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.

Pathways to Computing Program

The Pathways to Computing Internship Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a 10-week summer program that provides undergraduate students with research projects in computer science, computational science, and mathematics. The program runs June 3 to August 9, 2019. Participants receive $500/week stipend, housing allowance, and travel assistance. Applications are being accepted now and positions will be filled on a rolling basis; apply as soon as possible for the best chance of being selected.

ADAPT4U Research Assistantships

The ADAPT4U (After Deployment: Adaptive Parenting Tools) Research Study is looking for students interested in gaining research experience working with millitary families in West Michigan. The study seeks to evaluate tools to support millitary famility as they cope with the stresses of deployment and reintegration. Research assistants would conduct in-home assessments. Assessments take place during weekday afternoons and evenings and on weekends. Applicants must be willing to travel up to an hour from Grand Rapids; drive time and mileage is compensated. This part-time assistantship pays $15/hour. Contact Suzanne Tydd ( or 612-624-9675).

DOE Scholars Program

Open to undergraduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields, DOE Scholars have the opportunity to explore a federal career with the Department of Energy as they apply their education, talent, and skills to a variety of projects within DOE. U.S. citizenship is required. Undergraduates also receive a minimum stipend of $500/week and financial support for travel. Applications for 2019 appointments are due December 17, 2018.

Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship

Provides undergraduate students an opportunity to develop research skills working at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Fuels for 10 weeks during summer 2019. The program may place students at any one of ten DOE sites around the country. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, hold U.S. citizenship, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and be at least a college sophomore at an accredited college. Participants receive a stipend and may be eligible for housing and travel allowances. Applications are due December 17, 2018.

Urban Water Innovation Network Summer Research Program

Undergraduate students will have the opportunity to perform research of immediate relevance to people in urban areas. Students will interest in urban water sustainability, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering are invited to apply. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents. Participants receive $4500 stipend, housing, and travel assistance. The program starts and ends at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Applications are due January 25, 2019.

FREEDM Systems Center at North Carolina State University

This summer research experience is open to undergraduates majoring in electrical and computer engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, materials science engineering, computer science, and related fields. Participants will work for 10 weeks conducting research at North Carolina State University and receive a $4000 stipend and on-campus housing. Travel assistance is available. Applications due January 27, 2019.

PIKSI Summer Institutes

Applications for the 2019 PIKSI Summer Institutes are now being accepted. PIKSI (Philosophy in an Inclusive Key) at Penn State University and MIT seeks to encourage underrepresented students to study philosophy. Transportation, room and board, and a stipend are provided to participants. Applications due January 31, 2019.

National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure Programs

Twelve member sites of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure group are offering summer research experiences to undergraduate students. Specific technical areas vary by site but projects are available within the broad fields of physics, chemistry, materials science, electronic devices, and biology/biomechanical engineering. Most projects are 10 weeks long and all include a stipend, housing, and travel support. Some sites also include meal plans. Students must apply to each site separately. The earliest due date for applications is January 31, 2019.

Center for Engineering MechanoBiology

This summer research experience for undergraduates involves interdisciplinary projects that allow students to develop research skills in physical science, biological science, and engineering. Participants receive a stipend, housing, travel assistance, career development and social activities. Two locations: University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and Washington University in St. Louis. Participants must be U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents. Applications are due February 1, 2019.

Perrigo Undergraduate Summer Fellowship

The Life Sciences Institute (LSI) at the University of Michigan offers this 10-week program. Undergraduates currently enrolled in any Michigan college or university are invited to apply to work with world-class researchers at the LSI.The program takes place June 3-August 9 and participants receive a $4000 stipend and $1800 in housing support. Applications are due February 1, 2019.

Growing Up STEM

This 10 week summer research opportunity at North Dakota State University is for undergraduate students interested in STEM education. Projects will be diverse and interdisciplinary. Participants receive on campus housing, a $5000 stipend, and immersion in education research. The program runs May 28-August 2. Applications are due February 1, 2019.

Boulder Solar Alliance Summer Research Experience

Students will conduct research on a range of space-based topics for 10 weeks. Students are mentored by leading experts in technical and experimental fields. Participants receive $500 per week stipend plus a food allowance and free housing. Applications are due February 4, 2019.

Monterey Bay Regional Ocean Science Research Experience

Hosted by California State University Monterey Bay, this 10 week program offers undergraduate students an opportunity to collaborate with mentors to develop hypothesis-driven projects. The program takes place June 3 through August 9, 2019. Participants receive a $5000 stipend, travel and housing support. Applications are due February 11, 2019.

Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering Program

Hosted at the University of Akron, students will participate in an 11-week research experience to investigate a fundamental question within the broad disciplines of polymer science and polymer engineering, including chemistry, physics, engineering, and biomaterials. Participants will also have research and career development activities, discussions outlining their research progress, and visits to regional companies. Students will receive a $5500 stipend and $2000 for housing. The program runs May 28-August 9. Applications are due February 15, 2019.

Math and Statistics at James Madison University

This eight week program provides undergraduate students the opportunity to work with faculty mentors on problems involving mathematics or statistics. The program takes place May 20 through July 12, 2019. Students receive a $4500 stipend, housing, and travel assistance. Applications are due February 21, 2019.

Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis (NESLS) Program

This summer program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) provides nuclear engineering research opportunities and associated activities for undergraduate students. The program includes a stipend of at least $500/ week, commensurate with experience, travel and housing support, and professional development activities. U.S. citizenship is not a requirement. Candidates must be at least 18 years old, enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university, and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applications for summer 2019 are due February 28, 2019.

Coatings and Polymeric Materials SURE Program at North Dakota State University

Summer 2019 research appointments are available for undergraduate students studying chemistry, materials science, chemical engineering, and related fields. Participants receive a $4000 stipend and an allowance for housing (on-campus housing is available). Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, enrolled at a U.S. institution, and ideally will have completed their junior years before the program starts. Applications are due March 1, 2019.

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.

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.

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 2018 is now closed. Proposals for the next round of grants will be accepted beginning in January 2019. 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 Academic Affairs Office or at the Flannery Hall reception desk. Proposals are due to the Academic Affairs Office by 4:00 p.m on the third Friday in February. Questions may be directed to Dr. Elizabeth Jensen ( 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. The 2018 round of grants is now closed.

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.

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.

2019 CUR Posters on the Hill

An annual undergraduate research poster session on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Members of Congress and their staffs talk to the researchers about their projects and about the importance of undergraduate research. The date for this event has not been finalized yet, but will likely be in April 2019. Open to all disciplines. Submissions are due November 9.

2019 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR)

This annual conference is open to undergraduate research students from all disciplines and attracts oral and poster presentations from every State in the nation. This year, the conference will be held April 10-13 at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. It is a wonderful opportunity to network with other students involved in research. Submissions are due December 4.

Conference of Undergraduate Research & Scholarship

Hosted at Monmouth College (Monmouth, Illinois) this conference on April 12-13, 2019, welcomes oral and poster presentations by undergraduate students from any discipline. Conference participants are also invited to submit manuscripts for the annual volume of Conference Proceedings. Abstract submission for the conference due January 31, 2019.

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. Submission deadline for the 2019 issue is January 15, 2019.

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 1, 2018, and January 12, 2019.

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 January 20, 2019.

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 February 15 annually.

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

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.

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.