Research on Campus


Semester-Long Research Projects for Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors

Maryland Student Researchers
2100D McKeldin Library

Maryland Student Researchers is a database of on campus research opportunities. Students spend four to six hours a week working with or under the direction of a faculty mentor on that faculty member's own research. Participation in the program "makes the big store small" for undergraduates, since it allows them to work closely with faculty members outside the classroom and the opportunity to make significant contributions to faculty research.

All undergraduate students in good academic standing with at least 15 credits completed at College Park and with interest in working with a faculty member for at least one semester are eligible for the program.


Programs with Research Components For Incoming Freshmen

College Park Scholars
1125 Cumberland Hall

College Park Scholars is an academic residential community for select freshmen and sophomores. Invited freshmen matriculate into one of 11 interdisciplinary programs, each housed in the Cambridge Community on North Campus. The curriculum and activities for each program -- and for Scholars overall -- provide the interpersonal benefits of a small college paired with the intellectual advantages of a major research university. Each Scholars program is directed by a faculty member appointed by the sponsoring college’s dean and supported by a small staff. Programs each admit about 75 first-year students annually.

Admission is by invitation and is competitive. College Park Scholars bases its admission decisions on information in the student's university application file. Interested students should apply to the university by their priority deadline for special programs. Invited students will be notified of their invitation in the University's acceptance letter.

Gemstone Program
0100J Ellicott Hall

The Gemstone Program at the University of Maryland is a unique multidisciplinary four-year research program for selected undergraduate honors students of all majors. Under guidance of faculty mentors and Gemstone staff, teams of students design, direct and conduct significant research, often but not exclusively exploring the interdependence of science and technology with society. Gemstone students are members of a living-learning community comprised of fellow students, faculty and staff who work together to enrich the undergraduate experience.

The Gemstone Academic Advisor coordinates Gemstone invitations by working with University Honors and the University Undergraduate Admissions office. Gemstone students who have been selected for University Honors and who are then invited to join the program through the University Undergraduate Admission process. Gemstone students invited for fall 2007 had an average weighted GPA of 4.5, and average SAT score of 1467. For best consideration, students are strongly encouraged to apply for admission to the University by December 1 for the following fall.

University Honors Program
Anne Arundel Hall

The University Honors Program is the long-established program for the most talented students on campus in their first two years. It offers students the opportunity to become part of a close-knit community of faculty and intellectually gifted undergraduates committed to acquiring a broad and balanced education. Honors students combine Honors coursework with regular electives and studies in their major to deepend their total educational experience.

First and second year undergraduates broaden their intellectual horizons by selected Honors seminars and Honors versions of regular courses in the arts and sciences, most of which fulfill CORE (general education) requirements in five semesters. Juniors and seniors may continue taking Honors seminars, teach in two one-credit colloquia for first-year students, and apply to more than 30 departmental or college Honors programs that provide opportunities to work closely with faculty mentors on independent research projects.

Honors Humanities
1103 Wicomico Hall

Honors Humanities is a two-year Living/Learning program for talented beginning undergraduates with an interest in the arts and humanities. The program is an exciting collaboration between the College of Arts and Humanities and the University Honors Program. The goals of Honors Humanities are to bring to campus academically gifted students and to provide them with a challenging, inter-disciplinary, research-based study of the humane disciplines that will prepare the students for advanced College and Departmental Honors works in their chosen majors.

Honors Humanities is open to all majors. Those students in non-humanities majors often find that the Honors Humanities program provides a beneficial background in the arts and humanities. Students who are admitted to the University Honors Program may receive an invitation to participate in Honors Humanities. Students who complete the 15-credit program receive a citation in Honors Humanities.

Participation in Honors Humanities is by invitation only. In order to be invited into the program, you must first be admitted to University Honors.


First-Year Innovation & Research Experience (FIRE)
1140 Lee Building

The UMD First-Year Innovation & Research Experience (FIRE) provides inquiry-based experiences and broad mentorship for first-year students through membership in faculty-led innovation and research streams.  Through FIRE, first-year students build community, earn general education degree credit and are immersed in authentic research to increase degree-relevance, academic success, retention and accelerate student opportunity.  FIRE launched in the academic year 2014-15 and serves nearly 225 first-year freshmen through the operation of eight distinct research streams.


Comprehensive 2 Year Research Programs For UMD Juniors and Seniors

Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program
2211 Marie Mount Hall

Through AAP, the University of Maryland Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is designed to prepare students who are primarily from low-income, first generation and traditionally underrepresented groups to pursue doctoral studies. Full-time University juniors and seniors who wish to pursue doctoral studies, enhance their skills to prepare for graduate study, participate in undergraduate research with faculty members, and meet overall program requirements are eligible to apply.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Student may apply as early as second semester of freshman year.

Interdisciplinary Multi-Year Research Programs

PULSAR Undergraduate Language Science Program
Maryland Language Science Center
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-7505

PULSAR (or the Program for Undergraduate Language Science Ambassadors in Research) is a 4-semester program for students interested in language science — a uniquely broad field that cuts across many  different areas of study, including social and biological sciences, computer science and engineering, as well as humanities, education, and clinical fields. PULSAR students select a diverse program of language science classes, engage in research and outreach projects, and become part of a strong interdisciplinary community of language researchers at Maryland. PULSAR is open to students in all majors who have taken one of several suggested prerequisite courses or have some comparable background in a language science field. Students earn a transcript notation for completing the program.

We are currently accepting applications to join PULSAR for Spring 2015. The application deadline is Friday, November 14, 2014. Find out more or apply online. 


