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Student Research at Aquinas College

Research Opportunities


Programs & Experiences

Looking for a summer undergraduate research experience? The peak period for notices of this type of program is between December and March.

Institute for Women's Policy Research Internship Program

The IWPR, located in Washington, D.C., offers this internship program to train undergraduates in fundamentals of the non-profit sector and grow in policy research skills. Internships are available in Research or Accounting and Operations areas. These are paid internships with flexible time commitments, although they typically last one semester. International students and college students of all levels are encouraged to apply. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Marine Biological Institute REU

This is a 10-week research experience for undergraduates hosted at the Marine Biological Institue of the University of Chicago. Participants will be working at the field station in Massachusetts. Housing is provided, and participants will receive $600/week stipend.

Virginia Tech University Undergraduate Student Research Internship

The Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program provides this research internship program to support undergraduates from diverse backgrounds in pursuing graduate school. Participants conduct research with a faculty mentor for 10-weeks during the summer, prepare for the GRE, and receive career counseling. A stipend of $3000, free on-campus room and board, and social activities are included in the program. Applications due February 22. 

REU in Chemistry Using X-ray Crystallography

Hosted at Middle Tennessee University, this program provides undergraduate students with nine weeks of mentored research experience. Participants receive a $5400 stipend, travel allowance, and 1 college credit. Applications are due February 23.

Pathways Intern - Humanities Programs

This is a paid internship with the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities. This year, interns will work remotely. Applicants must be U.S. citizens with coursework in humanities disciplines. Applications due February 25.

Poster House Museum Internships

Poster House is the first museum in the U.S. devoted to the history and design of posters. Interns will work on a variety of topical projects (most projects are virtual for 2021) with supervision. Internships are paid an hourly wage. Applications due February 26.

National Security Undergraduate Intern - Computing and Analytics

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory seeks undergraduate students with a passion for solving critical national security challenges using advanced computational, statistical, and mathematical techniques. Internships take place during the summer with a May or June start. Salary and travel are provided. Applications due February 26.

Mechanisms of Evolution REU

This research program is hosted by the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Hypothesis-based projects will investigate one or more mechanisms of evolution, promote careers in science, reinforce the connection between genetics and evolution, and highlight the work of evolutionary scholars. Applications due February 28.

Smithsonian American Women's History Summer Internship

Undergraduate students with a commitment to women's history are invited to apply for this 8-week virtual experience. Participants receive a $750/week stipend and the opportunity to explore career paths, networks, leadership and mentorship experiences, and practical skills. Applications due February 28.

Microbiology of Low Oxygen Ecosystems REU at Montana State University

This program is designed to prepare undergraduate students to solve pressing scientific problems by understanding the critical role of microorganisms in ecosystems. Research projects cover three core areas: microbial interactions, metabolism and physiology, and community and ecosystem function. Participants receive a $6000 stipend for the ten-week program (May 24 to July30), on-campus housing, a travel allowance, and meals. Applications due February 28.

Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis Program at ORNL

Undergraduate students are encouraged to apply for spring, summer, or fall opportunities in nuclear engineering research. No citizenship requirement. Participants earn a weekly stipend and housing allowance. Applications are due January 6 (for spring), February 28 (for summer), and September 15 (for fall).

Virtual BigDataX REU

This summer research experience will be virtual. Mentors will come from either the Illinois Institute of Technology or the University of Chicago. Projects involve computing theory and practice and will last ten weeks. Applicants should be U.S. citizens majoring in mathematics, computer science, or engineering. Participants receive a $6000 stipend. Applications due March 1.

US Army Institute of Surgical Research Internships

These summer internships run from May 31 to August 6. Undergraduate students interested in research to improve the care of injured military service members are encouraged to apply. Students will participate virtually. Participants receive a stipend of $2750/month. Applications due March 1.

Smithsonian 50th Anniversary Internships

These paid internship opportunities for summer 2021 will be eight weeks long. Several project areas are available. Applications due March 1.

NeuroSURF

This 10-week summer program is hosted by the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute in Roanoke, Virginia. Undergraduate students in the program gain experience in hands-on, hypothesis-driven research in translational neurobiology. Participants receive a stipend and free housing. Applications due March 1.

Sustainable Groundwater REU

San Francisco State University and the California State University system offer this 9-week program across California. Undergraduate students collaborate with research mentors at CSU host campuses to develop projects related to groundwater and surface water sustainability. Applications due March 1.

Ohio Bird Sanctuary Internship

Two internship opportunities available in Bird Care and Education. Applications due March 1.

Mellon Scholars Internship Program

The Library Company of Philadelphia Program in African American History offers this internship to increase the participation of scholars from underrepresented backgrounds and others in the field of African American history. Interns will be rising seniors or recent college graduates and will receive a stipend of $1500 and additional support for travel and housing. The program runs June 1 to June 25. Applications due March 1.

Statistical Models with Applications to Geoscience

Hosted by the Departments of Mathematical Sciences and Ocean Engineering & Marine Sciences at Florida State University, this 8-week summer program provides mentored research experiences for undergraduate students interested in careers in statistics and data analytics. Participants receive a $4800 stipend, meal allowance, on-campus housing, travel funding, and seminars and workshops. Applications due March 1.

