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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.

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 12 for summer term, and in early October for the spring term.

National Academy of Social Insurance Internships

The Academy is now accepting applications for several 2021 internship programs. Students interested in improving the well-being of individuals and society are invited to apply. These internships are paid and located in Washington, D.C. Applications are due January 8 for the Rashi Fein Internship in Health Policy, January 29 for all other programs.

Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship

Gain real-world, hands-on research experience with the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy. This 10-week summer program is open to U.S. citizens who are currently undergraduate sophomores or above. Participants receive a stipend, travel reimbursement, and housing allowance. Applications due January 8.

Caltech WAVE Fellowship

This summer research fellowship of ten weeks (June 14-August 20) invites undergraduate students interested in the sciences and engineering to apply. Participants receive a stipend, free on-campus housing, mentorship from a Caltech faculty member, and professional development activities. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. Applications due January 9.

MD Anderson Cancer Center Summer Program in Cancer Research

This 10-week program provides undergraduate students with access to state-of-the-art facilities and the opportunity to contribute to ongoing cancer research with faculty mentors. Participants receive a stipend of $6000. Applications due January 14. 

Society of Physics Students Internship Program

This ten-week summer program provides undergraduate physics students experiences with research, education, and policy while working at various organizations in the Washington, D.C. area. Interns receive free housing, a stipend, and support to attend a national conference. Applications due January 15.

Clinton Global Initiative University

This program is seeking student leaders interested in taking action in their communities to address challenges related to education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health. Accepted participants will join year-round activities including the virtual annual meeting hosted by Howard University. Applications due January 15, 2021.

EERE Energy Storage Summer Internships

Hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy, this 10-week program provides students with the opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of a mentor. Participants receive a stipend, travel reimbursement, and a housing allowance. Applications due January 20.

PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies

This is a ten week (June 1-August 5), paid internship open to undergraduate students from all majors. Teams of interdisciplinary students will work to solve problems and make presentations to business clients. Applications due January 21.

Central Michigan University Great Lakes Research Experiences

This program supports training in great lakes research projects for undergraduate students for ten weeks (June 1-August 6) during the summer. Topics include limnology, fisheries biology, conservation and spatial ecology, molecular ecology, and microbial ecology. Participants receive a stipend, free housing and meals, and a travel allowance. Applications due January 29.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Applications are now being accepted for the 2021 summer research experience program in translational ecology. The program is ten weeks (June 7-August 13) and provides a stipend plus room and board and all travel expenses. Participants will conduct research in ecology with the support of faculty members. Applicants must be US citizens. Applications due January 29.

Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, this is a paid internship program for undergraduate students to gain professional experience and skills that complement the student's academic pursuits. Interns receive training while working on current transportation-related problems. Applications due January 31.

University of Utah SPUR

The Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) provides undergraduate students an intensive 10-week opportunity to participate in a mentored research project at the University of Utah. Available projects range from human medicine, engineering, humanities, social sciences, education, and natural sciences. Participants receive training, a stipend, room and board, and professional development activities. Applications due January 31.

Computationally-driven Experimental Biology

This program provides undergraduate students with training in how mathematics, computer science, and experimental cell biology are involved in contemporary biological team research. Hosted at Colorado State University and Virginia Tech (five weeks at each site), students will participate in mentored research projects while learning skills and techniques. Participants receive a stipend, all travel costs, free housing and meals during the program. Applications due January 31.

Frankel Cardiovascular Center SURF Program

Hosted by the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center, this summer research program provides undergraduate students opportunities to perform research on medical topics for ten weeks under the mentorship of FCVC faculty members. Participants receive a $4000 stipend. Applications are due January 31.


This 10-week summer program provides undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in neurobiology research at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute in Virginia. Participants receive a stipend and housing. Applications due February 1.

Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program

Hosted by the University of California Santa Cruz, this is a two year program that supports students in becoming conservation scientists. Undergraduates pursuing any major and currently in their first or second year of college are eligible. Summer research experiences, academic year programming, and winter workshops are included. Applications due February 1.

High Performance Computing Summer Internships

The U.S. Department of Energy sponsors this 10-week summer program for students to experience research in the field of high performance computing. Participants receive a stipend, travel reimbursement, housing allowance. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. Applications due February 1.

DOE and ACS Summer Schools in Nuclear and Radiochemistry

Highly motivated and curious undergraduate students are invited to apply for this 6 week summer course (June 14-July 23). The program sites are in California or New York. All expenses are paid for participants, who also receive a stipend of $4000 and college credit for completing the program. Applications are due February 1.

