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Research Programs at VT

Research Programs through Virginia Tech

Scroll down to search through deadlines or click one of the opportunities listed below to jump to a description.

If a deadline has passed, do not let that discourage you! Check out our version of 'help wanted' ads posted by faculty in the OUR Database, and/or SOURCE a multidisciplinary undergraduate research resource blog run by our ambassadors. For up-to-date infomation like this, sign up for the OUR newsletter.

And remember, its never too early to start planning for next year. If you see a program that interests you, but the deadline has passed, put a reminder in your calendar for next year, keeping them in mind as you map out your time as an undergraduate student here at Virginia Tech.

Don't hesitate to email us at if you have any questions!

Monthly, rolling: last day of month, 5:00pm

ICAT Student Grant

From smart phones to automobiles, understanding the human genome to exploring social networks, scientific and technological innovation is the result of the work of not just scientists and engineers, but artists and designers as well. The challenges of the 21st century demand creative processes that stem from the realization that design, aesthetic, and technological development have become symbiotic. In order to foster this kind of transdisciplinary research, the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) invites applications for small projects that are creative, innovative and show a strong potential for contribution toward the goals of ICAT. These funds can be used to pursue a range of transdisciplinary activities including creative projects, pilot studies, feasibility studies, or preliminary research.

Rolling, ongoing

The Biocomplexity Research Experience for Undergraduates (BREU)

The Biocomplexity Research Experience for Undergraduates (BREU) is an educational program open to aspiring scientists from all academic backgrounds. BREU prepares students to pursue highly competitive STEM careers, offering hands-on training that extends far beyond the traditional classroom learning experience. This program encompasses a wide range of research opportunities including both paid and for-credit positions.

Make a real impact. BREU students participate in hands-on research activities in each of our institute's Leading Laboratories—work that’s fundamentally transforming the way we understand the world. At the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech, our projects help guide the creation of resilient cities, inform effective policy responses to public health crises, and uncover key factors that drive industrial innovation.

Diversify your expertise. Our students work in teams, closely supported by graduate research assistants and supervised by faculty. Your colleagues and mentors will be thought leaders in a wide variety of fields: statistics, biology, social, behavioral and economic sciences, computer science, data analytics, epidemiology, simulation science, information technology policy, and infrastructural resilience.

Form professional connections. The Biocomplexity Institute's dual locations in the National Capital Region and Virginia Tech's Blacksburg campus put our students in contact with a number of leading decision-makers in science, government and industry. Our "alumni" have established their careers at a variety of high-profile institutions including the Department of Defense, Department of Health, Bloomberg, and Amazon.

Programs with hard deadlines:

Bats as Model Organisms for Bioinspired Engineering IRES

Led by Dr. Mueller and Dr. Lohani

This is as NSF-funded International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) award for a US-China Collaboration on Bats as Model Organisms for Bioinspired Engineering each summer at Shandong University, China. The 10-week research program will support 5 students total, 3 graduate and 2 undergraduates, subject to availability of funds. The award will cover travel, visa, and subsistence expenses as well as provide students with a $5,000 stipend. Email the Principal Investigator, Dr. Rolf Mueller, with questions.

Biomechanics & Biological Transport REU 

Deadline: TBA

The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program is for undergraduates interested in exploring research in biomechanics and biological transport. Students will be fully integrated into participating research groups and will experience hands-on lab research, group meetings, and close collaboration with other members of related research groups. Students have the opportunity to perform basic research in multiple areas, including human health, injury, and disease; animal locomotion; plant diseases; biological transport in the environment; and bio-inspired technologies. In addition, career development components will contribute to improving written and oral presentation skills.

Food-Energy-Water Systems (FEWS) REU

Deadline: TBA

Future scientific leaders must effectively communicate across disciplinary boundaries relating to food, energy, and water, with a “molecules to manufacturing” perspective for recognizing commonly shared and unique challenges, discoveries, and solutions. Our primary objective is to nurture students to pursue graduate studies and academic and industrial careers in FEWS fields, establishing the pool of educated and energetic talent to fuel the competitiveness of our nation.

