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
Opioid Addiction: The Experience of Seeking Treatment for a Loved One Adobe PDF download This was a qualitative project to investigate the experience of seeking care for for a loved one with a history of opioid use/substance use disorder.
Nursing and Health Sciences
Variable
Community-based
February 5, 2024
Human impact on pollinator abundance and plant reproduction

Pollinators play a hugely important role in both natural and human-controlled environments. Unfortunately, there are some indications that pollinator numbers are declining. This data comes primarily from honeybee populations, which are well studied due to their economic impact and ease of data collection. Less well studied are the native pollinators. These pollinators are more diffcult to study, leacing us without adequate information about the scope and severity of pollinator declines. I use Brassica rapa (called fast plants) to quickly and comparably measure pollintor abundance to answer a variety of questions including: are pollinators declining? are certain types of pollinators more at risk? what environmental factors affect the rate of decline? what are the effects of...

Agricultural Sciences, Environmental and Geosciences, Life Sciences
Credit, Volunteer
On campus, Remote
February 1, 2024
Genetic basis of plant traits

For many important biological questions, an important step is often to determine the gene(s) involved in a particular trait. My research focuses on determining the genetic basis of herbicide resistance in weeds. By understanding which genes are involved we can better understand the evolutionary past and future of this trait, which impacts our food supply. The same methods I use in my research can be applied to many other traits that you may be interested in. Given that genetic data is often publically available, identifying genes of interest for a particular trait can be done in the comfort of your own home! The goal of this project is to give you hands on practice at bioinformatic techniques and interpretation.

Agricultural Sciences, Information Technology and Computer Science, Life Sciences
Credit, Volunteer
On campus, Remote
February 1, 2024
Parent-to-Child Anxiety Transmission (PCAT) Study Undergraduate Research Assistant Position

The CAT Lab is seeking undergraduate research assistants (URAs) to assist with behavioral coding for our Parent-to-Child Anxiety Transmission Study. The PCAT Study examines how parents and children, aged 4-6 yrs, develop anxiety and affect each other. Training is expected to begin early April and the bulk of the coding would be done during the summer. No experience in coding is required for this position, however, we are looking for students who have strong communication skills and are able to follow instructions well.

To learn more about the CAT Lab, check out our website: https://www.catlabpsu.com/

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Credit, Volunteer
Hybrid
January 30, 2024
Opioid Addiction: The Experience of Seeking Treatment for a Loved One Adobe PDF download This was a qualitative project to investigate the experience of seeking care for for a loved one with a history of opioid use/substance use disorder.
Nursing and Health Sciences
Variable
Community-based
January 17, 2024
Astronomy & Astrophysics Research on Active Galaxies and Cosmic Surveys

Professor Brandt's interests largely focus on observational studies of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and cosmological X-ray surveys. Specific objects investigated include actively accreting SMBHs (i.e., active galactic nuclei: AGNs), starburst galaxies, and normal galaxies. The work utilizes data from facilities at the forefront of astrophysical discovery, including the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the XMM-Newton satellite, the NuSTAR satellite, and the Hubble Space Telescope.

For further details, I would suggest you watch the following YouTube videos:

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnydeDe5oDo (X-ray Univ 2023 - XMM-SERVS)
*...

Physical Sciences
Credit, Paid, Variable
On campus, Remote, Hybrid
January 10, 2024
Nest Check Crew March/April 2024

The Cornell lab is looking for undergraduate students interested in gaining experience in biological research with a focus on field biology and ecology. The students will check 100 nest boxes for bird nest building behavior and egg laying on the outskirts of the University Park campus and Arboretum. Nest checks are conducted independently (after a training period) on foot, by bike, or in a vehicle (if the student has one- it is not necessary to have a vehicle to conduct this work). Data collection takes place exclusively outdoors and thus students must be willing to collect data during periods of cold weather, light rain, etc. Students must enter their data and double check data entry the same day their data is collected. Commitment is 2x week minimum (can include weekends if preferred...

Environmental and Geosciences, Life Sciences
Variable, Volunteer
On campus
January 10, 2024
Summer 2024 Avian Field Crew

Penn State Commonwealth Campus undergraduates interested in ecology and animal behavior are invited to apply for a research position on the Cornell lab's summer field crew. Successful applicants will gain rigorous scientific research experience that will prepare students for careers in biology and ecology, particularly those interested in graduate-level study. Research will focus on ecology and behavior of wild birds and arthropods (insects and spiders), in their natural habitat. This opportunity is ideal for students passionate about scientific inquiry and dedicated to contributing meaningfully to ecological research. In the field, student researchers will perform nest checks, collect morphological measurements on wild birds, band (tag) wild birds, assist in collection of avian blood...

Environmental and Geosciences, Life Sciences
Paid
On campus, Hybrid
January 10, 2024
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Our research group uses behavioral methods (eye-tracking methodology, corpus studies of child-caregiver conversations, child appropriate experimental tasks) to study how children acquire dialectal variation during the acquisition of their native language. We also examine how adult speakers acquire variation during the acquisition of Spanish as a second language or as a Heritage Language. We are looking for enthusiastic and highly motivated undergraduate students to work on existing projects, either as a volunteer or for SPAN 494 or LING 494 credits. The only requirements are intermediate or advanced proficiency in Spanish and enthusiasm for gaining research experience. Some background in linguistics and computing skills would also be helpful, but not required.

Any
Credit, Volunteer
On campus, Remote, Hybrid
January 9, 2024
Autism Parent Navigators

Autism Parent Navigators (APN) is an innovative in-home, peer support model for parents with a young child recently diagnosed with ASD. We are testing the efficacy of APN in a randomized trial with 180 families.

This program is an adaptation of Mark Feinberg's Family Foundations Program which has demonstrated positive impacts on families and children.

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Credit, Volunteer
Remote, Hybrid
January 8, 2024