Maryland Summer Scholars

Maryland Summer Scholars
2100D McKeldin Library

Maryland Summer Scholars (MSS) provides funding support for undergraduate students to enhance their academic experience by spending the summer working closely with faculty mentors on scholarly research or artistic projects. For the summer of 2013, the program provided scholarships of $3,000 to approximately 30 students. Awardees are expected to participate in MSS activities over the summer, submit research reports at the end of the summer, and participate in Undergraduate Research Day the following Spring. Scholars may research anywhere in the U.S. or abroad as required by the nature of the project.

Students who will have earned a minimum of 60 credits following the completion of the Spring semester and who will be enrolled at Maryland in the Fall semester are eligible to apply.

START Opportunities

National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START)
University of Maryland
College Park, MD
Tel: (301) 405-8504 [Direct]
Tel: (301) 405-6600 [Main]


The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) is a research center, based at the University of Maryland, committed to the scientific study of the causes and human consequences of terrorism in the United States and around the world. START supports research efforts of leading social scientists at more than 50 academic and research institutions.

Countering Violent Extremism Fellowship (CVEF) 2015-2017

START's Countering Violent Extremism Fellowship (CVEF), is a comprehensive, two-and-a-half -year program designed for four undergraduate students at the University of Maryland. Students will enter the program in the middle of their sophomore years, and the program will last through the end of their senior years.  The program experiences are aimed at transitioning students from their undergraduate experiences to professional positions in the homeland security science and technology arena (HS-STEM), with particular emphasis on transitioning into positions related to countering violent extremism (CVE) programming and policy-making.

The four students selected to participate in this program will receive financial support, allowing students to focus their time and energies on their homeland-security studies and professional development, rather than having to take on part-time employment to ensure that they have sufficient funding for school-related costs. Each student selected for the program will receive:

  • Tuition and mandatory fees for two-and-a-half academic years beginning spring 2015 (five semesters, two summers, one winter);

  • Monthly stipend of $350 during the academic years of their fellowship;

  • Salary for two, 10-week summer research internships (one in Chicago and another at the Hedayah Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism in Dubai, United Arab Emirates) and summer housing and travel stipends totaling $18,000 ($7000 for summer 2015, $11,000 for summer 2016);

  • Support to attend the annual DHS Career Development Conference; and

  • Support to attend the START Annual Meeting.

In return for the generous support the CVEF students will receive, they will be required to maintain full-time student status throughout the duration of their participation in the program, participate in START programming designed to best prepare them for successful transitions to positions in the HS-STEM arena following graduation from UMD, and graduate with a Bachelors’ degree from the University of Maryland within one academic year of completing the CVEF program.

Deadline: Monday, November 10, 2014

Download flyer: CVEFflyer2015.pdf


START is able to offer internships which can be taken for credit on several exciting projects. Subject/project areas include Global Terrorism Database, Unconventional Weapons and Technology, Strategic Military Assessment Research and Transition (SMART) Projects, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Analytical, Naval Research Laboratory Adversarial Modeling and Exploitation Office, Communications and Research Transition Support, Dataverse, Government Actions in Terror Environments (GATE), Risk Communications and Community Resilience, Risk Communications and Community Resilience App Development Internship, START/State Department Terrorist Organizations Project Internship, Terrorism Propaganda Analysis, and Cross-National Analysis of Values in the Middle East.

Students should have a good academic record; a demonstrated interest in the subject matter; submit a complete application by the deadline; agree to attend orientation and training. Looking for interns with a wide array of skills and majors  (including but not limited to: Criminology, Communications, Government, International Relations, Public Policy, History, GIS, Geography, Economics, English, Mathematics, Psychology, Languages and Statistics). Unpaid. Academic credit available.
Deadline: November 9, 2014 for Spring 2015 semester.

Undergraduate Research Program

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) seeks to engage talented undergraduate students pursuing degrees in the social and behavioral sciences in research related to understanding origins and/or responses to terrorism. By involving undergraduates in ongoing research projects, START hopes to prepare today's students for future study and work in the areas of terrorism, counter-terrorism, and homeland security. Towards this goal, the Center invites 5 undergraduates to participate in START's research as part of its Undergraduate Research Program (URP) during each academic year.  Those selected to participate in the program will participate actively in START research projects, conduct original research, attend a one-day orientation in College Park, Maryland, and attend the entire START Annual Meeting at the end of their terms, presenting their research findings in a poster session.

Students must be nominated by a START faculty member, and applications are due in May for the coming academic year. Students receive a $500 stipend towards their research plus travel costs for attending the ISA and START conferences.

Please direct questions about the program and/or the application process to


Externally-Funded Summer Opportunities

American Society for Microbiology Undergraduate Research Fellowship (ASM-URF)

Description:  The ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship (URF) is aimed at highly competitive students who wish to pursue graduate careers (Ph.D. or MD/Ph.D) in microbiology. Students will have the opportunity to conduct full time research at their home institutions with an ASM member and present research results at the ASM General Meeting the following year. Students will conduct a research project for a minimum of 10 weeks beginning in the summer of 2015, work with faculty mentors who are ASM members and who are employed at the students home institutions, and submit a research abstract for presentation at the ASM 2016 General Meeting.

Location:  Multiple. Research takes place at student's home campus with faculty mentor.

Field:  Microbiology

Eligibility:  U.S. Citizen or permanent resident enrolled full-time for 2015-16 academic year at an accredited U.S. institution. Applying students must be involved in a research project and have an ASM member at their home institutions willing to serve as a mentor.

Funding:  Up to $4000 for student stipend, two-year ASM student membership, and up to $1000 in travel support for students to present the results of the research project at the ASM 2016 General Meeting. Travel funds are contingent upon acceptance of an abstract for the General Meeting. 
Deadline: February 1