Get paid!

Pictured: There’s a reason they spell it phy$ic$.

Although many labs will have you start as a volunteer during the academic year to see if you like it, usually after about a semester you might be able to ask for pay (even as a work-study) or academic credit. Certainly if you end up staying in St. Louis over the summer, it’s nice to have a paid job ($4000 for 10 weeks is the standard stipend from the Office of Undergraduate Research).

Sometimes your mentors will be able to pay you an hourly salary directly out of their grants (especially if they do experiment), but more often than not you’ll have to find funding yourself. Here are some places to start:

You can also look into summer research opportunities. These will generally pay at minimum your room, board, and travel, but often come with a generous stipend as well.

Washington University SPS