REU MII-FEWS research will provide enabling polymeric materials for food distribution, water efficient crop production, real-time monitoring devices, advanced manufacturing concepts to print the next generation of membranes for water purification, and novel synthetic methods to understand predictable transport and diffusion through materials.  Working in teams, effective communication across the population, and igniting passion for discovery remain cornerstones. REU publications will serve as a key indicator for our success.  The REU students will emerge as scientific leaders in a critical area for our nation; the students will initiate an interdisciplinary network of scientists with a spirit of entrepreneurship and a passion for societal impact.  Students will understand the social complexities of translating technologies to international communities.

Fralin Undergraduate Research Fellowship (FURF)

Applications are accepted April through August (specific dates vary by year.)

The Fralin Undergraduate Research Fellowship program is competitive award program open to all Virginia Tech undergraduates with a goal of increasing diversity in research.

Fifteen fellowships of $1,000 are awarded annually to individual students demonstrating academic capability and a strong interest in undergraduate research. Fellows will conduct their proposaed research project with a Virginia Tech faculty mentor over the course of one academic year. Applications are accepted April through August (specific dates vary by year). Those funded will begin their research projects the following fall.

Fralin Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

Deadline: Students: February 24, 2020 at Noon, Faculty: February 26, 2020 at 5:00pm

The Fralin SURF program is a 10-week training program designed to give motivated Virginia Tech undergraduates the opportunity to engage in full-time (~40 hrs/week) research and related professional development activities that mirror graduate training.

The goal is to offer students experiences that will help them determine if they want to pursue a career in research while they develop skills for graduate school. The program includes weekly research and professional development seminars, periodic social events, and a final symposium during which students will present their research. 15 students will be selected to participate in the training program  during summer 2020 and receive a $4000 stipend. Only open to Virginia Tech students.  

Global Change Center Undergraduate Research Grants

Deadline: December 15.

The Global Change Center (GCC) at Virginia Tech is accepting proposals from undergraduate students and their GC-affiliated faculty mentor(s) to support undergraduate research that will advance the missions of the GCC. Award requests can range from $250 - $1,000 and may include itemized supply and analytical costs, as well as travel costs to research sites.

Global Change Center Undergraduate Science Policy Fellowship

Deadline: December 1.

Rising juniors and seniors majoring in science or engineering are encouraged to apply for $7,000 Global Change Center fellowships that cover in-state tuition, fees, housing, and a small stipend. Fellows attend a 6-credit Washington Semester summer program while interning 30 hours a week in D.C. with agencies such as USFWS, USAID, USEPA, and USDA.

iScholars program

They start recruiting the beginning of Spring Semester.

Work, Live and Study in the National Capitol Region

An integrative experience in innovation and entrepreneurship. You will gain real-world experience as paid interns in Washington-area organizations with further skill building through an interactive seminar course and field trips.
This application is open to all students.

This is a 12 week program.

iScholars will participate in all elements of the program, working 32 hours a week, and taking 3-credits of coursework each in Summer I and Summer II.

Sign up for the iScholars newsletter, on the iScholars website, for up to date notifications

MAOP Undergraduate Summer Research Internship (SRI)

Deadline: TBA

The MAOP Undergraduate Summer Research Internship (SRI) started in Summer 1993, and since then has been a transformative experience for hundreds of students. Students from a wide variety of academic disciplines spend ten weeks during the summer (late May - late July/early August) working closely with a faculty mentor in a mentor/protege relationship to design, conduct and present a scholarly research presentation.

Students devote at least 40 hours a week on their respective research projects and scholarly activities. At the conclusion of the program, students will present their research to their fellow SRI peers, faculty mentors, and guests. The research is presented using a poster format and oral presentation. This research symposium is the culminating event of the experience, and takes place during the last week of the program.

The program is open to undergraduate students from any two-year and/or four-institution from around the United States and territories. Participants must be U.S. Citizens or Permanent U.S. Residents

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

Deadline: TBD; tentatively late February

Applications are accepted every spring for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program. Students enrolled in a science/engineering major are encouraged to apply for this competitive 11-week summer research program. Successful students will receive funding for travel and lodging (up to $4,000) and a stipend ($5,500).  

Roop and Kavita Mahajan Research Awards

Deadline: TBA

Roop and Kavita Mahajan Research Awards have been established to provide small grants to current students or current student organizations in good standing at Virginia Tech to undertake projects that aim to break cycles of poverty and negligence in under-resourced communities around the world.

