Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) are competitive summer research programs for undergraduate students studying any science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) grant program, they are hosted in various universities and research laboratories around the country. The programs are small, usually with 8 to 10 students per program, and they typically last 8 to 10 weeks. 

Although the National Science Foundation sponsors a majority of Research Experiences for Undergraduates, there are several other organizations that offer great research experiences:

Introduction to REUs


The Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships program encourages undergraduate students and recent graduates to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers by providing research experiences at the Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories. Selected students participate as interns appointed at one of 17 participating DOE laboratories/facilities. They perform research, under the guidance of laboratory staff scientists or engineers, on projects supporting the DOE mission.

The SULI program is sponsored and managed by the DOE Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) in collaboration with the DOE laboratories/facilities.

Applications for the SULI program are solicited annually for three separate internship terms. Internship appointments are 10 weeks in duration for the summer term (May through August) or 16 weeks in duration for the fall (August through December) and spring (January through May) terms. Each DOE laboratory/facility offers different research opportunities; not all DOE laboratories/facilities offer internships during the fall and spring terms. 

The application process, key dates, and deadlines are found here.


Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) are a summer immersion experience, which supplements research activities that occur during the academic year. Typically, these highly competitive undergraduate programs are overseen by a member of a college's faculty who provides general guidance to the undergraduate's research work. Areas of research vary widely and can come from any science discipline.

RIT offers SURF opportunities through the College of Science. Other opportunities can be found by doing a Google search in your field of interest, asking your faculty advisor for suggestions, and searching government agencies, including National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Research with RIT Faculty

Many RIT faculty have funded projects in strategic research areas and often need student researchers to participate in their projects. Students work directly with faculty, gaining valuable experience in exploring, investigating, and problem solving. Part-time, paid research assistant positions are available throughout the academic year; additionally, some faculty have funding for full-time positions during the summer.

To find a research opportunity with a faculty, ask your faculty advisor, or approach faculty in your courses directly. Here are some individual college resources: