Undergraduate Research Programs for UA Students


Year-Round Programs

Vertically Integrated Projects (VIPs)

  • VIPs engage undergraduate and graduate students in ambitious, long-term, large-scale, multidisciplinary project teams that are led by faculty.  VIP Teams at the University of Arizona are engaged in research and design projects to address the grand challenges of our times.  VIPs offer a dynamic approach to learning, research, and creative inquiry that crosses disciplines, semesters, and academic years. 

  • Contact vipprogram@arizona.edu with any questions. 


Access, Wellness, and Relational Determinants of Student Success-Publishing, Policy, Practice, Leadership, and Life-Long Learning for Underrepresented Students (AWARDSS) 

  • The AWARDSS-PLUS program, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, is open to undergraduate (junior and senior), postbaccalaureate (within 5 years), and master degree students who are interested in conducting a project that is relevant to US education (across the lifespan) and plan to pursue a PhD program in an education-related field, such as education, social science, family studies, STEM education, psychology, special education, and public health. The AWARDSS program emphasizes a positive psychology framework embedded in a public health model to support students as they explore topics related to inclusiveness and accessibility (Access), physical and psychological well-being (Wellness), relationships (Relational Determinants), and/or student success.  
  • Contact Michelle Perfect at mperfect@arizona.edu with any questions.


Arizona’s Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Scholars Scholar Training Academy for Research in STEM (ASEMS STARS) 

  • The ASEMS Scholar Training Academy for Research in STEM (STARS) is a year-round undergraduate research and mentoring program for ASEMS students who come from backgrounds underrepresented in graduate education and who have interest in pursuing a doctoral degree (PhD). Funded through a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, ASEMS STARS recruits students in the STEM fields, supports the development of skills necessary to excel in their academic studies, and provides assistance in gaining admission to a doctoral program. 
  • Contact Leah Callovini at lcallovini@arizona.edu with any questions.


Beckman Scholars Program

  • The Beckman Scholars Program, funded by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, helps stimulate, encourage, and support research activities by exceptionally talented, full-time undergraduate students who are pursuing their studies at accredited four-year colleges and universities in the United States. The Beckman Scholarship is a prestigious one, providing a total student stipend of $18,200 plus $2,800 for research supplies and travel support over the course of the 15-month experience. Two Beckman Scholars will be selected annually.
  • The UArizona Beckman Scholars Program gives undergraduates funding and support to conduct in-depth research with one of 12 stellar mentors in UArizona’s College of Science on a full-time basis for two consecutive summers, and part-time during the intervening academic year. UArizona Beckman Scholars work on a project of interest in their selected mentor’s lab, engage in professional development activities, such as leading undergraduates in small group discussions, inviting and hosting an eminent scientist to give a seminar at UArizona, meeting with Beckman Mentors, and serving as student leaders within the Undergraduate Biology Research Program, etc.
  • Contact Jennifer Cubeta at cubeta@arizona.edu with any questions.


College of Education FREADOM Directed Research (Open for Spring 2023 and Fall 2023)

  • Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the FREADOM (Family Routines Enhancing Adolescent Diabetes by Optimizing Management) study investigates how we can best empower adolescents with type 1 diabetes to be in control of their own health. Our team is researching ways to improve the lives of children with type 1 diabetes through a randomized clinical trial examining a sleep intervention compared to a family support condition. We examine family factors; school impact (including obtaining data from teachers and school records); physical activity, and diet; sleep using home-based polysomnography (PSG), actigraphy, and self-report questionnaires; behaviors and resiliency across settings; salivary biomarkers; and continuous glucose monitoring.
  • The faculty Principal Investigator is Dr. Michelle Perfect (mperfect@email.arizona.edu), and our team is interdisciplinary, including school psychology, pediatric psychology, psychology, nursing, pulmonology, endocrinology, and education. We are specifically looking for students who are interested in gaining experience with data management, processing, and analysis. Opportunities to learn more about the interface of active data collection, participant data tracking, biomedical devices, and statistical software packages.
  • Please contact Vicky Mullins at mullins1@arizona.edu for questions about the research opportunity. Review of applications and interviewing will begin immediately. Link to the application.


