What opportunities are there to do undergrad research off campus?

I can recommend two large programs that sponsor undergraduate research:

  • Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, sponsored by the National Institutes of Science and Technology (NIST)

NSF through the REU program sponsors summer research programs at many universities.  These are competitive programs and an excellent way to check out if you are interested in graduate school.  You may obtain more information about the REU program from the NSF website.  Undergraduate students sponsored with NSF funds must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or its possessions.  NSF maintains a website that allows you to search by topic for REU programs throughout the country.  A contact person and contact information is listed for each site.

NIST sponsors an undergraduate research program (SURF) that brings students to their Gaithersburg, MD location (near Washington D.C.) to do research with government scientists.  This program requires that your university apply for you and cost-share your application.  Thus if you are interested in the NIST program, you will have to interest a professor here at Tech to cosponsor your research.  For more information see the NIST SURF website.