Biotechnology Bioengineering SURE at Keck Graduate Institute

This summer research experience for undergraduates focuses on interdisciplinary projects in the areas of applied molecular and cellular biology, bioengineering, computational biology, or drug discovery. Applications are due March 1.

Geoscience Policy Internship

Outstanding geoscience or geo-related engineering students with a strong interest in federal science policy are invited to apply for this semester- or summer-length internship with the American Geosciences Institute. Fall term (September through December), Spring term (January through April), and summer term (May through August) positions are available. Applicants must be legally eligible to work in the United States. Interns are paid a stipend. Applications are due April 15 for Fall, October 15 for Spring, and March 1 for Summer.

Coatings and Polymeric Materials at NDSU

Hosted at North Dakota State University, this summer research program provides undergraduate students majoring in chemistry, materials science, and related fields, the opportunity to conduct research in polymers and coatings with a faculty mentor. Participants receive a stipend and housing allowance. The program runs June-August. Applications due March 2.

University of Pittsburgh ASPIRE

This REU Program will be offered virtually in 2021. The ten week program focuses on research in rehabilitation engineering and assistive technologies. Students in all areas (especially engineering, math, and computer science) are encouraged to apply. Applications due March 12.

Slavery, History, Memory, and Reconciliation Internship

This is a joint project of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States and St Louis University. Interns have the opportunity to contribute historical research, genealogical research, and social media communications. Interns receive an hourly rate for 20 hours per week. Applications due March 14.

Undergraduate Robotics Research in Human Swarm Interaction

Hosted at West Virginia University, this program provides training and mentoring in robotics research. The 2021 program runs May-July. Participants receive a stipend, housing, meals, and travel expenses in addition to professional and career skills training. Applications due March 15.

Data Analytics and Statistics Summer Internships with NSF

The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites undergraduate students to apply for this summer research internship program, located in Alexandria, Virginia. Participants receive a stipend while performing statistical research in various scientific fields. Applications due March 31.

Antique Boat Museum Curatorial Assistant & Digitization Internship

This intern will provide assistance to the Curator of the Museum June through September, and will gain practical experience with archival materials and artifacts. The intern will be paid an hourly rate and receive free housing. Applications due April 16.

Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) with U.S. Department of Energy

This program encourages undergraduate students to pursue careers in STEM fields. Selected students work at one of the 17 participating national laboratories around the United States, performing research under the guidance of staff scientists and engineers. Appointments are for 10 weeks in fall (August to December), spring (January to May), or summer (May to August). Participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and will receive $500/week stipend, housing, and travel support. Applications are due late May for the fall term, January for summer term, and in early October for the spring term.

Texas Historical Commission

Various unpaid internships are available each year to provide undergraduate students experience in historic preservation careers. Applications are due May 1 (summer), September 1 (fall), and January 1 (spring).

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Research internships are available in a variety of fields related to environmental issues. Participants receive $550/week. Applications are due February 15 for summer projects (May-August), November 15 for winter/spring (January-April), and June 1 for fall (September-December). 

Higher Education Research Experiences (HERE) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The HERE program provides research opportunities for undergraduate students at various academic levels. Participate in cutting-edge projects, collaborate with prestigious international experts, develop solutions to pressing national problems. Those selected will also receive $500/week stipend and a housing allowance. Applications are accepted year-round, but apply by October 1 (spring), February 1 (summer), or June 1 (fall) for the best chance of a suitable placement in your preferred term. You must be 18 years or older, have medical insurance, and have a cumulative GPA of 2.5.

Professional Internship Program at NETL

This program of the National Energy Technology Laboratory is designed to introduce students to the challenges of conducting energy research. Participants interact with assigned mentors who guide their research activities. Applications are always accepted; for best results apply by February 15 for summer, June 1 for fall, and October 1 for spring appointments.

National Museum of the American Indian Internships

Students interested in museum professions and related fields are invited to apply. Interns complete projects using the museum resources with professional staff. Stipends range from $1000 to $8000 for a ten-week program. International, as well as domestic, students are eligible for these internship positions. Applications are due November 15 (for winter/spring), February 15 (for summer), and June 15 (for fall).

Cato Institute Internships

Undergraduates studying policy, communications, or law are invited to apply for an internship during fall semester, spring semester, or summer. Interns are paid a stipend of $1000 per month to work at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. Applications are due June 27 (fall), November 1 (spring), and February 15 (summer).

NASA Internships

Undergraduate students interested in NASA-related research topics should apply for these internships, held at various NASA sites. Interns are assigned to a career professional mentor while working for 16 weeks (10 weeks in summer) on tasks that contribute to operations or missions. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens with at least 3.0 GPA. Interns receive a stipend. Applications are due July 1 (fall), November 5 (spring), or March 8 (summer).

Oak Ridge Environmental Management Science Education and Internship Program

Offers undergraduate students and recent graduates opportunities to receive specialized training and practical experience on the safe cleanup of environmental projects. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute Grants and Fellowships

PCCI is located near Hastings, Michigan. A variety of research grants and fellowships for undergraduate students are offered during the summer including Environmental Research Grants (up to $13000; pre-application due November), the Steeby Land Management Fellowship ($4500), the Gordon Art Fellowship ($8000), and the Nature in Words Fellowship ($8000). All applications are due late January or early February.

Amway Internships

Search the Amway Careers site for internship opportunities available to undergraduates. Opportunities span many different disciplines and are offered year-round.

Aquinas Summer Scholars Grants

The proposal phase for 2021 will open in January. This program provides an opportunity for student-faculty pairs to pursue a collaborative project during the summer break. Projects may come from any academic discipline. The program includes a stipend of $1500 for the student and $1000 for the faculty mentor of each team. Requirements include a written report at the end of the summer and presentation of the results of the project during the Student Research Symposium next spring. The application form is available from the Flannery Hall reception desk. Questions may be directed to Dr. Elizabeth Jensen (UGResearch@aquinas.edu). The Writing Center staff is eager to assist you with your proposal.

Mohler-Thompson Summer Research Grants

Aquinas undergraduate students interested in participating in science or math research during the summer should contact any science or math faculty member to find out what projects are available and how to apply. Selection of students takes place between November and February.

Student Internship Program at Van Andel Research Institute

Summer interns work with closely with a Van Andel scientist for 10 weeks. The program provides training in research methods, procedures, and communication skills.

Summer Experiences in the Arts and Humanities

This listing is maintained by CURAH, the Arts and Humanities Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research.

National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates

Listings of all NSF-funded REU sites with contact information.

Plant Science Research Network Research and Funding Opportunities

This organization provides a list of opportunities for students interested in plant science.

Pathways to Science

Searchable database of science summer research opportunities.


Conferences & Publications

These opportunities are especially relevant for undergraduate researchers.

NCUR 2021

This undergraduate research conference will be all-virtual April 12-14. Students from all disciplines are invited to submit their work for presentation (due date for abstracts December 1). The conference also features a graduate school fair and networking sessions. Registration deadline March 19, 2021 (early registration discount available until January 31). 

Sigmi Xi Student Research Showcase

Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Honor Society invites students to present in the annual science communication competition. The Student Research Conference involves students from all areas of science. Abstract submissions are due March 26.

Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning & Community-Based Research

Publishes new, interesting research by undergraduates in all academic disciplines. Submissions are due August 15 for the fall edition, January 15 for the spring edition.

Fine Focus

Fine Focus is an international, peer-reviewed journal that publishes undergraduate research in all fields of microbiology. Submissions are due September 30 and March 30.

Midwest Journal of Undergraduate Research

This peer-reviewed journal is edited and published by a team of students and faculty at Monmouth College. Manuscripts from students in any discipline are accepted. Additional instructions for authors are available under "Call for Papers" at the linked website.

Undergraduate Journal of Service-Learning and Community-Based Research

This journal publishes reflective essays, analytical essays, research done in partnership with community organizations, research articles, and other types of work by undergraduate students. All manuscripts go through a review process.

CUR list of undergraduate research journals


Funding Sources

Aquinas Student Senate Research Fund

The SSRF provides small grants to help Aquinas students conduct research projects and travel to conferences.

CUR Travel Awards

Several divisions of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) offer funding to cover undergraduate student travel to present research at conferences. Aquinas is an institutional member of CUR.

Biology: Up to $250 is available for students presenting original biological research at a regional or national disciplinary meeting. Due dates are September and January.

Health Sciences: Up to $400 is available for students presenting original research related to the health sciences at the annual NCUR conference. Applications are due February.

Psychology: Travel awards ($200) are available from CUR's psychology division to support undergraduate students presenting original research at a regional or national disciplinary meeting. Faculty mentors must nominate students for these awards. Nominations are due October 15 and March 15 annually.

Physics & Astronomy: Up to $500 is available for support students presenting at professional meetings. Due dates are September 15 and April 19.

Social Sciences: Up to $200 will be granted to students presenting at national or regional meetings. Applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research Program

Grants of up to $1000 are awarded to students from any area of science and engineering, up to $5000 for astronomy research, and $2500 for vision related research. Funding can be used for travel expenses to and from a research site or for purchase of laboratory equipment. Membership in Sigma Xi is not a requirement. Students from any country are eligible. Learn how to submit the best grant application at the linked site. The two annual deadlines are March 15 and October 1.

ACM-W Scholarships for Attendance at Research Conferences

ACM-W provides funding for women undergraduate students in Computer Science and related disciplines to attend research conferences. The student does not need to be presenting a paper at the conference to receive support. Scholarship applications are reviewed six times a year for up to $600 ($1200 for intercontinental conferences). Certain ACM special interest group conferences will also provide free registration and a conference mentor.

Council on Undergraduate Research

Register here and graduate schools may invite you to apply for their programs based on your interests and experience. 
For more information contact Dr. Elizabeth Jensen, or Dr. Michael McDaniel.