NTID Student Research


Funds are available to support RIT/NTID student researchers, with the goal of increasing the number of NTID-supported students who do research with faculty members. Funding can include microgrants, conference participation, and other research support.

If you are an NTID-supported undergraduate or graduate student looking to get involved in faculty-mentored research projects, but don’t know where to begin, please contact Dr. Todd Pagano (tepnts@rit.edu) to get connected to faculty and resources.

Student Research Microgrants

Students working in lab

Students (with approval of a faculty mentor) can apply for a microgrant of up to $1,000 to support a specific research project. Funds could be given to students in need of purchasing software, equipment, chemicals, etc. to conduct research. Faculty members who want to start new/pilot research projects are specifically encouraged to have their students apply. These microgrants are predominantly for supplies and are not eligible to be used as stipends or for travel. Projects that involve human subjects require RIT Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval.

Applications due: Rolling

The Microgrant eligibility requirements are as follows:

  1. The student must be an NTID-supported undergraduate student with a GPA of 3.0 or above (and must not have graduated before the end of the project completion date).
  2. The student must be in good academic, financial and judicial standing at RIT/NTID.
  3. The proposed research work must be completed in collaboration with a faculty mentor.
  4. If the applicant is conducting research under externally-funded projects, those funds must be used before applying for NTID-funded grant opportunities.
  5. Projects that involve human subjects require RIT Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval.
  6. The application form must be completed by the student researcher and approved by the faculty mentor.
  7. With the approval of the faculty mentor, the student is required to present at NTID's annual Student Research Fair (typically, late April/early May).
  8. The maximum amount requested is $1000. (It is anticipated that most requests will be for less than $1,000.)
  9. Funds are to be used to purchase equipment/supplies and are not used for pay, stipends, honorariums, or travel.
  10. Funds cannot be used to compensate professional staff for their time/effort.
  11. Any supplies/equipment purchased with these funds are property of RIT/NTID and should remain with RIT/NTID after the completion of the research project.
  12. If funds are requested for survey/study participant incentives or fees, the funds must be managed by the faculty mentor and must strictly follow RIT’s policies.
  13. The student and faculty mentor must agree that all funds will be used and invoices turned in within one (1) month of making purchases. Exception - All invoices in September and June are due by the 15th to adhere to budget cycle closing.

For more information, contact Dr. Todd Pagano.

To apply, complete the Student Research Microgrant Application Form. The application form includes a one-page project description and requires your faculty mentor’s signature.

Priority will be given to students who have not previously received a microgrant from RIT/NTID.

Recent Microgrant Projects

Letters IoT and hands typing

Research, learn and develop a project related to IoT "applied research"

Ashley Locatelli, Applied Computer Technician (AAS) major

Technical app running on mobile device

Design and implementation of a Point of Sale (POS) system

Mathew Annechiarico, Applied Computer Technology major

graphic drawing with head and gears coming out of it

Online pilot survey study to evaluate cognitive reserve and how it is related to various cognitive domains and health behaviors

"Bo" Allaby, Psychology major

Student Research Conference Travel

Student travel perspective

Limited funds are available to support travel for NTID-supported student researchers to attend a professional conference in the U.S. at which they will present their research (as the presenting author) in a poster or oral presentation. These funds are reserved for students who have made significant progress in their research projects in collaboration with a faculty mentor and are ready to present their results at a professional conference.

Funds of up to $2,000 per trip can be requested to support student researcher travel to present at a conference within the U.S. These funds can be used for transportation, lodging, registration and food expenses. Preference will be given to students who have not received NTID Student Researcher Travel fund support in the past.

Applications due: Applications accepted on a rolling basis (but completed applications must be received at least one month prior to the proposed travel date).

  1. The student must be an NTID-supported undergraduate student with a GPA of 3.0 or above (and must not have graduated before the end of the conference date).
  2. Student must be in good academic, financial, and judicial standing at RIT/NTID.
  3. Student must be a current, matriculated RIT/NTID student at the time of the proposed travel (i.e., enrolled in courses at RIT/NTID and will not have graduated before the date of the proposed travel, etc.)
  4. The research work must be completed in collaboration with a faculty mentor.
  5. The applicant is required to present their research at NTID's Annual Student Research Fair (in April).
  6. The applicant must not be conducting research under a currently externally-funded project.
  7. The presentation must be made by the applicant (not the faculty mentor or other co-author).
  8. The applicant must submit a short (one-page maximum) report on the conference experience within one (1) month after the event. This report will be shared with NTID’s Marketing Department so the research/trip may be publicized.
  9. Travel is to be conducted within the U.S.
  10. The applicant will work with Dr. Todd Pagano (tepnts@rit.edu) to make the travel arrangements. The arrangements should be made with Dr. Pagano at least one (1) month prior to the travel start date. Student will not be reimbursed for any travel arrangements/charges made prior to meeting with Dr. Pagano.
  11. The applicant cannot change the airfare itinerary after it has been formally purchased.
  12. Copies of all receipts must be submitted to Dr. Todd Pagano via Google Drive within one (1) week of the completed travel.
  13. The application form must be completed by the student researcher and approved by the faculty mentor.

Applicants should submit a completed Student Researcher Travel Support Application Form, which includes:


Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURFs)

A limited number of Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURFs) are available to qualified NTID-supported students to conduct research with a faculty mentor during the Summer. The student stipend amount is $4,500. Please be aware that this would be a stipend to cover a full-time effort by the student for a period of ten weeks during the Summer. Priority will be given to students who have not previously received a SURF from RIT/NTID.

Applications due: Applications are due on April 1st.

