Volunteering (with no pay or academic credit received)
Am I allowed to participate in research, clinical, or shadowing opportunities as a volunteer?
- Yes, any Hopkins student in good standing is allowed to participate in any research, clinical, or shadowing opportunity in any division or office of the Johns Hopkins Institution with or without compensation as long as it has educational value.
- Please see the University Volunteer/ Visitor Flow Chart for guidance and links to the detailed policies. This can be shared and/ or downloaded to help clarify university guidelines with your mentor or other departments and leadership.
How many credits can be earned for independent research, internship, or independent study?
- You may earn up to 6 credits for independent work per academic year. The academic year begins in the summer.
- You can register for 1 to 3 credits of independent research or internship work in the summer, fall, intersession, or spring terms until the 6-credit limit is reached.
- 40 hours of work (over a semester) equals 1 academic credit hour
- Internships can earn 1 credit per term and count toward the 6-credit maximum of independent work per academic year.
- Independent research for credit requires vary between majors. Always check with your academic or faculty advisor to verify your project qualifies.
How do I register to receive credit for independent research?
- You may register as soon as class registration is open for a given semester.
- The deadline for fall or spring semester is the Friday of the 6th full week of the semester. The deadline for summer or intersession is the same as the deadline for adding a class in those terms. There are no exceptions to these deadlines!
- Find position/ project and confirm the faculty member will serve as the faculty sponsor for the project.
- If it is a Homewood (ASEN) faculty, just confirm credits, grading method, course title, assignments.
- If the faculty member is not Homewood appointed (School of Med, Public Health, SAIS, etc.), you will need to identify a Homewood faculty member that is willing to act as sponsor for the project (so they can post your grades to SIS). Your mentor and faculty sponsor will communicate to confirm credits, grading method, course title, assignments with each other and you.
- Your faculty advisor can often serve this role. If not, check with your academic advisor for guidance.
- Go to SIS, under the registration menu and click Online Forms, and select Independent Academic Work.
- Complete the form, providing full explanations where needed, and submit the form.
- The form will go directly to your faculty sponsor for approval. Once the sponsor approves it, it will show in your Confirmed Enrollments screen in SIS.
What is a faculty sponsor?
A faculty sponsor is a full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty member in KSAS or WSE or another faculty member specifically designated to serve as a faculty sponsor. Your faculty sponsor is responsible for determining the appropriate academic product you will submit for grading and will submit your grade and award credits in SIS at the end of the term. The academic product you will produce is determined at the time of registration, not after you have completed the experience.
How will I be graded for my research?
Research can be conducted either for a letter grade or for S/U. Some majors have requirements for research and may define specific rules for any research used to complete a major requirement. You must have an academic product at the end of the term that can be evaluated. Again, check with your major department or your faculty sponsor for more details. You should be clear about this expectation when you register for research.
Do I have to pay to register for independent research in the summer?
No, you are not charged tuition for registering for research, internship, or independent study credits during the summer.
Can I register for more than one independent opportunity in a semester?
Yes, but only for a total of 3 credits per semester (6 per academic year)
How can I find a paid research position?
- There are very few paid research positions offered across the university.
- Paid positions are usually based on a faculty member’s funding flexibility. Most grants do not account for undergraduate pay.
- Faculty posting projects on ForagerOne may identify their opportunity type as paid.
- Look for funding opportunities in HOUR’s Programs Database
- If you require funding to be able to participate in research opportunities, please contact HOUR@jhu.edu, come to office hours, or schedule a meeting with staff to discuss options.
General Hourly Pay Guide
- JHU has committed to a minimum wage of $15.00/hour, including for undergraduate students in paid positions.
- Wages will likely vary by the skills required and experience the employee has.
- JHU students may work no more than 20 hours/week for JHU employers during Fall and Spring semesters.
The vast majority of undergraduates participate in research opportunities just for the experience to expand their knowledge or determine their interest in a particular field or specialized area.
Undergraduates who are contributory to a research project (whether paid, for credit or volunteer) can:
- List the experience on their resume as a Research Intern or Research Assistant (these are interchangeable)
- Present their research at university events like DREAMS, at NCUR hosted by the Council on Undergraduate Research, or (with mentor approval) at professional conferences. These can be listed on your resume under a “Presentations” category.
- Publish their independent research (with mentor support) or be listed as a co-author on a publication if documented contributions were made to the project. These can be listed on your resume under a “Publications” category.