Van Andel Institute Summer Research Intern Program

Undergraduate students are invited to apply for this program that provides hands-on research experiences in the areas of cell biology, epigenetics, metabolism and nutritional programming, neurodegenerative science, and structural biology. Participants are paired with a faculty mentor for 10 weeks of intensive training. Applications due February 1.

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.

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 5.

Meharry Cancer SURP

This 10-week intensive biomedical research program is hosted by Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University. Participants receive mentoring from a faculty member, a stipend, free housing, and travel funding. Applications due February 5.

Chemistry @ West Virginia University

This summer research program for undergraduate students majoring in chemistry or biochemistry runs 10 weeks (May 24-July30). Participants must be US citizens. Participants receive a stipend, housing, meals, and travel reimbursement in addition to the opportunity to conduct mentored research in fundamental chemistry related to health and catalysis. Applications due February 5.

Arctic REU Greenland

This NSF-funded program is focused on developing skills in geologic mapping and field work to better understand earthquake propagation. Participants receive a stipend, additional money for gear, and materials. Travel, housing, and meals are provided. Applications due February 7.

Wake Forest Precision Medicine

The Center for Precision Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine invites applications from undergraduate students who have completed their sophomore year and who have an interest in pursuing a career in biomedical research. The program is 9 weeks during the summer. Participants receive a stipend. Applications are due February 8.

Plant Genomics @MSU

This program is targeted to undergraduates interested in biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemistry, bioinformatics, and computational sciences. Participants are embedded within a research group for the ten-week program (May 24-July 30) and will work on an individual, mentored project. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. Applications due February 8.

Nanoscience and Technology Summer Program

This program is hosted by the Nanoscience and Technology department at the University of Notre Dame. Participants perform mentored research projects with a team full-time for ten weeks, and receive a stipend and a variety of social and professional opportunities. Applications due February 9.

Robots in the Real World

This 10-week summer REU program is hosted at Oregon State University. It offers research experiences in all areas of robotics for students pursuing careers in computer science, engineering, mathematics, physics, social science, and related fields. Participants receive a $6000 stipend, housing allowance, and travel funding. Applications due February 10.

NIEHS Scholars Connect 

This program, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, provides opportunities for undergraduate students to receive training in biomedical research. Participants receive a stipend, career and professional mentoring, and conduct research. Applications for summer due February 10.

Mathematics at CSUSB

California State University San Bernardino offers this 8-week summer research program for undergraduate students with an enthusiasm for mathematics. Participants receive a $4800 stipend, free housing, and a meal allowance. Applications are due February 11.

Native American Summer Research Internship in Health Science

This program seeks third- and fourth-year undergraduates of Native American background to participate in research projects focused on the health sciences at the University of Utah. Participants are paid and receive travel funding, on-campus housing, and clinical shadowing opportunities. Applications due February 12.

New Generation Resilient Infrastructure

Undergraduate students are invited to apply for this 10-week summer research program at Virginia Tech. Participants will work on research problems involving infrastructure engineering, and will receive a $5000 stipend, on-campus housing and meal plan, and travel funding. Applications due February 12.

Rainfed Agriculture Innovation REU

Hosted at Kansas State University, this 10-week summer program is designed to introduce undergraduate students to the issues of world food and fiber needs. The participants will conduct mentored research on adaptive management, attend seminars on related topics, and work on a project in the areas of water-limited crop  and animal production. Participants receive a stipend, room and board, and travel funding. Applications due February 12.

Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering

Hosted by the University of Akron, this summer research program is open to undergraduate students interested in polymers (including chemistry, physics, engineering, and biomaterials). The 9-week program runs June 7 to August 6. Participants receive career skills, professional development workshops, a stipend, and on-campus housing. Applications are due February 12.

BIT SURE Research Experience at NCSU

The BioTechnonology-based Sequencing-based Undergraduate Research Experience will be virtual for the summer of 2021. Hosted by North Carolina State University, students are invited to apply for this ten-week research program (May-July)  that includes professional development activities and a stipend of $5500. Applications are due February 14.

Repperger Research Intern Program

This 10-week summer program is sponsored by the US Air Force Research Laboratory. Participants perform hands-on research under the mentorship of selected Air Force scientists. A stipend of $12000 is provided for full-time work June 7-August 13 at one of the three sites. Applicants must be US citizens. Applications due February 15.

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.

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). 

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).

Maryland Sea Grant REU in Estuarine Science

Participants will conduct marine science on the Chesapeake Bay for 12 weeks during the summer, with a faculty mentor. Students receive a stipend of $7200, travel expenses, and free housing at the research center. Applicants must be US citizens. Applications due February 19.

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).

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.

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).

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.

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).

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.