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Research Experience for Underrepresented Undergraduates (REU)

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Research Experience for Underrepresented Undergraduates (REU2) is an opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research with a faculty member at Clarkson University for five weeks, June 30 to July 28, 2017.  The Honors Program provides room and board, funding for research supplies, and a modest stipend.  Students are paired with an upper class mentor who assists them as they adapt to campus and the rigors of research in a university setting. 

 To be eligible you must be a student of color or a first generation college student, studying at a two-year institution with the intent to transfer to a four-year institution to complete an undergraduate degree. You should have high academic achievement (min GPA of 3.7) and an excellent record of leadership and service.  Up to 8 students will be accepted each summer. 

Why Do Summer Research?

Honors Summer Research provides an opportunity for students to gain valuable skills, build personal and professional relationships, and prepare for their careers.

According to a national survey conducted by Hart Research Associates in 2013, 83% of employers consider that developing the skills to research questions in their field and perform evidence-based analysis prepares graduates to succeed in the workplace. And research experience is more highly valued even than internships!

 And the 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index Report, “Great Jobs, Great Lives,” found that having a close relationship with faculty is the most important factor predicting personal and professional fulfilment! And research best builds those relationships!

What Kind of Research Can I Do?

Students conduct research on all kinds of topics, usually something related to their major fields of study, but sometimes in pursuit of a personal passion. And it does not have to be research in the traditional sense of the term: you can draft a business plan or design an “app” for a smart-phone. You tell us what you want to do and we try to find you a faculty advisor!

Some recent summer projects include:

Minute Motion Detection using the Google Glass (Computer Science & Software Engineering)

Engaging the Autistic Student Using the NAO Robot (Electrical Engineering)

Spectral Analysis of the LBV Binary Hypergiant R81 inthe Large Magellanic Cloud (Physics)Photodegradable Alginate Hydrogel (Biology & Biomolecular Sciences)

Characterization of Fatigue Induced Fractures in Aluminum Foam Using X-Ray Computed Tomography (Mechanical Engineering)

Compressive Strength of Alkali-Activated Fly Ash Binder (Civil Engineering)

Impact of Historic District Designation on Housing Prices (Finance)

Stepping Over Alligators: Sam Rivers’ American Life (Digital Arts & Sciences)

Analyzing the Effects of Electrospray Ion Beam Deposition on Spacecraft Surfaces (Aeronautical Engineering)

For more examples see our website:

What Do I Do for Fun?

Honors summer researchers take advantage of all that the North Country has to offer such as:

  • hiking at night up Azure Mountain in the Adirondack Park;

  • playing capture the flag and ultimate Frisbee on campus greens;

  • watching 4th of July fireworks in the Olympic town of Lake Placid, N.Y.

  • kayaking and canoeing on the Raquette River;

This past summer a group of students even went skydiving!

Without the pressures of ongoing classes, you will have a chance to network with faculty and make friends with students.  Our summer researchers live in the Townhouse Apartments, which are equipped with a full kitchen, so students can share recipes and organize potluck dinners and cook-offs within and between apartments.  You’ll find that independent living is a lot of fun!

How Do I Apply?

You can apply on the Web or download an application form at:


How Do I Find out More?

For more information about research opportunities in the Honors Program, and for answers to frequently asked questions, please check out our website:

“I’m currently doing professional research in medical oncology and I owe my career success to Clarkson University and the Clarkson Honors Program.  Over the summer of 2014, I was among the first group of students to intern at the Trudeau Institute, where I worked on with noted immunologist Dr. Markus Morhs.  The following year, I completed my Honors thesis in biology on the detection of apoptosis in cervical cells using flow cytometry. 

My research fostered close relationships with my professors, giving me courage to ask questions and discuss my thoughts about my career.  I am very grateful for their invaluable support.”

--Joanina Gicobi ’15, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


“I did summer research in a cancer lab at Clarkson and the following summer I was at the Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake researching the cellular mechanisms of the plague bacterium in order to design future vaccines. With a proposal based on this project, I won a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship and this past summer, I had a fantastic internship at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. Now, I am studying abroad in England.”

--Xulan Deng ’18, Biomolecular Science