Undergraduate Research Opportunities Database

Our database is a great resource in helping students find exciting undergraduate research opportunities at Penn State.

To get the best results, we recommend that you select all of the research areas that interest you. We also recommend that you conduct multiple searches.

Campus – Select the campus(es) where you would be interested in participating in research. Depending on the time of year when you are using the database, consider whether your location changes. For example, do you spend your summers closer to a different campus than where you regularly attend school?

Research Area – Select the area(s) of research that interest you most, keeping in mind that research is often interdisciplinary so it might be appropriate to select more than one area. For example, if you are interested in health you might want to search for opportunities in the physical sciences, life sciences, and nursing and health sciences, because these research areas could all be relevant to your interest in health.

Position Type – Select the position type(s) that are most appealing to you. If you prefer whether you earn credit versus being paid, be sure to narrow down the search results using this field.

Note: You may not receive academic credit and be paid for the same research experience in a given semester.

  • “Work Study” is only available to students who have received a federal work-study (FWS) award. You can verify if you have an FWS award by visiting LionPATH and reviewing your "Financial Aid Summary.” If you do not have a federal work-study award, your mentor can also inquire with the Office of Student Aid - 814-865-6301 - to determine if you are eligible to be awarded one.
Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive database of all the research opportunities available at Penn State. Please visit our Finding an Opportunity at Penn State section for other ideas for finding a research opportunity!

Mentors interested in creating an account or posting an opportunity should visit the Posting Undergraduate Research Opportunities section.

Hold Ctrl key or Command to select multiple options.
Title Description Research Area(s) Position Type(s) Work Setting(s) Updated Date
Neuroscience research opportunities

We are neuroscientists interested in understanding what happens in the brain during sleep and how fluid (blood, cerebrospinal fluid) flow is controlled in the brain. We use microscopy, imaging, electrophysiology, and molecular biology techniques in rodent models.

More information on our research can be found here: Drew-lab

Engineering, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Statistics
On campus
June 3, 2024
Operating the campus small telescope

This is an opportunity for Penn State students in the Scranton area, as they need to be able to work on the Scranton campus.

The student would use the campus' small telescope (8" Celestron) to make day observations of the Sun and/or help during skygazing events.

Physical Sciences
On campus
May 1, 2024
USDA Healthy Bodies Project Plus

The USDA Healthy Bodies Project Plus is a child health and wellness research study funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (https://sites.psu.edu/healthybodiesprojectplus/). We are focused on providing guidance to teachers and families about ways to improve healthy eating in preschool children. Our overall goal is to help children develop healthy attitudes and behaviors that lead to lifelong health and wellness!

      Social and Behavioral Sciences
      Credit, Volunteer
      Community-based, On campus
      April 18, 2024
      Center for Childhood Obesity Research - Fall 2024 RAs

      The Center for Childhood Obesity Research (CCOR) is seeking student research assistants to help with data collection for a multiple NIH-funded studies. Students will be mentored by Dr. Jennifer Savage Williams, Dr. Emily Hohman, and CCOR staff. Though all are encouraged to apply, we are particularly interested in students who are able to commit at least 1 full day per week (~9am - 3pm) to assist with data collection in preschool classrooms in neighboring counties. Transportation to and from the field sites will be provided. We will be serving lunch and snacks, measuring dietary intake, measuring heights and weights, and performing behavioral observations in these classrooms. We are also seeking students to help with study visits occuring on campus. This study will be recruiting...

      Nursing and Health Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences
      Credit, Paid, Variable, Volunteer, Work Study
      Community-based, On campus
      April 17, 2024
      Undergraduate Research Opportunity (Radiation Effects on Electronics

      My lab has a couple of undergraduate research assistant positions open.

      One major stream (Position 1) is to perform electrical characterization of field programmable gate arrays. Here, the goal is to target individual cells/components of the and explore how they change their electrical response when subjected to incoming radiation or electrical overstressing or mechanical loading. For this project, excellent command in FPGA or memory chip programming is required.

      The second stream (Position 2) is to perform electrical characterization of electronic devices (power transistors and diodes that are typically used in electric vehicles). Here, the goal is to study how incoming radiation or electrical overstressing or mechanical residual stress influence the...

      Engineering, Information Technology and Computer Science, Physical Sciences
      Credit, Paid
      On campus
      April 1, 2024
      Migratory songbird ecology and immunology

      I have been studying migratory songbirds at Lackawanna State Park in northeastern Pennsylvania for almost 20 years with Dr. Robert Smith at the University of Scranton. We spend early mornings between mid April- mid June and mid August - mid October netting, measuring, and taking a small blood sample from songbirds such as Gray Catbirds and White-throated Sparrows (two species which are common and for which we have a lot of captures). We have been publishing articles recently on climatic factors affecting arrival in the spring and effects of climate on body size given our long-term data set. We also are looking at ectoparasites (mites and ticks) and endoparasites (protozoans) as well as other factors affecting body condition. We welcome student volunteers to help with field work....

      Agricultural Sciences, Life Sciences
      Credit, Volunteer
      On campus, Hybrid
      April 1, 2024
      Organic Chemistry

      In my lab we explore the synthesis and reactivity of novel heterocyclic compounds, which collaborators of ours screen for useful biological activity, such as against dangerous parasites.

      Physical Sciences
      On campus
      March 30, 2024
      Bioethical, Legal, and Anthropological Study of Technologies (BLAST)

      There is an immediate opening for an ambitious upper-level (3rd or 4th year) undergraduate student in biomedical engineering, anthropology, or a related major to join the research team of Jennifer Wagner, JD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Law, Policy, and Engineering and Anthropology. This opportunity is to contribute to the Bioethical, Legal, and Anthropological Study of Technologies (BLAST) project funded by the National Institutes of Health Office of the Director (NIH OD) and National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). This project's aim is to examine ethical, legal, and social issues related to 3D bioprinting technologies, bionic devices, and healthcare robotics.

      Engineering, Humanities, Information Technology and Computer Science, Life Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences
      On campus, Remote, Hybrid
      March 28, 2024
      Natural history collections - insects, arachnids

      The Frost Entomological Museum holds more than 1.3 million specimens of insects, spiders, mites, and related arthropods. These specimens are used in education, outreach, and research. There is an ongoing project to digitize these specimens -- i.e., transcribing and parsing their label data and/or imaging the specimens -- in order to make their data more accessible for research. Specimens sometimes also require repair (i.e., specimen conservation) and transition to new, archival storage. Altogether, these activities offer students opportunities to learn about natural history collection management, collections-based research, biodiversity informatics, museum ethics, and approaches for effective engagement and interpretation....

      Agricultural Sciences, Life Sciences
      Credit, Volunteer
      On campus
      March 5, 2024
      Research Assistant for the Cognitive Neuroscience of Eating and Obesity (CogNEATO) lab.

      Children from rural communities are at greater risk for obesity than children from more urban communities. However, some children are resilient to obesity despite greater exposure to obesogenic influences in rural communities (e.g., fewer community-level physical activity or healthy eating resources). We have two active projects looking to better understand pediatric obesity:

      1) Study of Brain, Reward, and Kids' Eating (BRAKE): Identifying modifiable behavior factors that promote this resiliency could inform strength-based obesity prevention efforts. Eating habits are learned through reinforcement (e.g., hedonic, familial environment), the process through which environmental food cues become valued and influence behavior. Therefore, understanding individual differences in...

      Social and Behavioral Sciences
      Credit, Variable
      On campus
      February 12, 2024