal is submitted as part of the online application form
  • Recommendation from your faculty research mentor 
    • Be sure to follow up with your faculty research mentor to make sure s/he received the email with the link to the form and is aware of the application deadline