Summer Research Opportunities

Explore your research interests this summer

Every day, the faculty of the University of Delaware engage in groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research, and they want to invite interested undergraduate students to join them for summer research opportunities.

Summer research opportunities, available within most academic programs, enables undergraduates with personal research interests to work closely with expert faculty mentors to gain experience with graduate-level research that has real-world applications.

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Summer Opportunities for Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors (SOURCE) Program

The UD SOURCE - Summer Opportunities for Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors (formerly URS) program provides summer research opportunities for college students who are not currently enrolled at the University of Delaware. The program is designed to prepare, motivate, encourage and support students who want to learn more about the graduate school experience and possibly pursue an academic or research career.

Learn More About the SOURCE Program

Opportunities Outside of the Graduate College

Work closely with CANR researchers on projects that provide real-world experiences in scientific careers.

The University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UD CANR) is offering summer research and education experiences to undergraduates (both UD and non-UD students) who are interested in pursuing an advanced degree in the agricultural, natural resources or life sciences.

Please contact Eric Benson with any questions

Note from the Coordinator:

Participation in the Summer Institute is awarded through a competitive application process. Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are encouraged to apply. The Summer Institute seeks diversity among its participants and thus particularly encourages student applicants who are from groups that are underrepresented in the nation’s scientific or agricultural workforce.

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Brain Camp gives students intensive introduction to neuroscience

This workshop for undergraduates is a two-week intensive learning experience in cognitive and brain sciences. Topics covered include optogenetics, multiple methods in brain imaging (with labs), neuropsychology, language, spatial perception, social cognition, replicability and more. Furthermore, a few students can apply to do research over the entire summer at the University of Delaware. This workshop is free thanks to generous support from the National Science Foundation.

Please contact Yolanda Williams-Bey with any questions

Note from the Coordinator:

Generally, participants are provided with an intensive experience in cognitive neuroscientific research via lectures, hands-on labs and discussion, led by faculty at the University of Delaware.

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Gain an in-depth understanding of Delaware policy issues

Classroom concepts and hands-on practical experience come together for students selected to participate in the Summer Undergraduate Public Policy Fellows Program.

Through this scholarship program, students conduct research with faculty and staff in one of the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration’s affiliated research centers—the Institute for Public Administration or the Center for Community Research and Service—on public policy issues such as aging, civic engagement, education, the environment, healthcare, healthy communities, homelessness, housing discrimination, land-use planning, poverty, transportation, welfare and water resources planning.

Fellows learn about policy issues from leaders in the field, network with practitioners, and witness classroom concepts come to life through research and public service.

The Summer Undergraduate Public Policy Fellows Program runs for 10 weeks for a total of 300 hours. Fellows take a required UNIV course that includes two field visits outside of work hours and receive a $3,000 scholarship.

Please contact Lisa Moreland Allred with any questions

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An opportunity to work in a state-of-the-art biomechanics research lab on an independent project

The Center for Biomechanical Engineering Research (CBER) at the University of Delaware offers a comprehensive Research Experience for Undergraduates who “Dare to BE FIRST” which will establish Biomechanical Engineering Foundations in Impactful Research, Science and Technology (BE FIRST). We take advantage of faculty expertise in osteoarthritis research to train qualified minority undergraduate students in essential research skills for biomedical engineering.

Note from the Coordinator:

After admission, students will submit a description (250 words) of the proposed research project related to the REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) theme, written by the student, typically in collaboration with the matched faculty research advisor.

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Become part of a multidisciplinary team

The Center for Composite Materials (CCM) offers undergraduate students the opportunity to work in the University’s Composites Manufacturing Science Laboratory as members of multidisciplinary teams, addressing real problems on a variety of research topics. The summer research complements the theory of academic coursework with the practice of the laboratory and often paves the way for internships with industry, continuation of research during the academic year, independent research, co-authoring of papers and the opportunity for students to present their research at our annual Research Symposium in August.

Please contact Robin Mack with any questions.

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Improving Delaware’s environment and economy through research and education

Delaware EPSCoR has funded more than 350 undergraduate research internships at the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Wesley College and Delaware Technical Community College since 2004.

The Summer Scholars program takes place over a 10-week period beginning in June and culminating in August with the presentation of research results at an undergraduate research symposium. In addition to completing an independent research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor, interns participate in skill-building seminars on such topics as choosing a graduate school, research ethics and making research presentations and posters. Summer Scholars typically receive a stipend of $4,000.

Prospective interns are generally expected to identify a research project and mentor, although help is available at each institution for students who need assistance in making connections with faculty.

Please contact Yolanda Williams-Bey with any questions.

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The Delaware INBRE Summer Scholars Program is an undergraduate summer research program sponsored through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) through funding to the Delaware INBRE program. In a partnership with six state institutions, including ChristianaCare Health System, Delaware Technical Community College, Delaware State University, Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, the University of Delaware and Wesley College, selected undergraduate students are able to carry out independent research projects while studying full-time under a mentor to gain knowledge of research techniques and making unique scholarly or original impacts to the biomedical sciences.

Please contact Linda Polasko with any questions.

Note from the Coordinator:

Scholars will be required to sign an agreement adhering to all terms and conditions of the program. Underrepresented minority groups and veterans are especially encouraged to apply. Regional summer opportunities also are available in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Contact the Delaware INBRE education office at inbre-education@udel.edu, for more information.

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Spend your summer exploring energy research

The Delaware Energy Institute (DEI) along with the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation (CCEI) offers summer internships to a select group of motivated undergraduates and first-year graduate students (officially accepted to UD) to work on independent research projects under the guidance of a faculty mentor and graduate student or staff scientist.

Please contact Allie Sethman with any questions.

Note from the Coordinator:

The summer session program concludes with a poster presentation at the University of Delaware’s Undergraduate Research and Service Scholar Celebratory Symposium in August. In addition, students participate in career-development activities such as research ethics, communication skills, laboratory safety training and field trips to industry. Students will be expected to work 40 hours per week for the duration of the program.

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Participate in paid summer research at the University of Delaware

UD Envision is an undergraduate research experience funded through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) focused on generating the next generation of agricultural scientists. As minorities are underrepresented in these disciplines and research target areas, this project has been developed to address this disparity. Intensive, hands-on research education and experiential learning projects help to bridge the perceptual change required for students to Envision themselves as scientists. The faculty areas of research span the disciplines of 'One Health,' food security and environmental sustainability.  

Please contact Mark Parcells with any questions.

Note from the Coordinator:

The summer includes training in video equipment, editing, and storytelling, ethics, laboratory, and safety trainings, and participation in camraderie-building activities.

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Research the many facets of marine science

Interns work with faculty and research staff in a research-intensive atmosphere on a research topic in chemical, physical or biological oceanography, marine biology, marine geology, or marine biogeochemistry. Students develop their project under the guidance of their faculty mentor and present written and oral reports at the end of the summer. Interns also attend weekly research seminars, professional development presentations and field trips to nearby coastal marine systems.

Please contact Dr. Joanna York with any questions.

Note from the Coordinator

Supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Ocean Sciences, this REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) program awards 10 science, engineering and mathematics undergraduates summer internships to conduct guided research in marine science.

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We’re providing immersive research, educational and mentorship experience for undergraduates at Delaware State (DESU) and Claflin (CU) universities through a Pathways to Graduate School program. Our MRSEC Fellows program enhances exposure of HBCU undergraduates to materials science, expands their academic networks and facilitates their transition to an R1 environment. This new pilot program is intended to become a fully-functioning pathway/bridge program in science and engineering that provides:

  • Fellowships to support HBCU student research and coursework at UD
  • Co-mentorship by UD and DESU/CU faculty members
  • Fellow Seed grant opportunities to fund DESU/CU mentors to conduct research at UD (UD providing facility access with mentee)
  • A joint seminar series between UD, Delaware State, and Claflin faculty and students
  • REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) summer programming participation for increased networking
  • Planned certificate program development between UD-DESU-CU

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A well-rounded, healthcare-focused experience in biomedical research for undergraduates interested in pursuing advanced studies in the biological sciences and/or health professions.

Since 1971, the Nemours Biomedical Research Department has been funding scholarships to undergraduate students for work on summer research projects through the Nemours Summer Undergraduate Research Program (NSURP). The program is comprised of an assortment of laboratory-based and applied/clinical research projects. Most projects will be performed in Wilmington, Del., at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, but some projects may be based in Philadelphia, Pa., at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Participants will learn about human subjects protection and animal welfare concerns, research ethics, evidence-based medicine, translational research and lab-specific skills, while performing research in the context of pediatric medicine. Nemours research faculty guide students through the process of formulating and testing hypotheses, interpreting data and communicating results.

Please contact Nemours with any questions.

Note from the Coordinator

We encourage diversity in our student cohort: we welcome applicants from all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and abilities/disabilities to apply.

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This REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program is open to all undergraduate students with disabilities (mobility, sensory, learning, psychological, medical or other) who are majors in chemistry, biochemistry or chemistry-related fields. Research experience is not required. Preference will be given to students who are:

  • Juniors (i.e. one to two years away from graduation)
  • Interested in chemistry and biochemistry research projects (related disciplines will be considered)
  • Considering graduate or professional school following graduation
  • Highly motivated to excel

Please contact research-experience@udel.edu with any questions

Note from the Coordinator

Research projects are assigned based on the students’ scientific interest. Once students are admitted to the program, we have a phone conversation with them to learn more about their preferred research field. We then match them with an appropriate academic mentor from the Chemistry, Biology or Engineering Department. We arrange for the student to discuss the potential project with a prospective mentor and we find that these discussions are very helpful to finalize the research project.

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Building a more diverse science community and create new opportunities for talent generation.

UD CHARM offers a comprehensive Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). We specifically aim to improve the capabilities of undergraduate students who have interests in materials science-related research, especially among underrepresented groups. The activities designed to meet this objective include:

  • 20 total undergraduate students (13 from Delaware State, Claflin, and other universities and 7 from UD focusing on opportunities for freshman and sophomores, and women or students from other underrepresented groups) involved in 10 weeks of summer research
  • Hands-on experience in a related laboratory (chemical engineering, materials science, chemistry or physics) under the mentorship of a faculty member
  • Workshops dedicated to fundamental laboratory skills, effective mentor relationships, safety, human subjects training, applying to graduate school and available university resources
  • Journal club focused on understanding research generated through the peer-review process
  • Research lab and industry site visits to broaden the scope of learning
  • Social events to promote communication among interdisciplinary students and mentors
  • Research symposium where students synthesize results for diverse audiences
  • Systematically administered surveys and professional evaluations of program outcomes
  • The REU site will leverage CHARM’s expertise and spirit of cross-cutting materials innovation.
  • The REU students will be part of a layered student engagement program in which they are mentored by graduate students and, at the same time, interface with a HighRise high school student ‘buddy’ to share their undergraduate experiences.

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