Academics & Research News

Research opportunities students can pursue on campus

research programs

Santiago Gaughan/The Cougar

Many undergraduate students are encouraged to pursue research in college, yet not all take advantage of the research opportunities this campus has to offer.

UH students may be unsure of how to get started or what opportunities exist on campus, given the many programs across various web pages. This list is designed to increase awareness of current programs specific to those at UH, most of which are on campus and include scholarships or course credit.

Houston Early Research Experience

HERE is designed for rising UH sophomores and juniors of all majors and career fields as an introduction to conducting research.

The workshop-like program spans two weeks in May, and participants receive a $1000 scholarship as well as an invitation to apply for Houston Scholars. Each year’s seminars and presentations are centered around a Houston-specific theme.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

SURF is a 10-week, full-time summer research experience with a $4,000 stipend.

Rising UH sophomores, juniors and seniors must specify a planned project along with a UH faculty mentor to work under and who will provide them with a letter of recommendation.

The results will be presented on a poster during the following year’s Undergraduate Research Day. Like HERE, this research opportunity is open to students of all majors and career fields.

Provost’s Undergraduate Research Scholarship

PURS is essentially the school-year version of SURF; UH students receive $1000 to conduct a planned project under the guidance of a UH faculty mentor during a semester.

Accepted sophomores, juniors and seniors of any major and career field are expected to perform at least 6-7 hours of research each week, or a total of 100 hours over the entire semester. An Undergraduate Research Day presentation is also expected.

Mellon Research Scholars Program

The Mellon Research Scholars Program is a two-year program exclusive to UH students studying the humanities. Interested students may apply during their junior year.

Accepted students partake in academic seminars and mentorship activities, attend a two-week graduate school boot camp in May, conduct humanities research over the summer as well as continue with seminars and mentorship until they graduate. They are given a $5000 stipend and are expected to present at Undergraduate Research Day.

Pharis Fellowship

The Pharis Fellowship is a 10-week, full-time summer research program for UH students interested in the intersection of data and the social determinants of health.

Students receive $4000, and though the fellowship is open to all majors, priority is given to those in the Data and Society program.

NSF UH Computer Science Research Experiences for Undergraduates

The NSF UHCS REU program is a full-time, 10-week summer research program for students hoping to pursue graduate education in computer science and careers in research.

Though open to students all over the country, the program is held at UH and features data science techniques, including machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data.

Participants are mentored by faculty, attend seminars and give presentations. They also receive $6000 in addition to free on-campus housing and meals.

UH Drug Discovery Institute Research for UnderGrads

UH-DRUG gives five rising UH sophomores, juniors and seniors $5000 to work on drug discovery and development research under the mentorship of UH Drug Discovery Institute faculty.

The summer experience is full-time for 10 weeks and is open to students studying relevant academic disciplines. Participants will give oral presentations at the End of Summer Celebration.

Stimulating Urban Renewal through Entrepreneurship Program

The SURESM Program is open to students in the Bauer College of Business and to entrepreneurs from under-resourced communities.

Participants take Brainstorming to Bankrolling for course credit, during which they work as consultants to entrepreneurs to solve business problems and secure funding.

The final business plan is submitted for a grade. In the second course, Research and Applications of Microfinance, students design their own entrepreneurship projects and assist underclassmen in Brainstorming to Bankrolling.

Houston Scholars

The Houston Scholars program accepts applications each fall from UH freshmen and sophomores who wish to eventually pursue research, internships and other experiential learning opportunities.

Scholars participate in community service, compete in a problem-based learning competition and prepare to apply to graduate school and national scholarships. They can receive $500 each semester as well as funding for independent summer experiences.

Behavior Opportunities Uniting Nutrition, Coaching and Exercise

BOUNCE is a community outreach and research initiative that allows UH, UHD and HCC students to participate in volunteering and internships to reduce obesity-related diseases in Houston’s underserved communities.

The experiences range from unpaid to paid, as well as from administrative work to teaching to research. Applicants must be studying exercise science, nutrition, psychology or related fields and enjoy working with children.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Research Inquiry Summer Enrichment Program

STEM RISE allows UH undergraduate STEM majors and UH College of Medicine students to conduct summer research for eight weeks as well as teach and mentor those behind them.

TeachHOUSTON students receive a full scholarship in STEM courses and are paid $2500, but they don’t conduct research and solely focus on teaching and mentoring. Non-TeachHOUSTON students, on the other hand, receive $2000, research experience, teaching and mentoring training, but no course credit.


FrameWorks is a year-long interdisciplinary humanities program open to students of all majors who will be sophomores or juniors. Students attend workshops as they research ideas and write critical essays related to the year’s theme.

The essays are presented at the spring FrameWorks Symposium and published in FrameWorks: A Journal of Undergraduate Research in the Interdisciplinary Humanities. The best essay wins a monetary prize.

UHAND Program

UHAND is a partnership between UH and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center accepting undergraduate students with an interest in advancing health equity and reducing cancer disparities.

Accepted scholars’ faculty-mentored projects can range from identifying biological risk factors for cancer to implementing tobacco cessation programs for cancer survivors. Students are accepted approximately every two years for a two-year-long experience.

Frontiers in Science Program

FIS is open to science, technology, engineering and math students, and introduces them to theoretical biological physics at UH, Rice University or Northeastern University. The program spans 10 weeks, during which students receive $5000 and are expected to perform 300 hours of research.

Senior Honors Thesis

The Senior Honors Thesis program is open to all students in their final two or three semesters at UH, regardless of Honors College membership.

Students are expected to complete ​​250-300 hours’ worth of work, write dozens of pages detailing the work and present the final product to a committee during the thesis defense.

Students choose a faculty mentor and perform the work over two semesters for six credit hours. Exceptional theses are considered for the Outstanding Senior Honors Thesis Award, and all students who complete a thesis will earn the “Honors in Major” designation at graduation and on their transcripts.

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