Two young professionals discuss a research poster
Researchers sifting through material in a net on the beach

Freshwater@UW Summer Research Opportunities Program

The Freshwater@UW Summer Research Opportunities Program provides high-impact educational opportunities by facilitating immersive, hands-on mentored research experiences in freshwater science across the 13 UW Institutions. The program’s central aim is to support the growth of our freshwater research enterprise and freshwater workforce through collaborative, cross-system programming designed to train, recruit, retain and diversify the next generation of freshwater professionals

  • Work closely with research faculty and staff
  • Develop research skills, knowledge and abilities
  • Focus on science communication
  • Present your work at a capstone symposium
  • Learn about applying to graduate school from current graduate students
  • Gain exposure to diverse career paths and other post-graduate opportunities

The 2024 program will run May 28 – Aug. 3, 2024

Applications for this year’s cohort closed on Feb. 15, 2024

Want more info?

Freshwater@UW is a mentored summer research program offering a range of research opportunities. Students will review, then select their top five projects during application. This year, we will offer at least 25 funded positions. Students attending school within the UW System should list options off their home campus. Students from a university outside of the UW System may select research opportunities on any campus. Students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. See below for more information.

Freshwater@UW 2024 Research Project Catalog

Be sure to check out the important information below – particularly that related to Eligibility. Applications are closed for this year, but opportunities for next year will open on November 15, 2025.


Return to UW-Madison SROP Page

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Program details

Information for 2024

Dates: May 28 – Aug. 3

Location: Varies by project, sites include UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-La Crosse, UW-Green Bay, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Oshkosh and Manitowoc, WI.

Applications open: Nov. 1, 2023

Applications close: Feb 15, 2024

Stipend: $6,000 + $600 for food

Housing is provided, options vary by site but are usually dorm style.

Travel to and from Madison via plane will be paid by the program, travel by car is reimbursable

Orientation will take place from May 28-31 in Madison, the program will then aid with transportation off site for those working on other campuses.

Students will present a Capstone flash talk and poster on the UW-Madison campus on August 1, 2024. Check out the image of last year’s event to the right!

Event details:

Freshwater@UW + STORM Summer Research Symposium

August 1, 2024

3-5:30 pm

Wisconsin Institute for Discovery

330 N Orchard St, Madison, WI



If you are interested in water research, we’re here to provide an experience you’ll need to chart your career path. As a candidate you should:

  • Have a strong interest in water research. Graduate school hopefuls as well as those seeking employment in industry or government will benefit from this program.
  • Be an undergraduate student through at least the fall 2024 semester.
  • Maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale. Compelling applications from those with a lower GPA may be accepted when submitted with an exceptionally strong letter of recommendation.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Commit full-time to the research program, appx 32-40 hours per week. In addition, students may not be employees of the Universities of Wisconsin during the program.

Mentored projects

Our program is diverse, with projects that range widely: from microbes to maritime history, from hydrogeology to wetland ecology. Wisconsin has over 15,000 lakes and over 13,500 stream and river miles. The Great Lakes contain about 20 percent of all the liquid fresh water on Earth.

Wisconsin is a great place to come and study Freshwater!

Project Catalog Summer 2024

Past projects:  Freshwater@UW Project Descriptions – Summer 2023.

Accepted Students

Offers are in the works! We have just begun contacting candidates, but many decisions are still very active. We expect to notify all successful candidates by mid March.

For 2024 participants, program staff will be in touch soon with instructions on how to plan travel and what to expect for the summer.

So far, our calendar includes:

  • May 28 – arrive on UW-Madison campus
  • May 29 & 30 – Orientation programming
  • May 31 – UW-Milwaukee SFS Tour and Neeskay Voyage
  • Jun 1 – Travel to final research site
  • Thursdays, 4-6pm, Professional Development Seminar
  • Jul 31 – Travel back to Madison for Capstone
  • Aug 1, 3-5:30 –  Summer Research Symposium, UW-Madison Campus
  • Aug 2 – End-of-Summer Celebration
  • Aug 3 – Travel home


Program Contact:

Dr. Alison Mikulyuk
1975 Willow Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1103


Funding for the Freshwater@UW Summer Research Opportunities Program is provided by the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin*, Wisconsin Sea Grant, the UW Water Resources Institute and Water@UW-Madison. The program runs from late May 31 through early, August, 2024. We expect that student summer stipends will be similar to 2023, which were $6000 plus a $600 meal allowance. Housing and travel costs are provided by the Freshwater@UW program.  Applications will open on November 1.

* The Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin is a partnership of Wisconsin’s 13 public universities, connecting with industry partners, local communities, policymakers and advocacy groups.​ Its mission is to establish Wisconsin as a world leader in freshwater science, technology, entrepreneurship and economic growth. The Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin is training the next generation of scientists to solve global water resource problems through academic programs, collaborative research and career development across the UW System. Learn more at