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

The following apply to ALL UGAR programs (additional policies for specific programs are included below):

  • Travel: the College has imposed a travel ban on both domestic and international travel. UGAR will not award funding for travel until the ban has been lifted. Students should not submit applications to the Provost's office for travel waivers as those will be denied. Note that UGAR may extend its ban on funding international travel even if the college lifts the institutional ban.
  • Campus access: access to Dartmouth-affiliated buildings and facilities, including libraries and research labs, is restricted to undergraduates who are approved by the College for on campus enrollment.
  • Research labs: undergraduates who are approved by the College for on campus enrollment may have access to some research labs but NOT for research with faculty affiliated with Geisel or Tuck. Access to research labs requires special permission, and students may not engage in lab-based research until they have secured the relevant permissions and sent confirmation of approval to UGAR. Information about the restrictions and procedure for requesting research lab access is detailed in the policy on undergraduate research for academic year 2020-2021.
  • Student status: if students withdraw from the College for any reason (in good standing or not), they are not eligible for UGAR programs during the terms in which they are withdrawn. If students are accepted for a UGAR program in a given term but withdraw from the College during that term, they must contact UGAR immediately. See the College webpage on withdrawals for more information. 

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

  • Remote research: students living on or off campus, whether enrolled in classes or on a leave term, are eligible to engage in remote research. Students are not eligible if they are withdrawn from the college for any reason, even if the withdrawal is in good standing. If any element of the research involves in-person interaction or access to locations outside of a student's current residential location, 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 who are approved by the College for on campus enrollment. 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)

  • 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 who are approved by the College for on-campus enrollment. Students must provide a justification for any element of on-campus research involving in-person interaction and/or access to campus facilities (including labs). Students also must confirm that they have obtained the appropriate permissions and will follow the established safety protocols.

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