Student researchers play a critical role in the world-changing discovery, innovation, and breakthroughs taking place across campus.
The School of Science strongly encourages undergraduate students to take part in the Institute’s vibrant research enterprise. Several programs are in place to help students identify undergraduate research opportunities.
Undergraduate Research Program
Every year, the Office of Undergraduate Education sponsors more than 700 students participating in the Undergraduate Research Program (URP). The URP is open to all students.
Whether the choice is to join and augment an ongoing research project, or to seek faculty guidance in pursuit of research ideas, the program provides students with the opportunity to make research an integral part of their Rensselaer undergraduate education.
Under the URP, students may pursue research for academic credit, as a paid assistant in a research project, or for the experience of working in the labs of world-leading Rensselaer faculty researchers.
As a paid assistant, the Office of Undergraduate Education provides matching funds for students who receive a stipend from a sponsoring department or faculty member. Research opportunities are available during the academic year.
Summer Undergraduate Research Program
The Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) is a unique, exciting opportunity for students to spend the summer months immersed in leading-edge research with their faculty advisor.
Application to the 10-week, full-time program begins with the submission of a research proposal that is competitively reviewed by a panel of faculty members.
Geared for more seasoned undergraduate researchers, SURP includes a research stipend for students and is a rich, sustained research experience that will be a memorable and rewarding component of the academic career.
School of Science 2015 SURP Application Form (PDF)
Additional Funded Research Opportunities
There are many other undergraduate research opportunities at Rensselaer. With the help of faculty members, many students secure external funding to pursue research opportunities in their field of interest. Grants and other funding awarded to faculty members often include a dedicated budget to support undergraduate research experiences.
Many different research centers at Rensselaer regularly engage undergraduate researchers during the academic year and in the summer months.
The Office of Undergraduate Education and faculty researchers can also assist students in identifying summer research opportunities at federal laboratories around the country, or international research internships around the globe.
Research Conferences and Publications
As undergraduate researchers, students have the opportunity to showcase their research findings to faculty and peers in a professional setting at the annual undergraduate research conference at Rensselaer.
Students may submit papers to be assessed by a panel of faculty members, and many prizes are awarded. Rensselaer encourages all students to seek out opportunities for presenting these papers at national conferences, or to co-author expanded articles with faculty mentors for publication in research journals.