Undergraduate Research Opportunities

At Purdue, undergraduate research opportunities are as diverse and dynamic as the Boilermakers who pursue them. We urge you to enhance your development as a scholar by joining these faculty members in their research. They have all specifically requested to work with Honors College students.

Dr. Trevor Stamper

Purdue Entomology

Project Description:

The student will assist in a multi-variate vertebrate decomposition project aimed at elucidating the basic interactions of environmental factors involved in the decomposition process. Students will be involved in on-site data collection, insect rearing, insect organization and data input. Work involves odd hours and weekend commitment.

Preferred Qualifications:

I am looking for students who are inquisitive, enthusiastic, able to work outdoors and able to work odd hours. A background in science is preferred, but not necessary (as this can be taught). Ability to work with decomposing carrion is required.

Interested students should plan to work 20-40 hours per week, depending on credit load. Compensation will be earned in the form of research credit.

Application Procedure:

Send Dr. Stamper an email (tstampe@purdue.edu) including resume and letter of interest to request an interview.

Diana Hancock

Office of Commercialization

Project Description:

The Office of Commercialization is looking for a talented student to participate on the Dawn or Doom symposium team, as well as the Pathmaker Internship program. This position will interact with faculty members across campus as well as with speakers from outside the University. The intern will provide support for:

  1. Social media – gathering content for Social Media for both Dawn or Doom and Pathmaker
  2. Dawn or Doom podcast – help create the plan and implement a podcast for the conference
  3. Dawn or Doom website – Look into other platforms besides Event Mobi, assist with gathering content for Dawn or Doom ‘18
  4. Amazon – determine process for book sales
  5. Dawn or Doom Marketing –creating plans for 2018
  6. Pathmaker Blog – interviews and writing blogposts

Preferred Qualifications:

We are looking for a student who is available to start immediately and work through the semester. We are flexible about the schedule, 12-15 hours/week. There is a possibility to continue through the summer. This is a paid position, $10.50/hour.

Application Procedure:

Send Kim Heath an email (kimheath@purdue.edu) including resume and letter of interest.

Dr. Amanda Mayes

Purdue Convocations

Project Description:

Dr. Amanda Mayes is the Manager of Education for Purdue Convocations studying the impact the performing arts have on audiences of every age level. Her work currently focuses on academic and intrinsic benefits of arts attendance. Dr. Mayes is looking for research assistants for the Spring and Fall of 2018.

Research assistants will work on a variety of projects potentially including:

  1. Human Library: Program Assessment- Survey data was collected on November 13, 2017 at the Human Library, sponsored by the Jane Brock-Wilson Center of Krannert School of Management, Purdue Libraries, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Life. This research will help to understand what impact the Human Library has on both the human “Books” who are read and on the readers who interact with the “Books”.
  2. My Father's Dragon: Understanding the Literacy Impact of Live Theatre- This study is a nationwide project involving more than 100 elementary schools and sixteen arts presenting organizations, including Purdue Convocations. The guiding question of this research is: What impact does a live performance of My Father's Dragon have on a student's story comprehension, literacy skills, and vocabulary knowledge?
  3. Story Pirates: Understanding the Influence of a Musical Comedy Show on the Writing of Elementary Students- Students at a local elementary school viewed a short production from an acting/writing troupe called the Story Pirates. During the show, the Story Pirates teach children the basic components of a story. Following the performance, students are asked to write their own stories. The Story Pirates returned later in the week to perform a few of the stories the children had written. The research question this project address: What, if any, difference exists in the creative writing of children who experience the Story Pirates Program? Does the creative writing of children who experience the Story Pirates Program demonstrate greater skill in the use of characters, setting, problems, and solutions?
  4. Future Work on Collegiate Impact of the Performing Arts

Project Requirements:

I am looking for organized, dependable undergraduate students (preferably freshmen or sophomores) to join my research team. Students should be in good standing with the Honors College and have in interest either in the performing arts or education. A minimum two-semester commitment is preferred.

This opportunity is for 2 undergraduate students.

