Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority and Underrepresented Student Participation in STEM

Research Opportunities

Finding A Research Experience

LSAMP gets new research experience announcements all the time, so make sure to check the weekly newsletter for new postings or contact Nicki Holm (, the LSAMP Undergraduate Research Coordinator, to discuss research opportunities!

Need help finding a research experience? 

Reading the guide below is a great first step to take when considering an undergraduate research experience. Additionally, browse through the list of Research Centers & Institutes that Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has to offer!

An LSAMP Guide to Finding The Best Undergrad Research Experience (PDF)

Research Databases

There are multiple databases and resources that can connect you with programs that interest you the most. These are a few examples:

Government Databases

  • Department of Energy
    • DOE Internships : The DOE provides nationwide opportunities for research participation, fellowships, scholarships, training, and internship programs for undergraduates, grads, postdocs, and faculty.
  • Department of Navy
    • Naval Research Enterprise Intern Program (NREIP): This program provides an opportunity for students to participate in research at a Department of Navy (DoN) laboratory during the summer. The goals are to encourage participating students to pursue science and engineering careers, to further education via mentoring by laboratory personnel and their participation in research, and to make them aware of DoN research and technology efforts, which can lead to employment within the DoN.

      NREIP provides competitive research internships to approximately 200 college students (139 undergraduate students and 61 graduate students) each year. Participating students typically spend ten weeks during the summer doing research at approximately 12 DoN laboratories. To participate, a student must be enrolled at an eligible college/university (comprising approximately 160 institutions; eligibility is determined by the Office of Naval Research) and have completed at least their sophomore year before beginning the internship.

  • National Science Foundation
    • Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs): NSF funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites program. Groups of ten or so undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers. REU opportunities are usually available in summer terms. Students are granted stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel. Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. An REU Site may be at either a US or foreign location.

Other Summer Research Resources

  • Summary Timeline for Paid Positions/Internships.
  • Summer Multicultural Access to Research Training (SMART) - Administered by the University of Colorado.
  • Summer Research Institute (SRI) - Administered by the University of Arizona.
  • Astrobiology Research for Undergraduates at the SETI Institute - Administered by The SETI Institute.
  • Websites for Research Positions
    • NASA Summer Programs - Several research sites nationwide depending on your major. Most science and engineering fields.
    • Dept. of Energy Programs - Internships in science, math and engineering fields. Appears to have lower GPA requirements than others and accept sophomores. Several research sites including national labs (Argonne, Livermore, Brookhaven, etc.).
    • National Institutes of Health has many positions each summer, predominantly for health sciences fields like Biology and Chemistry, however they could have opportunities for Computer Science and Engineers.
    • National Science Foundation - Search the REU site which lists over a hundred programs, predominantly at universities in the US. You need to search by field to see the different opportunities, contacts, etc. Mainly physical sciences, engineering, math and computer science but there are a few biology and environmental type. Variable deadlines depending on each individual program.
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - Typically more for health related fields like Biology and Chemistry. You will have to do a search based on location or area of interest, etc.
    • UCSF Summer Research Training Program - Typically more for health related fields like Biology and Chemistry.
    • IBM Almaden Research Center has several programs funded by some of the agencies mentioned above.
    • The Leadership Alliance is a group of universities, including Stanford, that have organized themselves to encourage minorities to excel. You can apply for summer research programs from this website. Requires a 3.0 GPA.
    • McNair Scholars Program at SJSU opportunities are mostly with on campus faculty.
    • Visit the website of a university you might be interested in to see if they have any internally funded programs. Some of the more research active campuses often do. You probably want to type in something like "summer research opportunities in engineering" in their search engine and see what comes up.
    • UC Berkeley gives you a look at their options. Many are for their own students but ones labeled REU or SUPERB may be open to non-Berkeley students.
    • Summer internships for minority engineers and scientists in industry does not require an interest in going on to graduate school but there is no guarantee that you will be doing science/engineering. Some are clerical, others let you work in the field.

Resources from Coffee & Connections

Each quarter, Cal Poly LSAMP hosts an event called Coffee & Connections, aimed at creating a space where undergraduates (of all majors), graduate students, faculty, and staff can engage in conversations around undergraduate research - with the ultimate goal of connecting aspiring undergraduate researchers to potential research mentors. 

*Visit the LSAMP Events page to find valuable resources from the most recent event and find out about future events. 

Applying for the CSU Student Research Competition

About the CSU Student Research Competition: The 32nd Annual CSU Student Research Competition will be held at CSU Sacramento, on Friday & Saturday, May 4 & 5, 2018. 

On Saturday, March 3, 2018, from approximately 8:30am-3:00pm, students nominated by their college deans will present their work to a panel consisting of the Cal Poly Academic Senate Grants Review Committee. This panel will determine which of the student presentations will be sent forward to represent Cal Poly SLO at the CSU system-wide competition at CSU Sacramento. 

Student researchers should follow their college's procedures (below) to compete. More information about application requirements for all students can be found on the Office of Research & Economic Development website

CAED: College of Architecture and Environmental Design

**CAED Students should contact their college dean's office for more information. 

CAFES: College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences

**CAFES Students should contact their college dean's office for more information. 

CENG: College of Engineering

CENG Students wishing to compete in the 32nd Annual CSU Student Research Competition will need to submit their research summary along with the completed Student Delegate Registration form to the dean's office (192-301) by February 6, 2018, and send an electronic copy of each paper and a Student Delegate Registration form by email to no later than February 8, 2018

The dean's office will review the submissions and send the recommendation to the Office of Research by February 8, 2018. 

COSAM: College of Science and Mathematics

**COSAM Students should contact their college dean's office for more information. 

CLA: College of Liberal Arts

CLA students should view this flyer for information about how to apply!

OCOB: Orfalea College of Business

**OCOB Students should contact their college dean's office for more information. 


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Cal Poly LSAMP is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. HRD-0802628 and the CSU Chancellor's Office, and coordinated by the Center for Engineering, Science, and Mathematics Education (CESAME) at Cal Poly, SLO. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.