Undergraduate Education

Undergraduate Research

The MITEI UROP is an indispensable element of the undergraduate experience. It provides a student’s first real opportunity to work and think independently as a practicing scientist or engineer.

Robert Stoner
Director of the MIT Tata Center for Technology and Design
Deputy Director for Science and Technology at MIT Energy Initiative

MITEI funds research and professional development for MIT undergraduates year-round, both within the Initiative and across campus, including projects through MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). We encourage students from all departments at MIT to apply: prior experience is not a requirement—just enthusiasm for innovative energy-related research.

Past projects have included work on solar thermal fuels, redox flow batteries, and enzymology in sulfur-reducing bacteria. For more details, check out the brochure about our 2018 UROPs.

Students may also choose to do an energy-related UROP for academic credit, which can count as an elective in the Energy Studies Minor.

If you are working on an energy-related project with other funding, we’d still love to connect with you and invite you to MITEI-sponsored events. Contact Undergraduate Academic Coordinator Rachel Shulman for information.

How the MITEI UROP works
Summer UROP

Finding a Research Project

As you probably know, UROPs are everywhere. Here are some ways to find energy-focused research projects:

  • Look for a project opening on the central UROP website.
  • Review past MITEI UROPs and talk with former students’ principal investigators about new opportunities.
  • Talk with a professor at MIT who does work in your research area. Try looking through MITEI’s Energy Faculty or the faculty profiles on your department’s website.

Not sure where to start? Talk to us! Send an email to Undergraduate Academic Coordinator Rachel Shulman. We can help you understand your options, guide your search, and introduce you to professors.

Why do your UROP with MITEI?

All MITEI-funded UROPs:

  • Are paid $13 an hour.
  • Get access to the Energy Commons (10-063), with free coffee and snacks.
  • Receive both formal and informal support from the MITEI community, including help finding jobs, internships, and future research projects.

Because the MITEI UROP is sponsored entirely by outside donors, the students we fund have a few special obligations:

  • Submit an abstract and headshot for our annual fundraising brochure.
  • Fill out occasional surveys.
  • Be available to meet with your sponsor and possibly present your work to sponsor representatives.
  • In posters and publications related to the research, credit your sponsor and MITEI, and list your PI and direct supervisor as co-authors.

In addition to the special requirements of the MITEI academic year UROPs, the MITEI Summer UROP includes professional development workshops leading up to a research presentation in the poster session at the fall MITEI Annual Research Conference.

Weekly Lunch Workshops: Topics include library research, poster design and presentation, networking, career planning, and scientific communication. Participation in these workshops is mandatory and counts as paid time.

Poster Session: To help make your presentation amazing, MITEI funds an extra 20 hours of work at the end of the summer or during the fall dedicated to preparing for the poster session. This includes paid time spent writing the poster, working with instructors at the writing center, and a rehearsal dinner with other MITEI Summer UROPs.

Students with relevant research projects, even if they are not funded by MITEI, are invited to participate in the professional development program and poster presentations. For example, if your energy-related research project is supported by direct funding from the UROP Office, you can still be part of the MITEI Summer UROP cohort. Apply to participate in the cohort here.

To apply for funding, complete our application form.

If you are conducting relevant summer research with other funding, you can apply to participate in the summer professional development program here.

If you applying for continued support of an existing project, let us know as soon as possible. We cannot guarantee that funding will be available for applications submitted after the priority deadline.

The Summer 2019 priority deadline is May 24, 2019 at midnight. Applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis until June 21, 2019, or until all funding has been allocated.

If you have further questions, contact Undergraduate Academic Coordinator Rachel Shulman.

Non-MIT students: Contact the MIT Summer Research Program or the Summer Scholars Program to explore research opportunities on campus.