The SURF requirements are as follows:

  1. The student must be an NTID-supported undergraduate student with a GPA of 3.0 or above (and must not have graduated before the end of the summer term in which the SURF takes place).
  2. The proposed research work must be completed in collaboration with a faculty mentor.
  3. The student cannot be conducting research under a currently externally funded project. Students who are conducting research under externally-funded projects are asked to use those funds before applying for the NTID-funded opportunities.
  4. The student will present their research (with approval of their mentor) at RIT’s annual Summer Undergraduate Symposium (typically held in early August).
  5. Students are encouraged to present (with approval of their mentor) at NTID’s annual Student Research Fair (typically late April/early May).
  6. Student must be in good academic, financial and judicial standing at RIT/NTID.
  7. SURF funds may only be used for student pay/stipends—they cannot be used for supplies, travel, etc.
  8. Student must be at least 18 years old by the start date of the SURF Program. If student is not 18 and their application is preliminarily approved, student must obtain written consent from their parent/guardian to participate in the SURF program.
  9. The stipend received through this program may be taxable and will be reported to the IRS annually.
  10. The SURF stipend may affect other financial aid that is currently part of the student’s financial aid award. Student must contact the RIT Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to determine if the SURF stipend will affect their financial aid.
  11. The student is required to work under the SURF Program full-time for ten (10) weeks during the summer term. Any exceptions would need to be pre-approved by Dr. Todd Pagano.
  12. If the student needs to withdraw from the SURF Program, the student must notify their faculty mentor and Dr. Todd Pagano (tepnts@rit.edu). Further, any stipends received under this program will stop under these circumstances.

Background and significance.

Statement of the problem.
How important would the solution to this problem be? What is known and not known in this area of inquiry? Why is this research important? To whom is this work of most interest? What makes this project novel? If applicable, provide citations from the relevant literature.

Project goals and design.
As specifically as possible, describe how you will conduct your research and/or attack the problem that you stated above. What will your project methodology be? While it is true that research often goes in unforeseen directions, success in a 10 week summer project requires a very high level of focus. The clearer your goals, the more likely you are to have a successful experience.

To apply, complete the SURF Application Form.

The application form includes:

  • A brief (1- 2 page) Research Proposal that describes the work that you will complete during the summer SURF assignment.
  • A 1-page Personal Narrative that describes how your involvement in this research experience will benefit your future education and career goals.
  • A letter from your faculty mentor in support of your SURF involvement and research proposal.

All application materials are due April 1st.
For more information, contact Dr. Todd Pagano.

Research Poster Printing

NTID faculty and NTID-supported students doing faculty-guided research can have their research posters printed (at no charge) for presentations at professional and academic conferences/symposia. Additionally, we have poster carrying tubes that faculty and students can use when traveling to conferences/symposia. Please contact Dr. Todd Pagano if you would like to borrow a poster tube.

To help with costs, print time, and staffing logistics, please adhere to the following guidelines and printing policies:

  • The poster content must be related to NTID-supported student/faculty research for presentation at professional conferences/symposia.
  • Faculty advisors of student researchers must approve the posters for printing. Advisors should submit the final poster for printing on behalf of their student researchers.
  • We will not be able to re-print posters, so please carefully proofread contents before sending the file for printing.
  • Posters sizes can vary, but please limit posters to no larger than 42” x 48” (42” paper is the largest that we carry). Often, the poster size requirements for sessions at professional conferences are smaller than this (so, please print them smaller to fit your organization’s standards). If a poster is needed that is larger in one dimension than 48”, please contact us before creating your poster (but again, the other dimension can be no larger than 42”).
  • Please avoid using solid color backgrounds or large solid images as backgrounds (this consumes ink very rapidly). However, the use of colored texts, images, graphs, tables, boxes, etc. is encouraged.
  • To avoid transposition errors on different computers and printers, please submit the files in PDF format.
  • Please plan ahead to allow at least five (5) business days for printing.
  • Faculty-approved PDF files of posters should be sent to Jorge Samper (jbsedr@rit.edu) for printing.
  • You will receive an email when your poster is ready for pickup. Posters may be picked up on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

NTID Undergraduate Research Courses

NTID has credit-bearing Undergraduate Research courses available to allow students to receive course credit for being involved in faculty-led research projects. These are variable credit courses (typically 1-3 credits per semester), and like Independent Study courses, involve the development of a contract outlining course expectations/outcomes. Upon completion, students receive a letter grade for the course. A list of approved NTID Undergraduate Research courses (by program) can be found below:

  • NACA-285 Undergraduate Research Applied Computer Programming
  • NACT-285 Undergraduate Research ACT
  • NASL-285 Undergraduate Research ASL
  • NASL-485 Undergraduate Research ASL
  • NBUS-285 Undergraduate Research Business Studies
  • NCOM-285 Undergraduate Research Communication Studies
  • NDLS-285 Undergraduate Research Liberal Studies
  • NETS-285 Undergraduate Research Engineering Studies
  • NHSS-285 Undergraduate Research Humanities and Social Sciences
  • NLST-285 Undergraduate Research LST
  • NMAD-285 Undergraduate Research Mobile Application Development
  • NMTH-285 Undergraduate Research Mathematics
  • NSCI-285 Undergraduate Research Science
  • PRFN-285 Undergraduate Research Performing Arts
  • INTP-485 Undergraduate Research ASL English Interpretation

Brief descriptions of these courses can be found in the Undergraduate Courses booklet.

Student Research Events

Student presenting at research fair

NTID student researchers are encouraged to present their research projects at these events: