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
College of Engineering Research Initiative (CERI)

During this 15-week program, Penn State undergraduate engineering students work during an academic semester conducting research with a faculty member based at University Park.Students dedicate 10 hours per week to their research project with a PSU faculty member and that faculty member's associated research group. Students also engage in monthly professional development sessions to compliment their personal and professional portfolios.Upon completion of the program, students submit a research paper and also present their research at a poster symposium.The program serves 70 students per academic year, with approximately 30 students in the fall semester cohort, and 40 students in the spring cohort. If you would like more information on the CERI program or to apply, please visit our application website

Faculty: Erin Hostetler

70 per year May 18, 2018 May 18, 2018
3-D Printer Based Quadcopter

Design and build 3D-printer based quadcopters with image processing capability.

Faculty: Jay Amicangelo

3 January 18, 2018 May 9, 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 February 28, 2018
Root Trait Discovery for Abiotic Stress Tolerance

Apply novel field, greenhouse, and imaging techniques and methods to understand how root anatomy and architecture affects crop growth under drought and low fertility soils. Students will have opportunities to gain experience in laser ablation imaging of root tissues, image analysis, measuring and processing biological samples, and more! Laboratory and/or biology experience is helpful but not necessary.

Roots of the Second Green Revolution

Work with us in the lab, field, and greenhouse to discover root traits that enable crops to grow under drought and with inadequate mineral nutrients. Students will work with graduate student researchers to test new hypotheses, observe and measure plant growth, conduct lab analysis, and analyze and interpret data.

Please contact Dr. Lynch (, and graduate students Chris Strock (, Stephanie Klein (, Catherine Hoover (, and Miranda Niemiec ( if interested.

Faculty: Jay Amicangelo

1-5 January 24, 2018 January 24, 2018
Investigating the Ecology of Mange on Black Bear in Pennsylvania

The Veterinary Entomology Laboratory at Penn State University is seeking motivated undergraduate students interested in vector ecology or wildlife biology student to work as part of a team on a study of arthropod pests of black bear in Pennsylvania. The summer of 2018 students can participate in black bear trapping and sample collection. The Fall 2018 is hunter harvest collections, Winter of 2019 is Den surveys. This is a project under a graduate in the VEL lab that will be conducting both basic and applied research on black bear behavior in relation to mange, ticks, and lice. The successful applicant will investigate the interaction of mange infection in black bears and subsequent treatment, as well as determining mange risk in the environment. The work will involve capture and monitoring of black bears with GPS collars and trail cameras, collecting samples off hunter killed bears, and sampling for Sarcoptes scabiei in the environment, including bear dens.  Students will have opportunities to be involved with other projects related to veterinary pests as well. 

Please see for more information

Faculty: Erika Machtinger

1 January 1, 2018 January 18, 2018
Gene Regulation

Our laboratory is interested in how genes are turned off or on since such regulation is altered in cancer cells. Our goal is to determine how gene regulation complexes work using both biochemical and structural biology approaches. A focus of the lab is to determine the three-dimensional structure of epigenetic and chromatin complexes by X-ray crystallography and cryoelectron microscopy. Current undergraduate projects include (a) coexpression of protein complexes in E. coli and insect cells, (b) affinity purification of proteins, and (c) characterizing chromatin enzymes through chromatin enzyme activity and nucleosome binding assays.

Undergraduates who work in our lab gain valuable experience using cutting-edge technologies to study important biological problems. Our philosophy is to encourage undergraduates to learn new techniques while developing critical thinking and troubleshooting skills.

Faculty: Song Tan

4 January 1, 2018 January 18, 2018
Cognitive Development Research Project

At the Brandywine Child Development Lab at Penn State Brandywine, we have two main areas of research. First, we ask questions about how kids learn about the world around them by developing fun games to help us explore what kids know about objects, numbers, and language. Second, we ask about the impact of technology on infants, toddlers, and parent-child relationships. We have a number of behavioral studies that examine cognitive development in children from 6 months-5 years. Undergraduates in the lab work hands-on with children in the on-campus lab and at "Living Lab" locations in children's museums and local libraries. Through this lab experience, student researchers obtain a well-rounded understanding of cognitive development research.

Faculty: Jennifer Zosh

1-4 January 1, 2018 January 18, 2018
Additiive Manufacturing Sensing and Process Control

Process sensor data collected from 3D printing process, extract useful information from the data, and exploit the knowledge for better process design and control

Faculty: Hui Yang

2 January 1, 2018 January 18, 2018
Internet of Health Things

Work with graduate students on the wireless health monitoring systems, cloud computing and data analytics.

Faculty: Hui Yang

2 January 1, 2018 January 18, 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 January 18, 2018