Get Involved in Research
There are many ways to get involved in student research! Make sure to explore all the options below.
Talk to a favorite professor about his or her research interests. If it sounds intriguing, ask to volunteer as a research assistant as a way of getting your feet wet.
Receive Course Credit
Many departments give course credit for doing research.
Independent Study Project
Most departments support students to conduct Independent Study research studies, under the direction of a faculty member. Speak to a favorite professor about the opportunity to receive course credit for your project.
Intensive Learning Research Project
For students who would prefer to do a substantial research project outside of class though in close collaboration with a supervising faculty mentor, you can apply to get IL credit for your project. See the IL website for more details, including deadlines.
Honors in the Major Research Project
Most departments support their top students to conduct Honors in the Major research projects, which result in an Honors designation at graduation and on your transcript. You do not have to be in the Honors Program to do an Honors project. See your department for more details on the GPA requirements and application procedures.
Get Paid as a Work-Study Research Assistant
Students eligible for work-study funding are invited to apply for research assistantships with faculty from across campus. See Handshake for on campus jobs. Students can work with a faculty member and receive pay for their research work.
Do Research at the Salem VA Medical Center
Students can work at the Salem VA Medical Center doing research with scientists on healthcare issues.
Virtual Internships and Research
Students can apply in July for hundreds of virtual internships ranging across all majors through the Virtual Student Federal Service. Many of these internships have a research flavor and you may be able to get internship or research course credit. The FAQ for this program is here.
Become a Research Fellow
Apply as a high school senior to work with a faculty mentor all four years as a Research Fellow. You'll get paid, have a stipend for your research project, and work one-on-one with your faculty mentor.
Euroscholars provides opportunities in many disciplines (science, social science, and humanities) for students to study abroad and conduct research at a university in Europe during a semester abroad. Chat with the Director of Undergraduate Research and the International Education office if any of these projects are of interest.
Summer Scholars is a program for students to conduct research over the summer. Some of the benefits include free housing, a $3,000 stipend, and a course credit. See the Summer Scholars page for more details. Applications are due March 15.
Some departments also have funds available for students to work during the summer. Check with your faculty mentor to see if this option is available to you. The Summer Research Incentive Program allows for students who are not Summer Scholars to apply for reduced tuition summer research credit.
Students who are working at the Salem VAMC over the summer receive free housing. They may apply for reduced tuition summer research or internship credit as described above.
Research Experience for Undergraduates (REUs) - Science and Social Sciences
REUs are funded by the National Science Foundation and offer experiences at institutions across the country. Opportunities are usually available in the sciences and social sciences. Roanoke College students are often successful at applying to this program, which includes housing, a summer stipend, and often funds to travel to the research institution. Start planning in October or November the year before you wish to apply as applications are usually due in January or February. Talk with your research advisor or the Director of Undergraduate Research for more details.
Other Summer Research Opportunities - Science
Virginia has a Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program of paid internships coordinated by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium.
The Leadership Alliance has a Summer Research program at 20 institutions and opportunities in all disciplines.
The Chicago Field Museum offers paid research internships.
Many medical schools have summer research programs listed at the AAMC website. Virginia institutions that sponsor external applicant summer research programs include VTCRI in Roanoke (NeuroSURF and Molecular Visualization SURF), EVMS in Norfolk (the SPUR program for students in the biomedical sciences), VCU in Richmond (Philips Institute), and UVA in Charlottesville (SRIP).
The National Institute of Health (NIH) Summer Internship Program has over 1,000 positions available at many locations for those interested in health research.
AMGEN Scholars positions are available to students in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Neuroscience.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse supports students in biomedical and behavioral research.
The Pasteur Foundation funds US students doing biomedical research in Paris at the Institut Pasteur.
The Student Conservation Association has positions for biology and environmental science.
The National Parks Service Mosaics in Science program recruits underrepresented students for summer internships.
The Fish and Wildlife Service offers positions for students that have the possibility to turn into a permanent job.
The Woods Hole Institute has marine biology and environmental summer positions.
The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars are awarded to freshmen and sophomores interested in biodiversity and environmental justice.
The Virginia Sea Grant has multiple paid summer internships dealing with the environment.
The Urban Water Innovation Network has a program open to students of all levels interested in social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering.
The NIH runs a PostBac Training Award for recent college graduates interested in work at the NIH before graduate or professional school.
Other Summer Research Opportunities - Humanities and Social Sciences
The Leadership Alliance Mellon Initiative focuses on humanities students wishing to pursue a doctorate. Scroll down the linked page to find information on the LAMI specifically.
The National Endowment for the Humanities often has paid summer internships.
PIKSI recruits underrepresented students interested in philosophy for a summer program.
Make sure to investigate the REUs and health-related opportunities above if they fit your interests. Typically, social science REUs include Public Health, Psychology, Anthropology, and a few in Sociology, Business, and Economics.
The Leadership Alliance has Summer Research opportunities for those interested in graduate school. Scroll down the page to see the various programs.
The American Economics Association Summer Training Program recruits top Econ students.
The Boston Fed often has paid summer research internships.
The American Political Science Association also offers a summer research program.
The Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers runs a summer workshop program each year.