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Undergraduate research

Student working in lab with a professor.

The EnSURE (Engineering Summer Undergraduate Research Experience) program at Michigan State University offers summer research opportunities for high achieving undergraduates who are studying at institutions in the United States, including Puerto Rico.

Applications for the program open in October. Application review begins in December, and the program takes place the following May through July. Students who apply to the program should expect to be working in-person on the MSU East Lansing campus. EnSURE participants are MSU employees and must agree to comply with all employment requirements.

EnSURE is an "internship in graduate school" and provides participants with an early opportunity to become involved in research by working with faculty mentors in one of eight college departments:

Curious about what the undergraduate research experience is all about?  Check out Student Spotlights and other resources on MSU Undergraduate Research.

During summer 2024, the EnSURE program will take place from May 20 through July 26, 2024.

As part of EnSURE, students work full-time on a substantive, faculty-guided research project and participate in professional development activities, including attending weekly seminars and completing periodic writing assignments. Due to the intensive nature of this program, it is expected that students will not enroll in summer coursework or accept other employment during the work week. At the discretion of the faculty mentor, it may be possible for students to enroll in limited (4 credits or less) online coursework or independent study; the student is responsible for any enrollment fees.

Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Current undergraduate student, studying at an institution in the United States (including Puerto Rico), from any institution or major
  • Eligible for employment in the USA (you must have a social security card before the EnSURE program starts)
  • Returning for one or more semesters of undergraduate study after Summer 2024 (i.e., not graduating before December, 2024)
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.20 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Able to commit to full-time employment during the 10-week summer program (May 20 to July 26, 2024)
  • Not taking classes during Summer 2024 (exceptions may be made for up to 4 credits of online Coursework, with permission from the faculty mentor)
  • At least 18 years old by May 1, 2024

Students participating in the summer research experience are paid a minimum of $16.00 per hour and typically work 40 hours per week for 10 weeks (up to $6,400 in total compensation). Participants are considered student employees of MSU and are responsible for applicable taxes.  Students are responsible for their own meals, housing, transportation and personal expenses; a variety of housing options are available both on-campus (liveon.msu.edu) and in the surrounding area (elmanac.msu.edu).

Applications for EnSURE are reviewed starting in December and selections are made on a rolling basis until the program is filled. Students will be notified if they are selected by a faculty mentor, and will have approximately 2 weeks to accept or reject the offer to participate in EnSURE. Based on previous years, we expect that the majority of the EnSURE selections will be made by March 15. Please note that priority is given to students who have not previously completed EnSURE.

The EnSURE program application requires basic contact and demographic information, a resume (.pdf format) and an unofficial transcript (a .pdf printout of your University's grade reporting system is sufficient). Applicants must also submit brief statements (about 500 words each) explaining why you want to participate in EnSURE (What do you hope to learn? Do you have any specific skills or prior research experience to contribute?) and why you think it is valuable to foster inclusion and diversity in engineering. You should use these statements as an opportunity to expand briefly on the skills and experiences you have to contribute and/or what you hope to learn from participating in this summer program.

 

For 2024, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, but for full consideration, applications must be submitted by January 31, 2024. Selected students will be notified by email.

Apply now

Other research opportunities 

We typically receive far more applications from outstanding students than we are able to accommodate in the program; in previous years, we were only able to offer summer positions to 20-30% of applicants.  In addition to applying to our summer research program, you may be interested in on-campus opportunities found through https://urca.msu.edu/, in nationwide undergraduate research programs sponsored by the National Science Foundation, and in the SROP (Summer Research Opportunities Program) sponsored by the CIC. Students with experience in composites and materials may also wish to consider the IACMI Internship Program. MSU students can also identify a variety of on- and off-campus positions on MySpartanCareer.com.

Frequently asked questions

Maybe. If you are currently enrolled as an undergraduate at an institution in the United States (including Puerto Rico) -AND- you meet ALL of the eligibility requirements (including being eligible for paid employment during the summer and having a social security card), then you may apply. Please check with the visa-issuing office at your home institution to determine whether you meet the employment eligiblity criteria for EnSURE. EnSURE does NOTaccept students who are studying outside of the United States, and does NOT offer new visas of any type.
Faculty propose projects for EnSURE on a rolling basis, at the same time students submit applications. Therefore, there are no lists to provide.
If you are selected for EnSURE, you will receive a brief description of your potential mentor’s research project. At that point, you can choose to participate in that project, or you can choose not to participate in EnSURE.
Students submit applications. Faculty develop project proposals and review the list of applicants to identify a good match. Once faculty have identified a preferred student, the student will receive an offer letter identifying the mentor and the research project. The student can choose to accept the match or can choose not to participate in EnSURE. Students cannot ask for an alternative project.
No. Applicants must meet all of the eligibility criteria.
Maybe. Priority is given to students who have not yet participated in EnSURE. If funds remain, returning students may also be accepted.
This is your major program of study or the area in which you are getting your undergraduate degree.
This is the college or university where you are currently pursuing your undergraduate degree.
You must upload a transcript with your application. It can be an official document from your university, an unofficial printout from your grade reporting system, or a list of the courses you've taken (with the full course name) along with the date/term you took each course and the grades you received.
You should provide brief statements (about 500 words each) explaining why you want to participate in EnSURE (what do you hope to learn? do you have any specific skills or prior research experience to contribute?) and why you think it is valuable to foster inclusion and diversity in engineering.

No, we do not have a list. Faculty propose projects for EnSURE on a rolling basis, at the same time students submit applications.