Undergraduate Research Resources and Opportunities
Undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have a rare opportunity to work directly with faculty and staff on the cutting edge of research in a variety of disciplines. Conducting research can be one of the more valuable educational experiences that undergraduates can undertake during their time on campus.
At this time, the Wisconsin Energy Institute does not coordinate energy-related research opportunities for undergraduates at UW-Madison. However, recognizing the valuable experience that research can provide to undergraduate students, we have provided a number of tips and resources for those who are interested in working with energy researchers as an undergraduate.
Tips for Finding Research Opportunities in Energy at UW-Madison
- In general, researchers on campus do not advertise openings for undergraduates, with the occasional exception of the UW Student Job Center.
- Most researchers are accustomed to receiving inquiries from undergraduate students about research opportunities. Therefore, students are encouraged to find potential research mentors in areas that interest them and contact researchers directly. For those students interested in energy research, we encourage them to find potential research mentors on our Energy Experts webpage. This page lists more than 100 faculty and scientists who conduct energy-related research at UW-Madison. It may take several tries before finding a researcher who has an opening for an undergraduate student.
- The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences has a useful set of tips for finding and contacting potential research mentors.
- WEI also conducts a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Bioenergy through the Integrated Biological Science – Summer Research Program. However, priority goes to students outside of UW-Madison. Click the link for more information and eligibility requirements.
Formal Undergraduate Research Programs at UW-Madison
- The Provost’s office lists a number of undergraduate research programs on campus. Of particular interest are the Undergraduate Research Scholars (Freshman and Sophomore level), Hilldale/Holstrom Scholarships (Junior and Senior Level), and Honors Programs.
Summer Programs for Undergraduates at UW-Madison
- The Graduate School compiles a set of summer research opportunities on campus on its Summer Research Opportunities Program webpage. Deadlines to participate in these programs are typically in January and February. Energy-related programs include:
- REU in the Chemistry of Materials for Energy (one of the Institute for Chemical Education's REU programs)
- Students at UW-Madison also have the opportunity to conduct research at institutions in India during the summer through the Khorana Scholars Program and the S.N. Bose Scholars Program.
Off-Campus Research Opportunities
- The Department of Energy’s Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship program provides undergraduate students the opportunity to partake in research experiences at one of 16 participating DOE laboratories. Students can apply for an internship in either the Spring, Summer or Fall Term.
- The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) lists a number of undergraduate research opportunities at national laboratories and other federal research facilities around the country.
- The Los Alamos National Laboratory Undergraduate Student Program offers summer, part-time, and full-time research appointments for undergraduate students.
- The Department of Energy also lists several other internship opportunities on its Student Programs and Internships webpage.
- The NSF REU Search Site allows visitors to search for all NSF-supported Research Experience for Undergraduates programs around the country. To find energy-related opportunities, click on the “Search for an REU Site” link and type “energy” into the search field.
- As a partner with UW-Madison in the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, the Kellogg Biological Station at Michigan State University offers a Summer REU in the sustainability of bioenergy.