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
Center for Childhood Obesity Research - Spring 2024 RAs

The Center for Childhood Obesity Research (CCOR) is seeking student research assistants to help with data collection for a large NIH-funded R01 study. 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 Snyder, Union, Mifflin, and Juniata 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. Students who cannot accommodate a full day of research in their course schedule are also...

Nursing and Health Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Credit, Paid, Variable, Volunteer, Work Study
Community-based, On campus
November 2, 2023
Gene Regulation and Cancer Enzymes

Our laboratory is interested in how genes are turned off or on since such regulation is altered in cancer cells. Our goal is to determine how gene regulation complexes work using both biochemical and structural biology approaches. A focus of the lab is to determine the three-dimensional structure of epigenetic and chromatin complexes by cryoelectron microscopy and X-ray crystallography. Current undergraduate projects include (a) coexpression of protein complexes in E. coli and insect cells, (b) characterizing chromatin enzymes through chromatin enzyme activity and nucleosome binding assays, and (c) producing reagents to help the global science community perform molecular biology experiments.

Recent ...

Life Sciences
Credit
On campus
October 27, 2023
Artificial Intelligence, Multiagent Systems, and Algorithmic Fairness

The research in the lab generally revolves around Artificial Intelligence and Economics, with particular focus on fairness, incentives, and social choice theory. Students in my group often study different aspects of self-interested players in multiagent systems, and develop algorithms and techniques to achieve certain computational and game-theoretical properties.

Topics include but not limited to:

  • Fairness in artificial intelligence (e.g. fair allocation of resources)
  • Game theory and mechanism design
  • Matching theory and market design (including strategic manipulation and computational aspects)
  • Voting and computational social choice

The application include: shift scheduling, course...

Information Technology and Computer Science
Credit, Paid, Variable, Volunteer
On campus, Remote, Hybrid
October 5, 2023
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
Volunteer
On campus
October 5, 2023
Research Opportunity in Aerial Robotics

The research of our lab aims at bridging aerospace engineering and robotic science, and includes aerial robotics (i.e., unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs), cooperative control, aerial manipulation, learning-based perception. Specific research topics include cooperative transportation of a slung load, vision-based object pose and shape estimation, control of a tilt-rotor UAV in the presence of actuator failure, aerial manipulation with fully-actuated aerial robots, robotic perception for smart manufacture. Current research includes visual servo control, learning physics for aerial manipulation, differentiable model predictive control, and design optimization. See more at the website https://aerogjy.github.io/

Engineering, Information Technology and Computer Science, Mathematics, Physical Sciences
Variable, Volunteer
On campus, Remote
October 5, 2023
Bird Safe Penn State

Evidence suggests that overall, bird populations have been steadily declining for the past half century, with nearly 1/3 of the total North American bird population being lost since the late 1960s.

The causes of these billions of bird deaths and reproductive failures are mostly indirect, related to habitat loss and habitat change, but there are also direct causes of mortality that are close to home and solvable. Researchers agree that the two dominant causes of direct anthropogenic bird mortality are outdoor cats and window collisions. Both of these are issues on Penn State campus.

Together with Krista Bailey, PSU's Sustainable Campus Strategist, and a past undergraduate student who is know a graduate student, Chyvonne Jessick, we started an OPP Living Labs...

Any
Credit
Community-based, On campus, Remote, Hybrid
October 5, 2023
PlantVillage Undergraduate Research Opportunity

In 2021, 235 million people were marching to starvation, according to the United Nations, made worse by climate change & COVID-19. In 2022, the situation is continuing to deteriorate due to climate change.

PlantVillage utilizes technology to help smallholder farmers grow more food in the face of climate change. With the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization, we are working across 70 countries and 30 languages. We train AI systems that help farmers adapt. We are looking for students to help make these systems even more powerful.

https://plantvillage.psu.edu/

Any
Credit, Volunteer
On campus, Remote
October 5, 2023
Harnessing fungi for food and biomaterials

The Wee lab in the Department of Food Science, Penn State - University Park is looking to fill two undergraduate research positions in fungal foods and biomaterials beginning Summer 2023 or as soon as able. In the first project, we are optimizing and characterizing fungi for degradation of plastics in collaboration with Penn State Behrend funded by the Institute of Energy and Environment. In project 2, we are developing mycelium bioscaffold for cell-based meat. Projects in our laboratory center around fungal biology and mycology within the context of food and biomaterials.

Any
Paid
On campus
October 5, 2023
Social and Cultural Neuroscience (SCN) Lab - Undergraduate Research Assistant Position

..

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Credit, Paid, Volunteer
On campus, Hybrid
October 5, 2023
Undergraduate Research Assistant in Finance and Economics

Work with Penn State finance faculty members and advanced doctoral students on cutting-edge research projects in the areas of finance and economics. Recent topics of interest include:

  • Examining how the market structure of commercial banking affects the transmission of monetary policy to the economy
  • Predicting corporate finance outcomes using large language models such as ChatGPT
  • Understanding why creditors form coalitions in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases and why this matters for bankruptcy outcomes
  • Assessing how firms attempt to rebuild their reputations after facing devastating cyberattacks
  • Showing that firms' pollution and environmental investment decisions depend on the political party affiliation of their local member of Congress.
  • ...
Business, Engineering, Environmental and Geosciences, Information Technology and Computer Science, International Relations, Political Science, and Law, Mathematics, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Statistics
Volunteer
On campus, Remote, Hybrid
October 5, 2023