Category: Research

NIST Summer Research Opportunity

To be eligible, complete student applications must be submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Research (104 Burruss Hall) by February 2, 2015 so that the NIST deadline can be met.

All necessary information is provided via the websites below.  If you have additional questions, contact information is also provided on the website.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is one of the nation’s premier institutions for the physical and engineering sciences and through its Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURF) offers unique research and training opportunities for undergraduates, providing them a research-rich environment and exposure to state-of-the-art equipment.

NIST SURF applications are now available for Summer 2015.  The NIST has two SURF program locations in Gaithersburg, MD and Boulder, CO. Virginia Tech is allowed to submit one application to each program – this one application may include multiple student applications.  NIST will then select the students to whom they wish to offer the summer research experience.  The websites indicated provide all the information necessary to create the student application, review and select research areas, and includes contact information for questions. Students may apply to both program locations, but will need to submit a separate application for each.

Eligibility. Student must be a US Citizen or permanent resident, registered as an undergraduate student at a US university with a scientific major at time of application, considering pursuing a graduate degree, and it is recommended that the student have a GPA of 3.0 or above. Students pursuing the following majors are particularly encouraged to apply: biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, materials science, mathematics, nanoscale science, neutron research, and physics.

Successful students will receive funding for travel, lodging, and a stipend.

At the Boulder CO location opportunities are available in the fields of:

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Information Technology
  • Materials Science
  • Physics

No more than eight (8) VT undergraduates will be nominated for this site. Anticipated program dates are May 18 through July 31, 2015.

The Boulder student application package consists of (this information is from their website)

  1. Student Application Form
  2. Copy of transcript (official transcript to be provided by institution, if requested by NIST)
  3. Personal statement (including statement of research interests)
  4. Resume
  5. Two letters of recommendation
  6. Verification of citizenship or legal permanent residence; e.g., copy of permanent resident card, birth certificate, passport, etc.
  7. Verification that student will arrive at NIST with health coverage; e.g., copy of health insurance card

At the Gaithersburg MD location, students can participate in any one of the NIST laboratories:

  • Material Measurement Laboratory (MML)
  • Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML)
  • Engineering Laboratory (EL)
  • Information Technology Laboratory (ITL)
  • Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST)
  • Communications Technology Laboratory (CTL)
  • NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR)

Anticipated program dates are May 26 through August 7, 2015.

The following table describes the specific disciplines that can apply for a position in the designated labs:


  EL CNST MML/ NCNR PML ITL/ CTL Special Project
Biochemistry     X X   X
Biological Sciences   X X X   X
Chemistry X X X X   X
Computer Science X X X X X X
Engineering X X X X   X
Materials Science X X X X   X
Mathematics X   X X X X
Physical Sciences X X X X X X
Physics X X X X X X
Statistics X       X X

The Gaithersburg student application package consists of (this information is from their website)

  1. Student Application Form (including info about citizenship/legal resident)
  2. Resume
  3. Personal statement (including statement of research interests)
  4. Two letters of recommendation
  5. Transcripts (unofficial copies acceptable)
  6. Verification of U.S. citizenship or permanent legal residence (e.g. copy of birth certificate, passport, or green card)

To be eligible, complete student applications must be submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Research (104 Burruss Hall) by February 2, 2015 so that the NIST deadline can be met.

Printable NIST information

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Summer REU opportunity in Virginia Barrier Islands

The Coastal Environmental Change Laboratory at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) and the Coastal Plant Ecology Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) are looking for a motivated and energetic undergraduate student to participate as a research assistant in an interdisciplinary study of coastal dune dynamics during the summer of 2014.

This project is an investigation of the interactions between coastal dune grasses and sediment transport that give rise to coastal dune formation, as well as the impacts of climate change on coastal dune and barrier island systems.

The research assistant position is a National Science Foundation Research Opportunity for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) funded through the Long-term Ecological Research program at the Virginia Coast Reserve (LTER-VCR). The successful applicant will spend 10 weeks living and working at the Anheuser-Busch Coastal Research Center at the VCR on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. During this time the student will work and interact with project principal investigators and faculty members Drs. Laura Moore (UNC-CH, Geological Sciences), John Bruno (UNC-CH, Biology), and Don Young (VCU,

Biology) as well as with Theo Jass, an M.S. candidate in Dr. Moore’s group, who will serve as the student’s most immediate mentor.

The successful candidate will gain exposure to interdisciplinary scientific research and experience using field and computational techniques often employed in the study of ecology and geomorphology, including monitoring of plant growth, measurements of topography and sand accretion rates as well as data entry and basic GIS applications.

Primary responsibilities will include collecting, entering and analyzing measurements from field experiments designed to understand the role of vegetation in dune building. The student will also have opportunities to work on related interdisciplinary research projects, potentially including use of numerical modeling.

Eligibility: Interested rising college juniors and seniors with some classroom, lab or field experience in environmental science, biology and/or geological science. Must be a U.S. citizen, or permanent resident (including possessions/territories) and willing to live in a remote location, able to walk and carry equipment in a hot, humid environment and work long hours outside.

Additional Beneficial Qualifications: Experience in data analysis, modeling, statistics, photography and/or GIS as well as experience camping or working in a rugged outdoor environment, are beneficial but not necessary.

Timing: The research assistantship extends 10 weeks, ideally from June 2 – August 8, 2014 and carries a stipend of $4500. Housing is provided.

Food and travel to/from the field station are responsibility of the student.

To Apply: Submit the following documents as PDF files to Theo Jass (

1) A cover letter summarizing your background and interest in the position and including contact information for two references (preferably faculty members)

2) a resume or CV

3) transcript(s) (can be unofficial),

4) a statement of research and career interests.

Application review will begin immediately.

Contact info:

Theo Jass

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill M.S. Geological Sciences, 2015 Coastal Environmental Change Lab

Phone: 641-230-0637


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Pratt Research Opportunities

1. Pratt Senior Research

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will again sponsor an animal nutrition scholarship-research program for six to eight College seniors in the 2014-15 academic year.  The program, sponsored by the John Lee Pratt Foundation, will include a $3,000 scholarship for each recipient.  Proposals must focus on research that supports and enhances scholarship in the area of animal nutrition.

For proposal and application guidelines, please click below.

Pratt Senior Research 2014


2. Pratt Summer Internship

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will again sponsor an opportunity for up to three students to gain research skills through an internship program sponsored by the John Lee Pratt Foundation in summer 2014.  The program will include a $3,000 scholarship for each student selected to participate in the internship. Proposals must focus on research that supports and enhances scholarship in the area of animal nutrition.

 For proposal and application guidelines, please click below.

Pratt Summer Scholarship 2014

Application deadline is March 28, 2014. Please note that proposals must be submitted with a research advisor.

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Tech Talks

TechTalksDear CALS Students,

The Collegiate Nanotechnology Society (CNS) has decided to sponsor an undergraduate ideas seminar after being approached by Dr. Michael Hochella about an opportunity to give back to the undergraduate community. Dr. Hochella, a university distinguished professor associated with the Nanoscience curriculum, had been given funds from President Charles Steger to contribute to undergraduate affairs. As a club, we decided that we wanted to host an event that gave undergraduates the opportunity to express innovative ideas. We believe that undergraduates have unique and, what some would consider, extravagant ideas that could contribute to the scientific and engineering community.

We decided to call this event Tech Talks- Innovation and Research. This event will give undergraduates the opportunity to share, and hear, our fellow classmates ideas on innovation and research. We welcome ideas and potential projects from all realms of the Colleges of Science, Agriculture, Engineering, & Natural Resources and Environment; and would like your help to promote our endeavor. We encourage undergraduate students to apply to this program, and can do so by going to through the application link on the side bar. The application also requires a faculty member to vouch for their concept.

Fellow undergraduates will review these abstracts and four students will be chosen to give a 15 min presentation at our event on Saturday, April 12th. The applications are due by Friday, March 7th and the applicants will be told of their acceptance by Friday, March 21st. We believe this is an excellent opportunity for undergraduates to exercise their communication skills by presenting to an educated audience and makes them more competitive in the future through winning recognition regarding their innovative mindset.

Thank you for your help,

Collegiate Nanotechnology Society

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Research Opportunities for Transfer Students

Research Opportunities for Transfer Students

Thanks to a National Institutes for Health Bridges to the Baccalaureate, we have the following research opportunities for transfer students:

1. Bridges Scholars Program – Students interested in research in the biomedical and behavioral sciences  will be paired with a graduate student mentor to help them be successful in research (finding a research experience, preparing posters and talks, applying to graduate schools etc.) They will also receive a travel award to present their research at a local or national meeting. Please complete the application below and return by February 14, 2014. (Note, this program is restricted to undergraduate students who transferred to VT from a community college.)

B2B.Program Application

2. Intro to Research Practices – Students who are looking for undergraduate research opportunities or want to be more successful in their current research are encouraged to take this course (COS 2984 CRN 20096), 1 credit, Tuesdays 6-7 PM. The class is open to all undergraduates with priority enrollment to transfer students and IMSD fellows.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Sible at

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