Undergraduate Research Opportunities

2022 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) sites in Kentucky

The REU program is funded by the National Science Foundation and provides opportunities for undergraduates interested in all disciplines of science research. Applications for these summer programs are typically due early in the calendar year. Here are some REU hosts in Kentucky-

This is not an exhaustive list! Search for more REU opportunities at the bottom of this page.


UK Physics & Astronomy

We invite you to apply for our Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kentucky, starting this summer from June 7 to August 13. The six inaugural student participants will receive a $6,000 stipend plus free on-campus room and board during the 10-week program. More information is available at pa.as.uky.edu/reu, including a list of offered research projects and eligibility requirements.
You do not have to be a physics or astronomy major, and you do not have to have prior research experience to participate in this REU. Preference will be given toward participants from academic institutions where research opportunities in STEM are limited (including two-year colleges), and under-represented minorities and women are especially encouraged to apply.
All you need to do to apply is ask two professors to write you letters of reference and fill out a short online application form
here. There is no application fee. We hope you will consider applying and look forward to reviewing your application.
Contact: Christopher Crawford, Professor, REU Director, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Kentucky., 859-421-9612

KY INBRE ( Kentucky IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence ) Summer Research

KY INBRE funds up to 20 undergraduate students annually to participate in biomedical research under the supervision of faculty mentors who are actively engaged in biomedical research at the University of Louisville or the University of Kentucky.
Student compensation includes the following:
  • $4,000

  • Dormitory lodging, as needed

  • Registration and travel expenses to present your research at the Kentucky Academy of Science Annual Meeting, held in November of each year at a Kentucky University or College

Application deadline: Feb 11, 2022

Open to:  Currently enrolled Kentucky undergrads or residents attending an out-of-state college/university who are US Citizens/Permanent Residents, age 18 years old or older (born before June 1, 2004). UofL and UK students are not eligible.

Learn more

2022 NIH Summer Internship Programs Now Open

Applications are now being accepted for the 2022 summer internship programs in biomedical research at the NIH. Internships generally cover a minimum of eight weeks, with students arriving at the NIH in June.

The summer internship programs at the NIH include:
SIP, the Summer Internship Program, for individuals who are high school graduates and are enrolled in a college, graduate, or professional school program at the time or application OR will begin such a program in the fall

HS-SIP, the High School Summer Internship Program, for individuals who are juniors or seniors in high school (and have not graduated) at the time of application.

Applying to the NIH Summer Internship Program and SIP Subprograms Information Webinar and Q&A Session:
Dec 1, 3 to 4 pm ET: Register
Jan 5, 3 to 4 pm ET: Register
Applying to the NIH High School Summer Internship Program and HS-SIP Subprograms Information Webinar and Q&A Session:
Dec 7, 7 to 8 pm ET: Register
Dec 29, 2 to 3 pm ET: Register
 More details

Disturbance Ecology in Central Appalachia

NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program at Eastern Kentucky University
Eastern Kentucky University is seeking applicants for a summer REU program. The theme of the research is disturbance ecology. Students live on campus at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, KY, and spend large parts of the summer at the Lilley Cornett Woods old-growth forest ecosystem, and at other field sites in the region. This is a 10 week program running from May 23rd to July 29th, 2022.
Applications are due Feb. 18. More information including the application can be found at https://bioreu.eku.edu/
Questions can be sent to  bioreu@eku.edu


Engineered Bioactive Interfaces and Devices  at the University of Kentucky

Engineered Bioactive Interfaces and Devices focuses on the novel design of architectures that interact with biological systems and promote the desired response. These advanced architectures have numerous applications ranging from tissue engineering, to sensing systems, to drug delivery. REU students will have the opportunity to learn about three cross-disciplinary research themes that form the foundation of the research in this area. They include 1) “Novel Bioactive Architectures”, 2) “Cell/Protein Interactions at Interfaces”, and 3) “Integration into Devices”.

Program Dates: Monday May 23 – Friday July 29, 2022
Application Deadline: February 18, 2022


Interdisciplinary Micro/Nano-manufacturing Program Addressing Challenges Today (IMPACT) 

The University of Louisville J.B. Speed School of Engineering welcomes students this summer to join our research experience for undergraduates Micro/Nano Manufacturing program called INTERDISCIPLINARY MICRO/NANO MANUFACTURING PROGRAM ADDRESSING CHALLENGES TODAY. IMPACT - Next Generation (IMPACT-NG)
Dates: May 26th to August 4th, 2022 (10 weeks including 3 - Day Convocation in Austin Texas)
Housing and stipends ($6,000 per student) provided.  Meals not provided.
  • Provide each student with a personalized research experience related to micro/nanotechnology,
  • Have all students obtain a core competence in the field of micro/nano-manufacturing through a common cleanroom experience where they design, fabricate and test custom solar cells,
  • Develop each students’ independence and confidence through participation in research, in-house presentations, weekly scientific meetings and poster presentations,
  • Provide complementary programs to enhance their learning and skillset (i.e. seminars on writing, engineering design, critical thinking, ethics, etc),
  • Stimulate the students’ interests in graduate careers in related science and engineering disciplines,
  • Reach out to undergraduates especially underrepresented groups, and make their 10-week experience fun through hands-on research projects and interesting social activities.
Contact Kevin Walsh to find out Application deadline: walsh@louisville.edu

Computer Systems Research at the University of Louisville (UofL)

The research focus of this REU Site is Computer Systems Research (CSR), which broadly concentrates on the design and development of hardware and software necessary to create platforms that meet users’ computing requirements. In NSF, CSR has its own cluster under CISE’s CNS division, and its scope is broadly defined as embedded and multicore systems and accelerators; mobile and extensible distributed systems; cloud and data-intensive processing systems; and memory, storage, and file systems. Aligned with NSF’s definition, the main research pillars of our CSR focus are Operating Systems; Parallel and Distributed Systems; Embedded Systems; Mobile Systems; and Computer Architecture.

U of L Undergraduate Summer Program in Cardiovascular Research

The primary objective of this program is to expose undergraduate students from under-represented and under-served populations to cardiovascular research at the University of Louisville.  The 10-week summer research experience is supported by a NIH Short-Term Training Grant and is open to students from both Kentucky and out-of-state universities and colleges. At least eight summer research fellowships will be awarded each year.   The deadline to submit a 1 page application is March 15! For more information, please contact Denise Hughes or visit the webpage.

UK Pharmaceutical Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Program

 The UK College of Pharmacy offers a ten-week programs for talented undergraduate students to participate in paid research in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Program participants:
perform independent research under the supervision of faculty mentors, graduate students, or postdoctoral fellows, give a scientific presentation that describes their accomplishments, and
have the opportunity to contribute to front-line research in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Students work with faculty who are engaged in research in areas including preclinical studies of drug actions, fundamental mechanisms of drug actions at the molecular level, and the design, synthesis, development, and formulation of new drug products. This program allows undergraduate students to obtain hands-on laboratory experience in state-of-the-art research facilities. Applications due February 15, 2022.

Find more NSF-funded REU programs, in (almost) all 50 states, and a few US Territories, here: