Research Opportunities Database

Search to find Penn State faculty members looking to fill open undergraduate researcher positions.

A form for faculty members interested in posting an opportunity can be found at Post an Opportunity.

Title Number of opportunities Posted Last Updated

Project SIESTA (Study of Infants’ Emergent Sleep Trajectories)is a longitudinal study of (1) linkages between infant sleep quality during the first two years and infant socioemotional development (e.g., quality of infant-parent attachments, infant behavior problems and behavioral competencies); (2) how parenting of infants at bedtime and night time (from video-recordings), beginning at 1 month of age through 24 months, affects the development of infant sleep quality over time.

Faculty: Douglas Teti

Variable, depending on the semester January 1, 2018 July 24, 2018
Sleep, Social Information processing and child neglect and parenting

Current studies in the lab focus on sleep and its impact on parenting and social and neuro-cognition and child outcomes, aging out of foster care and homelessness and adult development, and the use of gaming technology to intervene to prevent childhood injury. The diversity of projects in the lab allows for a wide range of experiences for undergraduate research assistants. RAs learn about cognitive and neurocognitive tests, mother-child interaction patterns, and measurement of sleep and links to health. Undergraduate assistants may be trained to score standardized behavioral rating scales, enter data, conduct literature searches, and gain experience with statistical software. Exceptional students may participate in home visits with study participants. In addition, bi-weekly lab meetings provide a forum to discuss theory and clinical applications of the research and policy, to address any questions that arise from work in the lab, and provide career guidance.

Faculty: Sandra Azar

2-4 January 1, 2018 July 24, 2018
Smart Portable devices development

Hacking your smart device to help engineering education is
what this project is about. Integration of low cost sensors in
combination with existing sensors in smart portable devices to design
and develop experiments for student use in and out of the classroom.
You must be very handy and must have programming knowledge.

Faculty: Rungun Nathan

1 or 2 January 1, 2018 July 24, 2018
Social Behavior in Insects

We are looking for highly responsible and reliable undergraduate students to assist in several projects about social behavior in insects. We combine behavioral, physiological, chemical and genetic aspects to study the complex behaviors social insects exhibit. Students will be exposed to variety of scientific methods and will have the opportunity to work with live insects such as bumble bees. Students will be assigned to work with a graduate student and training will be given.


Faculty: Etya Amsalem

1-2 July 10, 2018 July 12, 2018
Solutions of Native Cellulose in Ionic Liquids

Certain ionic liquids are good at breaking hydrogen bonds and can dissolve native cellulose. For many years humans have chemically modified cellulose to make it soluble for fiber spinning and coating. By dissolving native cellulose, all the hydrogen bonding in wood allows higher modulus fibers and since the ionic liquids can be easily recovered, this new processing of native cellulose is very green and sustainable.

Faculty: Ralph Colby

2 January 1, 2018 July 24, 2018
Solvent Effects on Chemical Reaction

Our work involves the use of spectroscopy and computer simulation to study the ways in which solvents influence solute electronic structure and chemical reaction. Projects include UV/visible and fluorescence spectroscopy, ultrafast laser experiments, NMR spectroscopy, and computer simulations of molecules undergoing charge-transfer and other types of reactions in conventional organic solvents and ionic liquids.

Faculty: Jay Amicangelo

1 - 2 January 1, 2018 July 24, 2018
Special Education Formation

Dr. Laura Bray is currently looking for a few students to help analyze data on a project exploring how concepts are publically discussed and developed during the formation of policy. In this work, she is drawing from the advocacy coalition framework to explore data from the 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Specifically, she is examining Congressional Hearings to identify key stakeholders and their policy agendas and messages. She is then creating social network maps to explore how and which messages made there way into the 2004 reauthorization of IDEA.

Faculty: Laura Bray

2 January 1, 2018 July 24, 2018
Spectroscopic and Theoretical Studies of Transient Species

My research area is concerned with spectroscopic and theoretical investigations of transient intermediates and weak molecular complexes. This is accomplished using an experimental technique known as matrix isolation infrared spectroscopy and also using quantum chemical theoretical calculations. Two projects ongoing in my laboratory are (1) the investigation of nitrogen containing transient intermediates related to silicon nitride (Si3N4) chemical vapor deposition processes using silane (SiH4) and ammonia (NH3) or silane and nitrogen (N2) mixtures and (2) the characterization of weakly bound complexes involving aromatic molecules, such as the lone pair-π H2O·C6F6 complex and the H- π CH3OH·C6H6 complex.

Faculty: Jay Amicangelo

2 - 3 January 1, 2018 July 24, 2018
Stress and the menstrual cycle

research involving human subjects to examine the effects of energy balance and stress on the menstrual cycle

Faculty: Nancy Williams

2 January 1, 2018 July 24, 2018
Structural studies of RNA and RNA-protein complexes

We are interested in learning the atomic-resolution details of the spatial
organization of highly structured RNA molecules and complexes of such
molecules with RNA-binding proteins. Using X-ray crystallography we can
determine the three-dimensional structure of the molecule to the finest
details; using a combination of crystallographic and biochemical studies we
can answer a very broad variety of fundamental questions, ranging from the
mechanisms of substrate recognition and catalysis to the structural and
functional roles of individual parts of the molecule or complex.

Faculty: Andrey Krasilnikov

undefined January 1, 2018 July 24, 2018