Notre Dame-Funded Research Opportunities


Visit the University's undergraduate research website, UR@ND.  The site has valuable information on research, including information on funding your research, and workshops on research activities, such as proposal writing.

College of Science Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF), Summer 2015

The College of Science, with support from donors, and in collaboration with the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement, Indiana University School of Medicine - South Bend, and Glynn Family Honors Program, will support Notre Dame undergraduate science students to engage in summer research in 2015.

Program Activities. Full-time research should be conducted for 9-10 weeks on research mentored by College of Science (COS) faculty, or with current international collaborators of COS faculty at an institute abroad. Participants must provide a thank you letter to donors and summary of their research experience before the fall semester begins, and present their research at a scientific conference or symposium within one academic year.

Support. The domestic COS Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship award consists of a $4,000 stipend and $500 for supplies. If students apply for and receive support from other university sources, the total stipend from the College of Science and the other university sources will not exceed $4,000. For the international COS-SURF the award for stipend, accommodation, and travel support will be $5,500 total.

Eligibility. Current sophomores and juniors eligible to apply should be enrolled in a College of Science major and have worked with their College of Science faculty mentors for at least one semester prior to the summer of research. Only juniors are eligible for the international COS-SURF. Successful applicants are expected to continue working with their COS faculty mentor beyond the summer of funding.

Application.  Please submit your application online using, ensuring that College of Science – Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship is checked as the program; no budget justification is needed. Students should check all programs for which they are eligible (e.g., Glynn Family Honors). Students ineligible for COS-SURF will not be considered. To be considered, the following information needs to be submitted:

A. Proposal Narrative - A proposal of no more than five pages should be uploaded as a PDF document and formatted exactly as follows:

  1. Cover Page: Name, gender, ethnicity, email, college, major(s), overall GPA, science GPA, career intent (e.g., M.D., Ph.D.) and research mentors, and 3-5 keywords describing the proposed research
  2. Research Experiences: Description of all research undertaken
  3. Research Intent: Succinct, but thorough, one page description of proposed summer research that provides sufficient detail to demonstrate the viability of the research while enabling reviewers unfamiliar with the area of research to provide an assessment
  4. Significance of Proposed Research: Paragraph describing how information generated by proposed research could be applied more broadly, beyond academia
  5. Career Plans: Explanation of how a summer research experience fits into the applicants career plans, both immediate and long-term
  6. Major Research Discovery: Brief description of one research discovery, including reference to relevant citation that the applicant believes is critical to the area of proposed research, being sure to explain why, AND
  7. Research Location (only if research will be undertaken abroad): Please include a brief description and justification for chosen location.

B. Letters of Support - Upon submitting the proposal, the research mentor will receive an email with instructions to upload their letter of support as a PDF document. Only the research mentor for the proposed research should provide such a letter, including an assessment of applicant’s potential, such as the worthiness of the proposed research, and a statement of the likelihood of continuing research beyond the summer in the mentor’s laboratory. International proposals should also be supported by a letter from the collaborator, stating a willingness and capacity to host the student for the duration of the research.

C. Official Transcript – Upload an original PDF document provided by the University of Notre Dame.

Deadline. Application materials are due by March 1, 2015. Applications will not be considered if they are incomplete; include a proposal narrative longer than five pages; are not formatted correctly; and/or submitted after the deadline. Complete applications will be acknowledged by an email when submitted, first from and then by the College of Science. If you do not hear from the College of Science by March 6, please contact Dominic Chaloner immediately as it is likely there is some issue with the content of the application.

Selection. Final selections will be made based upon reviews of applications by COS faculty who will consider the qualifications of the candidates, quality of proposed research, and whether proposals are well written, concise, and compelling. All efforts will be made to notify successful applicants by early April.

For more information, please contact Dominic Chaloner, undergraduate research coordinator, at (574) 631-2441.

The DaVinci Grant Program, Summer 2015

The Colleges of Arts and Letters, Science, and Engineering welcome the submission of proposals from undergraduates who wish to carry out interdisciplinary research or creative projects during the summer (2014). Students may independently design their projects or propose a project related to some aspect of their faculty mentor's research.

Examples of eligible projects might include application of statistical analysis or computer modeling to history, economics, or anthropology; the creation of a documentary featuring some aspect of science or engineering; or the integration of biological and psychological perspectives on cognitive science. The fund is interested in projects involving such areas as science writing; design and mechanical or electrical engineering; theoretical physics and philosophy; sociology and bioinformatics; cancer biology and psychology; economics and sustainable energy; environmental science and political science; and science and literature in the popular media.

Students can begin applying for the DaVinci Grant Program in January 2015.

Eligibility: Undergraduates in the Colleges of Engineering, Arts and Letters, or Science, particularly those with interdisciplinary interests or majors or minors in multiple Colleges are eligible to apply. Students may work alone or in teams.

Support: Students working with faculty outside the College of their major are also encouraged to apply but should articulate how the research will enhance the interdisciplinary nature of their undergraduate research experience. For example, design students should explain why working with engineering faculty widens their array of potential projects; engineering students should explain how working with faculty studying cancer biology makes accessible to them different areas of research.

The maximum award per student is $4,500, which may be used for travel, living expenses and the purchase of research materials. Students should apply to the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA) using instructions outlined in website guidelines.

Deadline: March 20, 2015.

For more information please contact Karla Cruise, undergraduate research opportunity program advisor, College of Arts and Letters, or Dominic Chaloner, undergraduate research coordinator, College of Science.

First Year Research Ignition Fellowship

First Year of Studies (FYS) can award up to $1500 ($1000 for travel/meals/living, $500 for materials) to first year students to conduct research or present at a conference. Students must have a faculty sponsor and can apply through the Undergraduate Research Common Application ( This award can be cost-shared with other funding entities. Deadlines are November 2, 2014, February 2, 2015, and March 18, 2015.

For more information, visit the First Year of Studies website or contact Sean Wernert.

2015 Grogan Fellowship

The Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) is accepting applications for the 2015 Grogan Fellowship. The Fellowship begins in the spring semester with sponsored for travel and attendance at the 2015 International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma in Bethesda, MD from March 2-4, 2015. At the symposium, the fellow will have the opportunity to engage with prominent members of the scientific community as well as patients and their families, advocates, and those who have lost a loved one to this disease.

In addition to participation in the symposium, the Grogan Fellowship includes an 8-10 week research assistantship at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Ill. during the summer of 2015. The Fellow will be participating in the National Low Dose CT Scan Early Detection Lung Cancer Screening Program. Although the specific details of the placement are still in development, the Fellow will be involved in coordinating the screening program--interfacing with both patients and doctors in radiology, pulmonology, and thoracic surgery who are involved in this cutting edge medical technology.

The Grogan Fellowship provides funds to cover direct expenses associated with participating in the Symposium and the Research Assistantship, as well as a small stipend. Prospective fellows should have a dedication to cancer research and a demonstrated interest in pursuing a career in cancer research, especially asbestos cancers, such as mesothelioma. Applicants should be sophomores and juniors with prior research experience. Students participating in the Bengal and Baraka Bouts boxing programs are especially encouraged to apply.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please apply to the 2015 Grogan Fellowship opportunity through Applications must include:

  • two-page single-spaced personal statement
  • resume
  • official electronic transcript
  • contact information for one faculty reference

The statement should outline your prior research experience, the reason you are interested in mesothelioma research, and discuss how this experience could contribute to your future career path.

Deadline: Monday, January 26, 2015, 5:00 p.m.

Notifications will go out by February 2. 2015. If you have any questions regarding this opportunity, please email Darlene Hampton, assistant director for undergraduate research at CUSE.

NDnano Undergraduate Research Fellowships (NURF), Summer 2015

The Notre Dame Center for Nano Science and Technology (NDnano) has several undergraduate research fellowships available for the summer. The NURF program offers motivated undergraduates the opportunity to learn more about a specific area of research in nanoscience or nanoengineering, gain valuable skills inside and outside the lab as part of a faculty-led team, and interact with the other students in Notre Dame's summer research community. Nearly 30 projects are available to choose from.

Each NURF position is full time (40 hours/week) and provides a total stipend of $5,250 over a 10-week period. Complete program details, project descriptions, and application instructions are available on the NDnano website. Need more information? On the website, you will also find project summaries prepared by previous NURF students.

