Opportunities in Research and Creative Arts at CCNY

What is ORCA?

ORCA— Opportunities in Research and Creative Arts — is a CCNY program that seeks to engage students in cutting-edge research, scholarship, and creativity at City College. The program provides an opportunity to work closely with a City College full-time faculty member in a 10-week summer immersion program. ORCA does not provide course credit but does provide financial support in the form of a stipend and a supply budget.

Past projects have included lab and archival research, textual scholarship, the digitization and curation of collections, service learning opportunities with community partners, and collaborative art.  Projects may be conducted either one-on-one with a faculty mentor or in small teams. (For teams, each student member must apply individually).  We particularly encourage interdisciplinary approaches to problems. Descriptions of some of last year’s projects can be found here.
The strongest applications allow the student to work in an apprentice role on the faculty member’s research, articulating a well-defined project for the student that makes a contribution to the faculty member’s research agenda.

Students are required to present their projects in the form of a poster, web page, or video presentation at  the ORCA symposium held in the fall.

If you have any questions, please contact the ORCA Project team at  orcaproject@ccny.cuny.edu .


Choice of Mentor:   

Applicants should identify and develop a proposal with a member of the full-time faculty at City College.


Undergraduates at any point in their studies who have completed their first year (or equivalent), have a CCNY grade point average of at least 3.0, and will be enrolled at City College in Summer or Fall 2023 are eligible for the summer ORCA program.

Review of applications will start on March 15, 2024 and will continue until positions are filled 

Required information:  

1.     A brief description of experience relevant to the project, career goals, and reasons for applying to the ORCA program (250 words)

2.     A project proposal (500 words), written by the student in consultation with the faculty mentor.  This should include a description of the work that will be done and its aims, as well as the larger research agenda to which it contributes

3.     An itemized budget of up to $500 for the project. The budget should include explanations for each item, detailing why it is essential to the project

4.     A copy of your transcript (uploaded as part of the application)

5.     After the student applicant submits an application, faculty advisors will receive an email requesting a one-page letter of support from the faculty mentor, indicating willingness to supervise the project, detailing experience with the student, and evaluating the student’s qualifications for the project


Applications must be complete to considered. It is the applicant’s responsibility to confirm that the faculty member submits the letter of support.