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Student Research

What does research mean at Rochester?

A student holds a tray of melted lead-bismuth used in the study of liquid metal cathodes. Research is the systematic pursuit of knowledge and an exciting process of discovery. As a Rochester student, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in real research under the supervision of a mentor. Your research could be aesthetic, socio-political, scientific, or technical. You choose the tools, gather the data, and delve deeper to find answers.

No matter your passion, Rochester is a great fit if you’re interested in doing research. Not only is the University a major research institution with world-class scholars, scientists, libraries, and laboratories, but it also has a long-standing commitment to making these resources fully available to undergraduates. As a result, you’ll find our student researchers working throughout our humanities, social sciences, natural and applied science disciplines. Whether in the lab or in the field, independently or with industry partners, in our local communities or all over the world our students make the world ever better.

How to fund research

The University’s Research and Innovation Grants (RIG) are awards that make research possible for students in the College. RIG helps get you involved in experiential activities that:

  • Stimulate your mind
  • Broaden your perspectives
  • Expand your intellectual and social networking
  • Strengthen your connections to the University community and the research and creative communities throughout the world

RIG provide research funding of $3,500 for undergraduate students working with a faculty sponsor. Only students applying to the College are eligible for these grants. Eligible sponsors are faculty members holding any type of appointment (including clinical, emeritus, adjunct, research associate, instructor, etc.) in any part of the University.

In addition to RIG, students can apply to other University of Rochester research grants and awards, such as the Discover Grant, the Barth-Crapsey Award or Meliora Scholars Program. 


Reimagine the world

Confronting the status quo

The University of Rochester is one of the country’s top-tier research institutions and attracts more than $400 million in research funding each year. With world-class facilities and a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio, Rochester is an ideal place for students to team up with professors to challenge current theories and thinking.

{Code} like a scientist

Making robots smarter, and more user-friendly

Computer science major Steven Broida is helping to bridge the gap between people and robots. He’s building a program that not only understands human speech and acts on human commands, but also learns its environment and becomes smarter as it works with people.

Eyes on the skies

Saving the Earth from asteroids

NASA has commissioned researchers to develop imaging technology to spot asteroids and other objects in space in time to divert them before they reach Earth’s orbit. This technology, known as NEOCam (Near-Earth Object Camera), uses infrared sensors that are being tested in a Rochester lab with the help of undergraduates like Diarra Bell, a double major in physics and astronomy, and computer science.

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