Proposals may be submitted until December 3. Ideas are welcome from across a wide spectrum of areas including health, education and infrastructure. Preference will be given to proposals that show a transdisciplinary approach and are broadly aligned with the mission of ICTAS. We expect to award 2 proposals at a maximum of $2,500 each.

For more information, email Chris Tysor for more information.


A novel and innovative program focused on interdisciplinary undergraduate studies and research at the intersection of Science, Engineering and Law.

Science and engineering sophomores and juniors enrolled in Scieneering participate in coursework leading to minors in Interdisciplinary Engineering and Science or Science, Engineering and Law and conduct at least three credit-hours of interdisciplinary research mentored by faculty outside their major discipline. Students gain experience tackling real-world, multi-dimensional problems under the direction of a qualified mentor.

Summer Undergraduate Research Internship- Safe D

Deadline: TBA

Participate in ongoing transportation safety research at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) - the largest university-based transportation research institute in the country.

Training Future Leaders to Solve Resources Challenges at the Confluence of Water & Society

Deadline: TBA

This REEU will catalyze interactions between students from widely varying disciplines by focusing on research questions that require innovative approaches to scientific collaboration and data visualization, as well as communication to and engagement with an array of local stakeholders. Our diverse team of experienced mentors includes environmental scientists, social scientists, engineers, and computer scientist will both guide individual student efforts as well as collectively model successful interdisciplinary collaboration. To promote a unifying context for research: Fellows and mentors will be members of interdisciplinary teams; We will learn from and interact with a range of stakeholders across multiple land use issues; and Activities will be place-based within the Virginia Tech StREAM Lab, with a view towards its relationship with the larger New River basin.

Translational Obesity Undergraduate Research (TOUR) Scholars

Deadline: December 20, 2019.

Join us this summer @ Virginia Tech!
Funded by an NIH R25 Research Education Grant, and under the umbrella of the Center for Transformative Research on Health Behaviors, the Translational Obesity Undergraduate Research Scholars (TOUR-Scholars) Program is a research-intensive summer experience which prepares students for graduate and medical education in translational obesity research.
TOUR-Scholars will be matched with a faculty mentor, working across the obesity translational spectrum. Ten students will be chosen to participate.

VT-REEL: Securing Our Food

Deadline: TBA

Open to all undergraduates at 2- and 4-year colleges, this 10-week summer research program is for those students who are interested in applying their education in life sciences to solving agricultural and food supply issues. This translational experience will allow you to experience, first-hand, the process of both discovery and practical application through the study of plants, molecular processes, or by engaging in developing solutions to our food, fiber and fuel needs of the future. For the first 5-weeks, students will conduct research in a laboratory at Virginia Tech's main campus (Blacksburg, VA), with a member of our Translational Plant Sciences program. During the second 5-weeks students will work with a faculty member at one of three Agricultural Research and Extension Centers (AREC) in Suffolk, Painter or Virginia Beach, VA. Program participants will also engage in weekly workshops designed to help you make connections between basic and applied plant research, understand new molecular concepts, and to enhance your professional development. Students will receive a stipend of $4,500, housing and meals on the Blacksburg campus, and housing at the AREC campuses.

VTCRI Molecular Visualization SURF

Deadline: TBA

The VTCRI Molecular Visualization SURF program is a 10-week long summer program that gives students the opportunity to participate in hypothesis-driven independent research at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute in Roanoke, Virginia. Students will participate in a weekly workshop series to provide hands-on experience in the cutting edge imaging technologies housed within VTCRI to understand appropriate application of each technology in understanding biological processes. This program encompasses a full-time, 40-hour week schedule and supports Molecular Visualization SURF students with a $3,500 stipend. Housing will also be provided to those students that need it.


Deadline: TBA

The VTCRI Translational Neurobiology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (VTCRI neuroSURF) is a 10-week program designed to introduce undergraduate students to translational neurobiology and provide them with a hands-on, independent research experience.  This program encompasses a full-time, 40-hour week schedule and includes lectures in Translational Neurobiology, a seminar series that highlights neuroscience research that is ongoing at Virginia Tech, and courses on professional development. Students will receive a $3500 stipend and housing (if needed).  Participants in VTCRI neuroSURF will include VT students and students from other US universities and colleges.

For more information visit neuroSURF online or email Dr. Michael Fox  or Alexandria Pilot.