Category Archives: Research Opportunities

Amazon Catalyst Program

The Amazon Catalyst program was formed as a collaboration between Amazon and UW CoMotion to help fund big ideas. The program is open to current UW students, faculty, and staff across all three UW campuses and all disciplines. Winners receive mentorship, community, and funding from anywhere between $10,000 to $100,000. Applications for spring quarter will be accepted through June 9, 2017. More information about Amazon Catalyst can be found here.

Field Methods in Indigenous Archaeology Field School

This summer, the University of Washington and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde are offering a six week field course (ARCHY 270) in tribal historic preservation and archaeological field methods on the Grand Ronde Reservation in Grand Ronde, OR. Field school students will work with and alongside the Grand Ronde Tribal Historic Preservation Office to document historic reservation properties. The field school is a unique opportunity to gain training in a variety archaeological, ethnographic, and community-based field methods. Students will learn a variety of low-impact archaeological techniques for documenting tribal cultural resources including high-precision remote sensing, survey, and mapping technologies. Students will also gain a comprehensive understanding of survey design, excavation strategies, and artifact analysis. Lectures, field trips, workshops, and public outreach events will complement these essential skills and present further opportunities for students to understand the principles of tribal historic preservation and archaeological practice. Applications will be accepted until April 12, 2017. See the attached flyer for more information.

VISIONS Ocean Expedition 2017

Applications for the UW Sea-Going Research and Discovery course (OCEAN 411) are now open. The course offers students the opportunity to participate on a global-class research ship using a state-of the-art underwater robotic vehicle (ROV). During the 1.5 – 3 week time at sea, students will work alongside experienced scientists, engineers, and shipʼs crew members to gain at-sea research and sea-going experience using advanced oceanographic research instruments and vehicles. The course has no prerequisites and is open to all students. Applications will be accepted until March 23, 2017. See the attached flyer for more information.

NASA Space Grant Summer Undergraduate Research Program

The NASA Space Grant Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) is a summer quarter undergraduate research opportunity for STEM undergraduates at the University of Washington. Student researchers work under the guidance of a UW faculty member, postdoctoral scholar or research scientist on a physical or natural sciences project. SURP awards are $5,000 for a full time summer intern (40 hours a week) and $2,500 for a part-time summer intern (20 hours a week). Applications will be accepted until April 14, 2017. More information about the program can be found here.

AHA Undergraduate Summer Student Fellowships

The American Heart Association (AHA) Summer Undergraduate Fellowships offer students the opportunity to participate in intensive 10-week research experiences at UC San Diego. In addition to working closely with faculty members on cutting-edge research projects, the students will participate in a number of professional development activities and will present their research at the Summer Research Conference at UC San Diego. Students will receive a $4,000 stipend; a limited number of travel and living subsidies are available. Applications will be accepted until February 15, 2017. More information about the program can be found here or in the attached flyer.

Mahina International Indigenous Health Research Training Program

Mahina is designed for students who intend to pursue careers in biomedical, behavioral and public health research fields. It is the only MHIRT program that exposes students to Indigenist approaches to wellness and Indigenous research ethics and protocols. The program features onsite immersion in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and research learning opportunities with Indigenous peoples. The program offers trainees funding for travel and housing costs and a stipend for living expenses. Applications will be accepted until March 10, 2017. More information about the program can be found here.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Summer Internship

The IHME Internship offers undergraduates a unique opportunity to work in a dynamic and agile organization at the intersection of nonprofit work, technology development, academia, and research. Interns will contribute to mission-critical work, learn from experts in the field, and interact with diverse and international staff. Internships are offered in the following areas: research, global engagement, technology, and financial planning. Applications will be accepted until February 16, 2017. More information about the program can be found here.

Research in Science and Engineering Summer Research Program

Rutgers University invites talented students to apply for the Research in Science and Engineering Summer Research Program (RiSE). RiSE is a nationally acclaimed 10 week summer research program for outstanding undergraduates. Scholars participate in 10 weeks of cutting-edge research in the biological, physical, and social/ behavioral sciences, math, engineering, and exciting interdisciplinary areas under the guidance of carefully matched faculty mentors. A comprehensive professional development component, including GRE preparation, complements the research. Rolling admission to the program will start at the end of January. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for priority consideration. For more information visit:

URP Research Database

Undergraduate research opportunities are available throughout the academic year at UW and its partner institutions (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center, etc.). The URP database includes several hundred opportunities currently available to undergraduate students. It is a great way to begin searching for the research opportunity that’s right for you. Be sure to review URP guidelines for using the database, and come talk to a URP adviser for help identifying additional opportunities. The database can be found here.

Here are a few exciting opportunities currently available on the database:

Cell Signaling and Proteomics
Contact Name: Judit Villen
Department: Genome Sciences
Contact Email:

Project Title: Cell Signaling and Proteomics

Project Description: We are a proteomics lab with interest in various aspects of signaling biology. We develop new methods and apply them to solve important questions in basic biology, disease, and aging. The lab is very interdisciplinary, with people form diverse backgrounds (chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and computer sciences). We are looking for 1 or 2 undergraduate students to join the lab and gain research experience. The students will work under the supervision of a graduate student or a postdoc, and work directly on a research project that we will develop together.

Minimum Requirements: Looking for a talented undergraduate student at the junior or senior levels, with background and interests in chemistry, biochemistry or molecular and cellular biology. The ideal student will be seeking research experience and have plans to go to graduate school. We expect the student to spend 10-20 hours/week in the lab to be able to make progress in a project, but we are flexible in times where students need more time to study for exams related to classes.

Material Decomposition for Dual-Energy and Spectral CT
Contact Name: Thomas Humphries
Department: School of STEM, Division of Engineering and Mathematics, UW Bothell
Contact Email:

Project Title: Material Decomposition for Dual-Energy and Spectral CT

Project Description: Computed tomography (CT) is a medical imaging modality in which X-ray data acquired from around a patient is used to mathematically reconstruct a three-dimensional image of patient anatomy. The image is typically represented in terms of the attenuation coefficient as a function of position. In many applications it would be useful to decompose an image into basis materials (e.g. bone, soft tissue, contrast agent). Recent developments in CT technology such as dual-energy and spectral (photon counting) systems have made material decomposition more computationally and mathematically feasible. There are still many open questions about what are the best methods for achieving material decomposition. For example, material decomposition can be performed pre-reconstruction (in the data domain) or post-reconstruction (after reconstructing some intermediate images), and there are pros and cons to each approach. Various mathematical schemes have also been proposed but need to be validated.

Minimum Requirements: This project is suitable for junior or senior level students with a background in mathematics, computer science or engineering. Prospective students should: * Have experience and be comfortable programming in MATLAB or a similar language. * Have taken linear algebra; numerical analysis and scientific computing experience are assets. * Be able to commit to at least 10 hours a week (2 credits) for at least one quarter starting Winter 2017. (Two quarters preferred).

Phytoplankton community structure in the California Current
Contact Name: Sophie Clayton
Department: Oceanography
Contact Email:

Project Title: Phytoplankton community structure in the California Current

Project Description: This project aims to relate the phytoplankton community structure to the physical ocean dynamics in the California Current system. During a month-long cruise in the summer of 2014, we collected a large number of water samples in order to characterize the phytoplankton community. The role of the student in this project would be to analyze these water samples using an Influx flow cytometer, and then process the data. There would potentially be scope for the student to pursue independent research based on their analysis of the samples, under my supervision. This student would ideally work 8 hours/week, split into two half days. They would receive training in the operation of the Influx flow cytometer, as well as training in data analysis (including R and python).

Minimum Requirements: Ideally the student will already have completed the following classes: MATH 124, MATH 125 PHYS 121, OCEAN 285/286, OCEAN 295 CHEM 120, CHEM 142, CHEM 152 BIOL 180, BIOL 200


Prototype Funding, Health and Environmental Innovation Challenges

Prototype funding is available to students who plan to enter the Health Innovation Challenge or the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge. Prototype funding can spur development and help convey your idea to a broader audience. Funding is available to help purchase materials, rent equipment, or hire short-term workers with skills beyond the team’s capacity. Awards typically range from $500 – $3,000 per team.

Application Deadlines:
Health Innovation Challenge: Monday, December 12, 5 pm
Questions? Email Terri Butler

Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation ChallengeMonday, December 19, 5 pm
Questions? Email Lauren Brohawn