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Undergraduate research

A student research conducts an experiment in a lab at UA

Are you interested in research? We can help you find opportunities in the summer or during the school year.

Do you want to find a long term project or just for a single semester? Research creates new knowledge and students in the Williams Honors College have unique opportunities to pursue undergraduate research both here at the University of Akron and through nationwide programs.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

Undergraduates in any major are encouraged to seek out research experiences through UA's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. Dozens of opportunities are available on the Akron campus in areas of study beyond science and technology.

Three reasons why you should do research as an undergraduate:

  1. If you are unsure whether you want to major in a subject, a research experience can provide clarity. Too often, introductory courses for any discipline are unable to provide interested students the excitement of hands-on research, and thus students may decide wrongly that their major is “not for them.” Studies have shown that many who “stick it out” through early courses will go on to earn their degrees if they have an early experience with a research group. This is particularly true for students underrepresented in science (read article on this topic).
  2. Research can help you make a deeper connection to areas outside of your major. For instance, students in art, design, humanities and social sciences who participate in research can address real world challenges in ways that those without such experience cannot.
  3. Student research is also an important factor in being accepted into medical or other professional schools. Such schools highly value research experiences for undergraduates in their selection of candidates for admission. Additionally, a letter of recommendation from a faculty member here about a student in a research group can be persuasive to those making admission decisions at professional or graduate schools.

Explore research opportunities 

National Programs

  • National Science FoundationResearch Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)
    NSF funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites program. An REU Site consists of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers. Students are granted stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel.
    Search for an REU opportunity by subject
  • NASA Glenn Research Center
    "The NASA John H. Glenn Research Center's Office of Education (OE) supports the agency’s objective to advance the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce pipeline by administering and offering educational programs at the international, national, regional, and local levels."
  • The Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships
    The Smithsonian Institute offers a large number of intern and fellowship programs at the world's preeminent museum system. Opportunities exist for students from a wide variety of disciplines and at all academic levels.
    Search for a research opportunity
  • Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute
    Undergraduate research opportunities are available in Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute laboratories. The number of laboratories with these opportunities varies throughout the year. Undergraduate students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in laboratory techniques, and to explore careers in biomedical research.
    Find out more
  • Council on Undergraduate Research
    The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), founded in 1978, is an organization of individual, institutional, and affiliate members from around the world. CUR members share a focus on providing high-quality and collaborative undergraduate research, scholarly, and creative activity opportunities for faculty and students.