Deadline: Friday, February 6, 2015

Feel free to direct any questions to Heidi Deethardt at

Summer Naughton Programs in Ireland


The Naughton Fellowships offer motivated undergraduates the opportunity to learn more about a specific area of research, gain valuable skills, and be part of a cutting-edge project in STEM areas (science, technology, engineering, math).

Fellowship recipients will conduct their research within an exciting team atmosphere, working with a faculty mentor, postdocs and graduate students in either Dublin City University (DCU), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), or University College Cork (UCC), Ireland

Each REU position is full time (40 hours/week). The fellowship includes accommodations at UCD summer residences, airfare ($1,500 maximum), airport pickup upon arrival, a cultural enrichment program, and a stipend for food and other living expenses over a 10-week period between May 12 and August 8, 2015. Fellowship recipients will be part of the university’s summer research community and have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities. At the conclusion of their research, each fellowship recipient will prepare a one-page summary of his/her project accomplishments and will give an oral report either in Ireland or at Notre Dame.

Application Instructions

Students from Notre Dame’s College of Engineering or College of Science are welcome to apply.

  1. Review the summer 2015 REU project descriptions. Students are encouraged to apply for more than one project, ranking them in order of your preference.
  2. Complete the application.
  3. Email your completed application to Bob Cunningham consideration. 

Deadline: February 22, 2015.

Fellowship recipients will be notified by March 6, 2015.

External Programs for Notre Dame Students

The College of Science sponsors Notre Dame students to participate in several summer programs at other institutions including:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Undergraduate Research Program -- Cold Spring Harbor (Long Island), New York

The University of Notre Dame, through generous alumni donations, will provide one student with the opportunity to participate in cutting edge research under the auspices of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Undergraduate Research Program (CSHL-URP) during the summer of 2015. The program allows undergraduates to be mentored by research staff at CSHL, a prestigious institution located on Long Island. The successful Notre Dame student will receive full financial support from the University to participate in the CSHL-URP. For more information about the program, see the Undergraduate Research Page. The dates of the program are Tuesday, June 2 to Saturday, August 8, 2015.

To apply, please complete the application online at Notre Dame students need to submit two letters of support faculty members and provide a recommendation from their current or prior dormitory rector to Dominic Chaloner. The deadline for Notre Dame supported applications has been extended to January 15, and a shortlist of candidates will be decided by mid-February. The major stipulations are that applicants be juniors who are pursuing a College of Science major at Notre Dame, and their career intent is to pursue a Ph.D. Those that indicate that their intent is to apply to M.D. or M.D./Ph.D. programs will not be considered.

Applicants are also strongly encouraged to include and justify the names of several CSHL research staff with whom they would like to work.

Should you have any questions about this opportunity, please do not hesitate to contact Dominic Chaloner.

MD Anderson Cancer Center – University of Notre Dame Summer Undergraduate Research Program

This is a competitive ten-week summer research program designed for outstanding Notre Dame undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in cancer research. The program is located on the MD Anderson Cancer Center campus in Houston, Texas.

The program will provide research experience in a broad range of cancer biology topics; students interested in the areas of quantitative biology, bioinformatics, imagining, and technology oriented research are especially encouraged to consider applying.

The program is aimed at successful (GPA of 3.5 or more) and highly motivated students who are intent on pursuing a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.  Students will gain a laboratory-based research experience with prestigious faculty mentors working in cutting-edge laboratories, where they will interact daily with faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.  Students will also be given the opportunity to attend scientific lectures, seminars, career development events, and other social events.  

Program Dates: Saturday May 23, 2015 to Saturday August 1, 2015.

Students receive a stipend of $5,000 for the ten-week program. Students pay for housing from their stipend; use of Rice University dormitory rooms will be organized on behalf of students. Application materials should be submitted through after December 1, 2014.  Applicants should contact Dominic Chaloner by email and include contact information of three recommenders, one of whom should be their dormitory rector.

Deadline: Friday, January 16, 2015.

Any specific questions about the application portal should be emailed to

Indiana Clinical Translational Sciences Institute

Summer Internship Program -- various locations in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Questions about any of the programs mentioned above should be directed to Dominic Chaloner.