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College of Arts & Sciences

Undergraduate Research Opportunities


Undergraduate student Jared Ray works with graduate student Sushil Dhakal in the Edwards Accelerator Lab.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has a strong commitment to both graduate and undergraduate research. Thanks to federal funding of faculty, we are able to offer up to 20 research projects per year for interested undergraduate students.

More than 75 percent of our graduating students have done research internships with faculty during their time at Ohio University. Most research projects take place during the summer, but there may also be opportunities to continue research during the academic year. The typical stipend for summer research is $3,000.

Benefits of Doing Research as an Undergraduate

  • Projects give you hands-on experience with research equipment and analysis techniques.
  • You will need to read up on your subject area, which will deepen your knowledge of a field of research.
  • You will interact with your faculty mentor and with her or his graduate students; this will also expose you to wider perspectives.
  • It is helpful for finding a topic area that you might want to work on for Ph.D. (or that you *don't* want to work on for Ph.D.).
  • You also have the opportunity to impress a faculty member with your ability, which is useful when looking for letters of recommendation for graduate school and employment.

How to Find a Research Opportunity

  • Begin by with checking out individual faculty research webpages to identify the kind of research that you might like to do.
  • Discuss your interest in research with the Internships Coordinator, Dr. David Tees, who can give feedback on your interests and suggest faculty to contact.
  • Contact the faculty member you are interested in working with and meet with him or her to discuss opportunities and projects.

This last part can be intimidating, but you should know that faculty will not be surprised by a request to meet to talk about undergraduate research. Virtually every faculty member in the department has supervised an undergraduate at some point, and most supervise one or more undergraduate projects year after year.

NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates

A few students every year take part in National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs at universities across the United States. There are also other national and international research opportunity programs.

These positions are competitive, and application dates vary. Most have deadlines between December and March. Having some experience with undergraduate research at Ohio University can be a competitive advantage. The Society of Physics Students posts notices about some programs on its bulletin board outside Clippinger 254, but many more can be found by searching the web.

Physics & Astronomy 2015 Summer Interns

  • Learn By Doing
  • Ari Blumer “Growth of 2-dimensional Transition Metal Dichalcogenides”
  • Zak Blumer “Solar Water Heater ”
  • Max Camp “Assembly of CLAS12 Forward Tagger Calorimeter in Genoa, Italy ”
  • Justin Courtright “Building an Arduino-Based Tuning Fork With an Atomic Force Microscope ”
  • Andrew Dewald “Sensitivity Analysis of Wendelstein 7-X Plasma Confinement by Ion Temperature Gradient Turbulence Modeling ”
  • Miguel Gomez “Spectroscopy of a Young Type II Supernova ”
  • Erin Grimes “Trying to Steer the Accelerator Beam Into the Air by Focusing It Through a Millimeter Hole ”
  • Cates Harman “Study of Jet Particle Correlations in He+Au Collisions at RHIC ”
  • Benjamin Hirt “Design and Application of Magnetic Halbach Arrays ”
  • Michael Jaramillo “Positional Covariance in Multi-Wavelenth Astronomy ”
  • Miles Lindquist “Photolithography for Micron-Scale Device Fabrication ”
  • David Overton “An Indirect Way to Study 18F(p,alpha)15) in Novae ”
  • Gabriel Reineck “Understanding How Cosmological Parameters Affect the Observations ”
  • Sara Sand “Understanding Electronic Properties of Titanium Dioxide ”
  • Heath Scherich “Computer Simulation and Analysis of Silicon Clusters ”
  • John Theibert “Simulation of a Pion Trigger for the DVCS Experiment at JLab”
  • Jacob Williamson “Burning Out Swiftly: SN 2005da and Its Curious Nature ”
  • Yonry Zhu “Design and Setup of a Pulsed Laser Deposition System ”

Physics & Astronomy 2014 Summer Interns

  • Learn By Doing
  • Peter Andrews “The Relationship Between Annealing Temperature and Size of Nuclei in Phase Change Memory Materials”
  • Max Camp “Data Analysis in the Search for the Pentaquark”
  • Alex Carroll “Re-evaluating the Thermonuclear Reaction Rate for the 18F(p,alpha)15O Reaction”
  • Helen Cothrel - “Analyzing Summertime Ozone Measurements in the Colorado Front Range”
  • Justin Courtright “Making with Microcontrollers”
  • Ryan Goetz "Improving cluster mass measurement techniques with cosmological simulations"
  • Miguel Gomez “The pion cloud and motion of sub-atomic particles”
  • Erin Grimes "Building an optics model to examine works of art and nature”
  • Taylor Grueser “A Calorimetric Study of the Metal Induced Crystallization of Amorphous Silicon”
  • Jacob Hartman “Video Microscopic Analysis for Determination of Cancer Cell Mechanical Properties”
  • Kylie Holmes “Detecting More Pion”
  • Natalie Klco “Two Studies in Europe: Testing LED Calibration of the Forward Tagger for CLAS12, Genoa, Italy” and Helping to Test and Document a New Style of Detector at CEA/Saclay, France”
  • Hunter Lawson “Sputter Epitaxy of LaMnO3 on SrTiO3”
  • Miles Lindquist “Simulating a Realistic GRETINA”
  • David Overton “Determining the Feasibility of Measurements of the 19F(p,n)19Ne* Reaction”
  • Robert Radloff “Detecting Photons Another Way”
  • Thomas ‘Tad’ Riley “Getting to Know the Atomic Force Microscope and Its Uses”
  • Sara Sand “Building Stirling Engines”
  • Samantha Thrush “Welcome to LIGO, a World-Class Observatory”
  • Chris Wolfe “Developing a Photolithography Procedure to Produce Micron Scale Metallic Devices”
  • Yonry Zhu “Assembling a Pulsed Laser Deposition System to Allow for Tandem MBE/PLD Sample Synthesis”

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