Application Procedure:

Send Dr. Mayes an email with resume and a letter of interest to asmayes@purdue.edu.

Project Description:

We are looking to hire undergraduate students from the Honors College to work on a campus diversity and inclusion project on the West Lafayette Campus, during the spring semester of 2018. These positions are for 10 hours per week and hourly pay rate will be competitive.

Assist the grant group on:

  • Research and literature searches on faculty diversity and inclusion, climate, leadership development, and faculty member organizational change (through libraries, the Internet, etc.)
  • Organize/summarize the literature and report to grant group members
  • Making notes as needed

Must possess:

  • Strong organizational skills and be detail oriented
  • Ability to work independently and be a self-starter, and also a team player
  • Persistence to follow through on instructions
  • Good writing skills
  • Proficiency with Word, PowerPoint, Excel

Application Procedure:

To apply send (a) a one to two page résumé with two references (name, position/title, email and telephone number) and (b) one paragraph explaining why you are interested in working on this project to fidiara2018@gmail.com

Project Description:

The Purdue LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) Research Program offers student research enrichment and career development opportunities. The Summer semester program is eight weeks and provides full or part time options.

Faculty and Graduate student mentors play a key role in the success of our LSAMP Scholars as they enhance our scholars’ commitment to higher education, help to increase the scholars’ sense of belonging in their academic discipline, and promote scholars development of essential problem solving skills.

Our Summer Research Activities include:

  • Independent research projects with faculty and graduate teams
  • LSAMP Professional Development Seminar Meetings
  • In depth exploration of Graduate. Professional School and STEAM Career Opportunities
  • K-12 Service Learning Project
  • Mentored Primary Literature Analysis Discussions and Research Article Presentations

Undergraduate Funding Opportunities Include:

  • Research Stipends Ranging from $2100-$4200 (Part-time/Full-time)
  • Conference Travel Awards support available for presenters

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Undergraduates majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, Agricultural Sciences, Mathematics, Education, Liberal Arts, Health & Human Sciences, and Pharmacy
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA required to apply
  • Decisions will be made as applications are received so please submit your application promptly! The final deadline for receipt of applications is March 23, 2018

Application Procedure:

Submit your application online at the following link: https://www.purdue.edu/gradschool/diversity/programs/louis-stokes-alliance-for-minority-participation/. For additional information please contact Dr. Ignacio Camarillo, Purdue LSAMP Program Director.

Project Description:

PPRI is pleased to offer three (3) fellowship positions to senior undergraduate students with an interest in the interdisciplinary study of public policy and policy-related research. The undergraduate fellow will receive a $1,000 stipend, be provided with carrel space for study in Mann Hall in Discovery Park, and will be expected to play a leading role in outreach activities at the Institute. The undergraduate fellow may enroll in an appropriate undergraduate course for course credit, reflecting a learning experience that combines attendance at PPRI seminars and other events with work on a research project defined in consultation with the Director. The specific number of credit hours and the nature of the project could be negotiated with the Director, but it is expected that students will be in residence at the Policy Institute at the start of the Fall semester. The Fellowship appointments are for the 2018-19 academic year.

Students are invited to apply for the award directly. Applicants will be selected on the basis of academic background, record of excellence, evidence of interest and fit with PPRI mission, and promise of future achievement. The Director aims to assemble a diverse, collaborative, and inclusive team. In order to be eligible, the applicant must meet each of the following criteria:

  1. be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at the Purdue West Lafayette campus,
  2. have completed the coursework for their freshman and sophomore years, and
  3. have a CGPA of at least 3.33.

A completed application will contain the following:

  1. copy of your most recent transcript,
  2. resume,
  3. statement describing your interest in interdisciplinary policy research (maximum one page),
  4. copy of a paper you have written in a course related to the subject, and
  5. the name and email address of a Purdue professor who is willing to act as a reference for you.

Deadline to apply:


Application Procedure:

Please send applications electronically to ppri@purdue.edu with “UG Policy Fellow Application” as the subject line.