Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Student with wind energy models

Participating in research as an undergraduate is an opportunity for students to work closely with faculty, graduate students, and other undergraduates from other universities on research projects.

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.

“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 OSU 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.

Resources

Oregon State Undergraduate Research Framework (OSURF)

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 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.

Current REU Listings

University Research Topics/Key Words Application Deadline
North Carolina State University (Lead), Arizona State University, Florida A&M University, Florida State University, Missouri University of Science and Technology
FREEDM Systems Center REU Program in Engineering
Engineering Research, Power Systems, Renewable Energy Friday, May 9, 2014