Environmental Health Sciences – Transformative Research Undergraduate Experience (EHS-TRUE)

  • The UA Environmental Health Sciences Transformative Research Undergraduate Experience (EHS-TRUE) program is a prestigious, National Institutes of Health-funded undergraduate research training program, targeting students from backgrounds under-represented in the sciences, that will pay you to conduct environmental health science research with some of the leading experts in this exciting area. The program offers each participant two years of paid year-round (15 hours/week during classes and 35 hours/week in summer) training and research experience in EHS-TRUE faculty mentors’ research groups to help develop an understanding of environmental health sciences, to apply classroom learning to research in environmental health, and to aid in deciding on a career path. Students take an introduction to environmental health sciences course and an introduction to biomedical research careers course during their two years in the program and participate in activities (workshops, retreats, scientific conferences) to expand their research experience. The goal of EHS-TRUE is to prepare undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds to enter graduate programs in the environmental health sciences.
  • Contact Jennifer Cubeta at cubeta@arizona.edu with any questions.

Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC)

  • The MARC Program is a unique research, mentoring, financial and academic opportunity for undergraduates belonging to a group considered underrepresented in biomedical research and who have the interest and potential to pursue a PhD or combined PhD (e.g. MD/PhD) degree. The program is a two-year program intended for the last two years of a student’s enrollment at the University of Arizona. 
  • Contact Katrina Miranda at kmiranida@email.arizona.edu, Sam Campos at skcampos@arizona.edu, and/or Cindy Neal at cjneal@arizona.edu with any questions.


Ronald E. McNair Achievement Program

  • The Ronald E. McNair Achievement Program is a federal TRIO program that is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through research and our grad school prep coursework. At UArizona, the McNair program is run through the Graduate College’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Consortium along with the Summer Research Institute, Minimizing Health Disparities, UROC-PREP, and AWARDSS-PLUS. UROC’s Ronald E. McNair Achievement Program is for students who come from backgrounds underrepresented in graduate education and have an interest in pursuing a doctoral degree (PhD). Students interested in professional school (i.e. MD, JD, DVM) are not eligible.
  • Contact Andrew Huerta at ahuerta@email.arizona.edu with any questions.


UA/NASA Space Grant Program (Arizona Space Grant) 

  • Provides undergraduates who are exploring career options the opportunity to broaden their education with a rich, hands-on experience with the full process of inquiry and discovery. This includes all STEM majors and those traditionally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • Contact Michelle Coe at macoe@arizona.edu with any questions. 



  • UROC-PREP is a year-round undergraduate research and mentoring program for students who come from backgrounds underrepresented in graduate education and have interest in pursuing a research oriented graduate degree (Master’s or PhD) at UA. Students interested in professional school (i.e. MD, JD, DVM) are not eligible.
  • Contact Andrew Huerta at ahuerta@email.arizona.edu with any questions.


Summer Programs

American Indian Research Center for Health (AIRCH) 

  • AIRCH is a collaborative project between the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA) and the University of Arizona (UA) to encourage practical research that improves the health status of American Indian people, increases the number of American Indian scientists and health professionals engaged in research, educates non-Indians about the need for culturally appropriate health research within American Indian communities and research institutions, and includes Tribes as stakeholders in the processes of conducting research on their reservations and in the dissemination of the research findings. The ITCA-UA partnership has been awarded three rounds of AIRCH funding, with projects in place since 2003.
  • Contact Teshia Arambula Solomon at solomont@email.arizona.edu with any questions.


Biosphere 2 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (Biosphere 2 REU)  

  • The REU program at Biosphere 2 is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. We share the goals of the NSF to use the REU experience as a way to provide research opportunities for students who might not have such opportunities readily available at their home institutions. The summer program will allow students to gain experience in research firsthand, training and preparation for careers in science, and opportunities to communicate science to diverse audiences. Students will also work with partner organizations at the University of Arizona to connect research findings to applied environmental solutions. Participation in the REU program will help prepare students for graduate studies in science.
  • Contact Katerina Dontsova at dontsova@arizona.edu with any questions.

Border Latino and American Indian Summer Exposure to Research (BLAISER)

  • BLAISER was created to address health disparities in Arizona’s ethnically diverse and fast-growing communities. This cutting edge 10-week, undergraduate research experience provides an extraordinary laboratory training opportunity, pairing the junior and senior level student-scholars with preeminent UA health sciences researchers. This is a premier research experience for undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds arming them with skills to make them competitive and successful in their pursuit of post-secondary education and research. 
  • Contact Genesis Garcia at gdsalazar@email.arizona.edu with any questions.


Clouds to Core (C2C) REU 

  • The C2C REU program is an 8-week paid summer research opportunity in the geosciences, primarily for students from partner institution tribal and community colleges around the southwestern US (and beyond). This program is funded by the US National Science Foundation, and is based at the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arizona.
  • The goal of C2C is to introduce students from 2-year colleges around the region to the many opportunities in a career in geosciences, and the possibilities of transferring at the completion of their AA degree to the UA majoring in Geosciences.
  • Navigate here to reach out with any questions.


CAT Vehicle 

  • This REU site will support 10 students over the summer. Students will participate as researchers for the summer, working side by side with graduate researchers and faculty who are experts in cognitive radio and autonomous ground vehicles. A research experience in autonomous driving and its many applications.
  • Navigate here to reach out with any questions.


Clean Energy Bridge to Research Summer Program

  • The Clean Energy Bridge to Research (CEBR) is a summer research program sponsored by the University of Washington (UW) Clean Energy Institute (CEI).  It supports a select group of undergraduates to participate in authentic research in solar, energy storage, and grid technologies under the mentorship of UW faculty and graduate students.  The program is for students who have completed their first or second year of college and involves a nine-week immersive summer research project in a UW lab.  Apply by February 15 for the summer 2022 program.  
  • Contact uwcei@uw.edu with any questions.


Center for Research on Programmable Plant Systems (CROPPS)

  • The Center for Research on Programmable Plant Systems (CROPPS) unites plant scientists, engineers, computer scientists, and social scientists to develop technologies that will enable seamless, bidirectional communication between humans and plants. The relevant technologies fuse synthetic biology, nanotechnology, optics, and computing to gain access to the internal biological processes of plants and their associated organisms such as, for example, soil microbes. The Center aims for these technologies to give new access to the biological processes that connect genes to traits, to guide the process of plant selection, engineering, and editing for improved crops, and to enable sophisticated management of crops in the field for improved sustainability and productivity.
  • Summer undergraduates in this program will be hosted and mentored by interdisciplinary teams that include expertise in both plant science and technology development. We will host 5 students for 10 weeks in Ithaca, NY at Cornell University. Undergraduate applicants with backgrounds in biology, engineering, or computing are encouraged to apply and should select projects from the “CROPPS” section within in the BTI application form.
  • Contact contact@btiscience.org with any questions. 


 UAHS-OEDI Summer Internship 

  • The UAHS- OEDI summer internship provides undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities to prepare for graduate school, hands-on research experience, and an increased understanding of public health disparities in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region. Participants are matched with faculty mentors engaged in biomedical and public health research that impacts border communities. Participants participate in service-learning activities. Concurrently, participants develop an in-depth understanding of the pathway to medical school: including study and test-taking skills, preparations for the MCAT & GRE, and drafting a personal statement. In the final week, participants present the outcome of their research in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Consortium (UROC) poster session.  
  • Contact Genesis Garcia at gdsalazar@arizona.edu with any questions.


Minimizing Health Disparities (MHD)

  • The University of Arizona Graduate College offers a prestigious summer research opportunity focused on health issues that affect minority communities in a disproportionate manner.
  • Contact Tianna MacMeans, turrea@arizona.edu with any questions.


National Summer Undergraduate Research Project (NSURP)

  • NSURP is a matchmaking program to connect underrepresented undergraduate students in STEM with mentors (PIs, or their designated lab members) in the Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology Sciences who will supervise those students in a remote-work summer research project. Students in the program will be expected to attend the seminar speakers and online lectures focused on professional development. Students will be expected to work full time (40 hours per week) and will make $600 dollars per week. 
  • Contact NSURP@arizona.edu with any questions.


Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention Program (NACP)  

  • A paid internship designed to facilitate the entry of Native Americans into biomedical research and healthcare professions while engaging communities in research and training relevant to their needs. The Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention (NACP) is a collaboration between Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona Cancer Center, funded through the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI). Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (PACHE) U54 mechanism. The mission is to alleviate the unequal burden of cancer among Native Americans of the Southwest through research, training, and community outreach programs in collaboration with the communities we serve. There are several primary Core components, including Research, Outreach and Education. Dr. Francine C. Gachupin is the UA Outreach Core lead.
  • Contact Jennifer Cubeta at cubeta@arizona.edu with any questions.


Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics' Summer Undergraduate Research

  • Each summer, five UBRP students are selected to receive an American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics’ Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (ASPET SURF). These students work with faculty mentors who are members of ASPET, and are partially funded by ASPET. ASPET SURF students participate in all UBRP activities, but additionally enjoy free student membership in ASPET (which entitles them to apply for travel funds to present at ASPET meetings as well as other benefits) as well a summer networking lunch with fellow ASPET students and mentors.
  • Contact Jennifer Cubeta at cubeta@arizona.edu with any questions.


Place-based Health Informatics Research Education (PHIRE)

  • PHIRE is a research training initiative for undergraduate students who are (a) currently enrolled or transferring to the University of Arizona, (b) interested in biomedical research, and (c) looking to pursue graduate education in areas related to health informatics. Funded by the National Library of Medicine, PHIRE offers an intensive, paid summer research experience for 13 weeks, followed by placement within a thematic minor designed to provide a transformative learning experience in health informatics and biomedical research. Research projects will aim to address health disparities and sociotechnical issues in Arizona and the broader Southwest region using data science and informatics methods. Students from Arizona communities that have been historically disadvantaged are particularly encouraged to apply. Application deadline is February 28th, 2023.
  • Contact phire@arizona.edu with any questions.


Research in Cognitive, High Frequency, and Advanced Telecommunications (REU-High Frequency)

  • A 10-week research for undergraduate (REU) program on advanced high frequency communications, artificial intelligence, networks, protocols, antennas, and algorithms. Students will work side-by-side with faculty and graduate research assistants who are experts in these areas. REU will support 8 students each will receive up to $500 travel allowance, $6,000 stipend, on-campus housing, and letters of recommendation from faculty mentors. 
  • Contact office@ece.arizona.edu with any questions.


Summer Research Institute (SRI)

  • The Summer Research Institute (SRI) offers an outstanding opportunity to learn how to conduct research, enjoy your summer, and prepare for graduate studies at The University of Arizona.
  • Contact Tianna MacMeans at turrea@arizona.edu with any questions.


Student Transformative Experiences to Progress Under-represented Professionals (STEP-UP) in Cancer Prevention Program 

  • The program is seeking Undergraduate and Master’s level students who are under-represented in cancer research and practice to come to the University of Arizona for a 12-week educational experience in cancer prevention and control.
  • Contact Karen Dickeson at kdickeson@arizona.edu with any questions.


TIMESTEP Summer Tech Internship Program 

  • This summer program is a Technical Internships in the Physical Sciences for U. Arizona Students. Positions utilize and strengthen skills in 1. Building, testing, and using online tools for analytics 2. Soft and/or hardware development 3. Mechanical design and optimization of instrumentation or robotics, and more! 
  • Website and contact Rebecca Lipson, rlipson@arizona.edu with any questions!

Undergraduate Biology Research Program and Corresponding Fellowships

  • Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP) 
    • The Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP) is an educational program designed to teach students science by involving them in biologically related research. Students are paid for their time in the lab where they develop an understanding of scientific method and receive a realistic view of biological research. 
    • Contact Jennifer Cubeta at cubeta@arizona.edu with any questions.
  • Students can also apply to the following fellowships when applying for UBRP:
  • American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics’ Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
    • Five students are selected each summer to conduct research in pharmacology, drug discovery, and drug development through ASPET SURF.  As participants in UBRP (read above), ASPET SURF students conduct research with UArizona faculty who are members of ASPET, they participate in a special networking luncheon during the summer, and receive a free student membership in ASPET which entitles them to apply for travel funds to present at ASPET meetings, as well as other benefits. 
    • Eligibility: UArizona undergraduates in good standing. Students from ALL backgrounds (any major, class standing, career goal, GPA, first-generation status, transfer students, veterans, international students, etc.), regardless of prior experience in research (or lack thereof) are eligible to apply. 
    • For information and to apply: https://ubrp.arizona.edu/programs/aspet-summer-undergraduate-research-fellowship 
  • Data Sciences Academy - UBRP Fellows
    • The Data Sciences Academy and UBRP are partnering together to provide research experiences to undergraduates whose interests are in the life sciences and whose academic background has a strong data science component, including mathematics, statistics, and/or computer science. Over the next decade, the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that three quarters of the new jobs in the STEM workforce will have a serious data science component. With new challenges in health science, environmental science, and agricultural science, the life sciences are certainly at the center of this new way of doing science and engineering. DSA/UBRP provides its participants with a privileged glimpse into the future of science by giving them hands-on experience in biological research grounded in data sciences. DSA students participate in UBRP (see above), with faculty mentors who specialize in DSA areas. 
    • Eligibility: UArizona undergraduates in good standing. Students from ALL backgrounds (any major, class standing, career goal, GPA, first-generation status, transfer students, veterans, international students, etc.), regardless of prior experience in research (or lack thereof) are eligible to apply. 
    • For information and to apply: https://ubrp.arizona.edu/programs/data-sciences-academy