Undergraduate Research

Conduct meaningful research with faculty

The experiential learning that begins in your first semester and continues through hands-on design challenges culminates in authentic research experiences with faculty in their laboratories. You’ll learn more about science and design than you ever thought possible—even if what you learn is that laboratory life isn’t for you.

By the Numbers


undergraduate students


have intensive research experiences with faculty


publish or present a research paper off-campus


work on independent study projects

Being a Grand Challenge Scholar opened my eyes to broader systemic injustices, especially racial and socioeconomic injustices—not just in the United States but worldwide. I want to work to address those inequities.

Elizabeth Griffin Class of 2019 Katsouleas Grand Challenges Scholar | Read story »

Find a Research Experience with Muser

Duke’s online student research network is the place to start. Our faculty research labs list opportunities for undergraduates within the Muser system. Typically, there are three rounds of recruiting every calendar year. Research experiences usually last one semester.

Search Muser

Independent Study for Credit

This is your opportunity to work under faculty supervision on a research topic that you choose while earning course credit. Typically, first- and second-year students enroll in an independent study course as a free elective. Third- and fourth-year students enroll in an advanced elective in their major.

The first step is to request an independent study. The deadline is two days before Drop/Add Ends.

A special note to our Trinity College peers: You can participate in these experiences, too!

Submit a request

Pratt Research Fellowships

The Pratt Research Fellows Program provides opportunities for immersive research over three semesters. Third-year and advanced second-year students are encouraged to apply. Typically, Pratt Fellows graduate with distinction and with many other honors.

Program details and application

Katsouleas NAE Grand Challenges Scholars

The Thomas C. Katsouleas National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenges Scholars Program seeks leaders with the drive to take on some of the biggest challenges facing humanity—and want to start while they are still undergraduates.

Program details and application

Conference Grants

Experiential learning doesn’t end in the lab. It continues to authentic professional activity, including presenting your discoveries at academic and scientific conferences. As part of our holistic approach to student support, the Pratt School of Engineering provides grants of up to $500 to help students attend national or regional research conferences.

Apply for a grant

Undergraduate Research Contacts

Carmen Rawls, Ph.D. Profile Photo
Carmen Rawls, Ph.D. Profile Photo

Carmen Rawls, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean for Advising & Outreach

David E. Schaad Profile Photo
David E. Schaad Profile Photo

David E. Schaad

Professor of the Practice of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Related Stories