What to Expect


Students in the program will each work in a faculty-mentored research group. Research project descriptions for the 2020 program are available online.

After the program completion, many previous participants have elected to continue their research beyond the summer, publishing and presenting papers at professional conferences.


The eight-week 2020 program is expected to begin Monday, June 8 and end on Friday, July 31, 2020. All participants should plan on arriving in Austin no later than the day before the orientation session, to be announced. In certain circumstances, students needing to arrive late or leave early due to conflicting academic calendars can be accommodated; please contact us with the specifics of your request.


Program participants are expected to make a full-time commitment to the program, with on average 40 hours per week spent in the field and lab. Participants are expected to attend all program seminars and events, to complete any assignments in anticipation of and as follow-up to each of these events.

Participants must also be prepared to engage in field work may include (but is certainly not limited to) hiking, caving, camping, and boating. This field work can occur in extremely hot weather and/or inclement conditions and can last as long as 1-2 days.

All participants must provide proof of health insurance coverage for the entire duration of the program.


All students will be housed in a UT dormitory and the costs of the dormitory and meal plan are included in the program. Each student will be awarded a stipend of approximately $3,800 for the summer, and some travel funds will be available to help defray the cost of traveling to Austin. Receipt of the full salary amount will be contingent upon completion of the program requirements.


For information about visiting Austin, check out the official Austin Tourism site and Austin’s WikiTravel page.

Participants must purchase airfare and arrive by the day before orientation, to be announced. Only reasonable round-trip airfare to Austin can be reimbursed as a result, unnecessary fees or tickets of excessive cost may not be fully reimbursed. If you have any questions about your airfare, please contact our office, esi@esi.utexas.edu.

Instructions on transportation from the airport will be provided to participants via email along with additional program details.