Undergraduate Research

Summer research opportunities offered by the Physics Department are an excellent introduction to scientific research.  Most Physics majors do research during their time at Duke, and many do senior thesis to graduate with distinction.  Students are encouraged to contact potential faculty research advisors, to inquire about possible projects.  A good time to do this is early in the spring of sophomore year, but earlier or later can work out as well.

The Physics department offers a limited number of research awards to enable students to participate in research over the summer.  The deadline for applications for 2017 is March 1.

In addition to the individual Physics research groups, research opportunities are available in the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory and the Free-Electron Laser Laboratory. These facilities are located behind the Physics Building.

Research opportunities can also be found with scientists with physics backgrounds working outside the Physics Department, such as the Engineering School, the Medical School, and the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Neuroscience, and Psychology. It is also possible to find research opportunities at UNC, at NC State, at other colleges and universities, at private and government laboratories, and at colleges and labs outside the US.

The following is a representative list of possible summer opportunities for research away from the Duke campus.

    1. NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Physics
      Application deadlines: late February through Mid March
    2. NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Other Fields
      Application deadlines: late February through Mid March
    3. SPS Internships (Society of Physics Students)
      Application deadline: February 1
    4. Summer Internships at Fermilab
      Application deadlines: early January through early April
    5. ORISE Undergraduate Research Opportunities
    6. The NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program
    7. High Energy Density Physics Program at Lawrence Livermore National Lab
      Application deadline: mid January
    8. CERN Summer Student Program in Geneva, Switzerland
    9. Department of Energy's Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI)
    10. More Research Internships in Physics and other sciences at the Nucleus