OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Student with wind energy models

The School of EECS has a world-class faculty that are at the forefront of advances in many areas including transparent electronics, renewable energy, end user software, faster wireless and computing technologies, and big data. It is a great opportunity for students to work on the cutting edge of science and technology with faculty, graduate students and fellow undergraduates.

 “Hands-on research experiences for undergraduates help students to see the bigger picture and aspire to greater things,” says computer science professor Margaret Burnett.

For Kyle Rector, now a doctoral student at the University of Washington and a former Oregon State student who collaborated on research with Burnett, it was all of those things. Before earning her bachelor’s degree she had already co-authored several studies, won a Google Scholarship, a graduate fellowship from the National Science Foundation, and earned national recognition in her field.

“My undergraduate research experience is the reason why I am in computer science today,” Rector says.

How to Get Involved in Research

If you are interested in becoming involved in research in the School of EECS, start by finding someone who is doing research that is interesting to you. You can browse the faculty descriptions, or look through the research areas. You can contact a faculty member through email, or if you’d like some help getting started, contact your advisor.

There are also opportunities for research at other universities. Most undergraduate research programs are conducted in the summer and deadlines are usually during winter term, so you should think ahead if you’re considering participating in a summer research program. Some universities have opportunities year-round. Many programs offer stipends, travel support, on-campus housing and meals.

Oregon State Resources

Oregon State Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and the Arts (URSA)
This site is a resource for undergraduates and faculty looking to participate or implement undergraduate research.

Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship & Creativity (URISC)
The URISC program is intended to enable OSU undergraduate students to initiate a scholarly relationship with faculty early in their academic careers. Faculty mentors are expected to assume financial responsibility for student research activities if they continue beyond the initial URISC sponsorship.

OSU University Honors College
Research experience leading to a thesis is a hallmark of the University Honors College.

National Resources

National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Sites
NSF funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites program. An REU Site consists of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers. Students are granted stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel. Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. An REU Site may be at either a US or foreign location.

NASA Undergraduate Student Research Program
This program offers undergraduates across the United States mentored internship experiences at NASA Centers and research support facilities. The NASA Undergraduate Student Research Program is NASA’s largest nationwide internship program.

Department of Energy/Argonne National Laboratory
Offers several programs including lab internships, research aide appointments, research experiences in accelerator physics, and cooperative education appointments.

Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) Internship Program
With a network of colleges and universities across the nation and a wide range of federal agencies as sponsors, ORAU administers a broad range of internships, scholarships, fellowships, and research experience programs.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) HS-STEM Summer Internship Program
Provides students with the opportunity to conduct research in DHS mission-relevant research areas at federal research facilities located across the country.