Undergraduate research programs

In an effort to encourage research among the country's brightest undergraduate students, Kansas State University hosts summer programs that offer research experiences.

These programs provide an opportunity for students from diverse disciplines to work with a mentor on a research project or to join an existing research team. In addition to being an opportunity to work with multi-cultural students from different colleges and universities, participants learn about the graduate school experience through seminars and other activities.

Chemistry Research Experience for Undergraduates (Chemistry REU)

The Chemistry REU Program is sponsored by the NSF Research experience for undergraduates program and provides research opportunities for students who have had limited exposure to independent research at their home institution. Both 4 year and community college students are encouraged to apply. As part of this program students spend ten weeks conducting cutting edge chemistry related research projects under the guidance of experienced researchers. In addition to the research experience, the students will also learn about and use the various types of instrumentation critical to chemists, learn about the importance of ethics in scientific research, gain a better understanding of the nature of science, and learn how to write up and present their research results. Accommodations and meals are paid for by the program. Students may also have the opportunity to travel to a national chemistry conference and present their results. Students who have completed one and preferably two years of chemistry coursework are eligible to apply. Rolling admissions begin February 21st.

KSRE Multicultural Summer Research Fellowship

The Multicultural Undergraduate and Graduate Summer Research Fellowship will provide an opportunity for multicultural students to work closely with faculty members as part of their research teams. Students are expected to spend 35 hours per week working with their research teams and to be contributing members of this group. By the end of the 8 week period, June 2 to July 31, students should have produced tangible results from experimental research and will report the results in a special research forum. This Fellowship is an excellent experience for students who plan to attend graduate or professional school.

Students selected to participate in the K-State program will be paired with faculty in research projects that match a student's interests. Faculty and other members of the research team are committed to working closely with the students to train them in research techniques as well as regularly discussing their projects and progress.

Students may also attend summer classes on research ethics and compliance, and informal seminars and meetings of the research groups as part of the process of becoming members of the research team.

Kansas Bridges to the Future

The Bridges to the Future program was developed to recruit underrepresented students to pursue careers in biomedical or behavioral sciences. These areas include, but are not limited to, biology, psychology, nutrition, food science, engineering, family studies and human services, animal sciences, chemistry, physics, mathematics, veterinary science, applied social sciences, and social work. Students are recruited from three community colleges in southwest Kansas: Dodge City Community College, Garden City Community College, and Seward County Community College. Bridges is funded through a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Bridges students begin their studies at one of these community colleges and transfer to Kansas State University to complete their bachelor of science degree. Students in this program participate in a week-long research experience course at K-State in late May each year. This class explains how scientists work on problems, how to use research equipment and how to use a research library. It also discusses science ethics and student life on a large research campus.

In the summer after their second year of community college studies, Bridges students participate in paid internships at K-State where they work alongside a professor on a research project for eight weeks. Students in this program are eligible for Bridges tuition scholarships at both their community college and at K-State. Once at K-State, students participate in the Developing Scholars Program, an undergraduate research program which focuses on students of color or first-generation college students of any racial or ethnic background.

The Bridges program addresses diversity and education requirements that have a broad impact across campus and develops a well-established recruitment network. Bridges students can be incorporated into research proposals through mentoring one or more Bridges students during their grant-sponsored summer internship, in addition to sponsoring funding for their research stipend during the school year. Research team members are also encouraged to consider mentoring Bridges students in their research.

Other connections with Bridges students can be formed through mentoring or providing oversight for a group of students at one of the community colleges to assist with a research task that will be an ancillary part of your overall research project. There are also opportunities to engage in collaborative work with faculty members at the community college, thereby having an impact on their students.

The contact for the Bridges to the Future program is Charlotte Olsen, family studies professor and extension specialist. Please contact her at colsen@k-state.edu.

Laser-matter Interactions at the Atomic and Nanoscales (Physics REU)

The 10-week summer program offers students an opportunity to perform cutting-edge research. Each student will be paired with a faculty research mentor. The program includes lectures and presentations by Physics professors and Dr. Bruce Glymour, Professor of Philosophy, will lead discussions of ethical issues in physics, including case studies of some famous ethical violations in recent years. Students will develop a web page, give regular research updates, and give an oral or poster presentation summarizing their research project. Sophomores and juniors who have completed a course in modern physics are eligible. US citizens and permanent residents are encouraged to apply. Rolling admissions begin February 1.

McNair Scholars Program

The McNair Scholars Program is a comprehensive program designed to prepare undergraduates from groups underrepresented in graduate education for doctoral studies. The program was established in 1986 by Congress in honor of the late Dr. Ronald E. McNair for his accomplishments as a scholar and an astronaut. McNair Scholars will participate in a paid summer research internship, receive preparation for the GRE and other entrance exams, receive assistance in applying to appropriate graduate programs, receive funding to attend research conferences, and assistance in locating funding for graduate school. Review of applications to the program begins the second Friday in September.

Research Immersion: Pathways to STEM (RiPS)

Students in this 8-week summer program will be engaged in research on the K-State campus. Students will be paired with a faculty member who will help them conduct an independent research project. RiPS is sponsored by the Kansas Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation which is a National Science Foundation program. It aims to strengthen the connection between K-State and four other Kansas colleges: Dodge City Community College, Donnelly College, Garden City Community College and Seward County Community College. RiPS will provide opportunities for students to conduct research in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) fields. In addition to the research component of the program, RiPS students will have the opportunity to socialize with students from all over the nation who are participating in research programs on campus. Room and board are covered to help encourage students to fully immerse themselves in the atmosphere of K-State. Students will also receive a stipend for their participation in the 8-week program. The overall goal of RiPS is to provide summer academic and professional preparation to students. Students who identify themselves as Hispanic/Latino, African American/Black, Native American/American Indian, Pacific islander, multiracial or another underrepresented student group and are looking to transfer from a partner college to K-State are encouraged to apply.

Summer Internships in Plant Health

The Department of Plant Pathology offers summer (9-week program) internships in plant health. This research and extension experience for undergraduates program has research projects that cover plant health subject matters such as plant pathology, entomology, agronomy, genetics, and horticulture. Selected candidates receive a stipend.

Summer Undergraduate Mathematics Research (SUMaR)

During eight weeks, 12 undergraduate students will have the opportunity to visit K-State and carry out research projects under the mentorship of the mathematics department's faculty. This REU encourages applications from students preparing for graduate studies in mathematics, and those from community colleges who might otherwise not have an opportunity to experience mathematics work and consider graduate studies. Since a subset of the student population we plan to recruit will be early in their studies, and hence expected to have limited experience with mathematical proof, the REU will feature a series of talks by Philosophy faculty on epistemology of mathematics and propositional logic. SUMaR receives its support from the National Science Foundation, the K-State Mathematics Department, and K-State SUROP.


  • Help students to be independent researchers
  • Enhance their understanding of basic mathematics and the areas involved in their own project
  • Develop a sense of sound mathematical reasoning
  • Create a sense of community among the REU students and our own students and faculty.