Undergraduate Research

The Drinko Center's Undergraduate Research component seeks to promote and provide students with a variety of research, scholarly, and creative opportunities in all academic disciplines.



Please refer to the following links for application forms as well as funding options and eligibility requirements.


Paid Internships through ORISE

ORISE administers many programs that provide paid educational and research experiences and has eligibility requirements that vary from program to program. Students or faculty will need to go to the following link(s) and select the program that interests them. Each program's web page has instructions on eligibility requirements, application submission, and a link to the online application or a printable application. All ORISE programs require applicants to submit the appropriate application and supporting documentation. The program's web page also provides the name and e‑mail address of a program specialist who can help answer any questions that students may have concerning eligibility requirements or submitting an application for a particular program. When e‑mailing questions to the program specialist the program name should be included in the e‑mail. When students choose a program that interests them, they will need to CAREFULLY read the eligibility requirements. Many of the programs administered by ORISE are open only to U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens.

  • http://www.orau.gov/hereatornl ‑ This web page is for the Higher Education Research Experiences at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (HERE). The program has an online application. Deadlines are stated but they are flexible for the HERE program. There are multiple academic levels in the HERE program, i.e., entering freshman, undergraduate, post‑BS, a graduate student or a faculty member.
  • http://www.scied.science.doe.gov ‑ The students will find information about the Department of Energy's Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) as well as an electronic application which can complete online. The SULI program is for undergraduates and graduating seniors. At this site students can also find applications for the Community College Institute (CCI) and the Pre‑Service Teacher (PST) programs.
  • http://www.ornl.gov/sci/nuclear_science_technology/nstip/nesls.htm ‑ The Nuclear Engineering Student Laboratory Synthesis (NESLS) program is a cooperative research initiative geared toward students working in physics and nuclear engineering applications. Through one‑ to three‑year summer internships, NESLS offers engineering student on‑the‑job educational and research opportunities at a multidisciplinary national laboratory.
  • http://see.orau.org ‑ This link is the gateway to many of the education and research experiences offered through ORISE. The web page has links for faculty, recent graduates, graduates, and undergraduate students.


Research Professions Advisory Committee (ResPAC)

Serving Students in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math and Computer Science who have an Interest in Scientific Research

Westminster logoTelescopeEquations on chalkboardResPAC logo


Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I do research at Westminster College?

Undergraduate research is a great chance to learn more about a subject that interests you. You can apply what you've learned in class, work closely with a faculty advisor and learn new skills. In some cases, you may change your major or apply to graduate school based on what you've learned doing research or participation in creative activities. Not to mention that it shines a strong light on your resume.

Is research only for science majors?

Research and creative activities are important to students in all academic disciplines, including the arts and humanities, social and natural sciences, education, and education. Westminster students have produced documentaries for non-profit agencies, created computer programs to play games, written original poetry and stories, as well as studied the effect of DEET on fruit flies.

Is research just for senior capstones?

Many students get involved in research and creative activities before their capstone experience. Since these activities are usually mentored by Westminster faculty, you'll learn about the opportunities that are available from individual faculty members and in your classes. The kind of activities you do may vary depending on your academic background and training. Additionally, some students find off-campus opportunities through programs such as Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs).

How do I get started?

You should talk to your professors and let them know you’re interested in doing research. Many of them have ongoing projects that you can become part of. You can also let a faculty member know about a particular question, problem, or field of study that interests you.

Is there any funding available to support undergraduate research?

Yes. The Drinko Center has limited funding to support materials associated with conducting a project and for expenses associated with travel to regional, national, and international meetings. All funding requests to the Drinko Center require the completion of an application and the support of your faculty advisor.

Will undergraduate research help me after graduation?

Yes! Any academically oriented activities will help you find a job or get into a graduate or professional school and should give you important skills and knowledge.