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Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholars

Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholars

Applications are open!

You’re ready.  Contribute to “real world” research and projects. 

You can connect your classroom learning, passion, and talents to hands-on project work that makes a difference in Ohio communities and beyond.

Each year, the Voinovich School offers competitive scholar positions to outstanding Ohio University students looking for career preparation opportunities and basic/applied research skills. You’ll gain valuable team experience working alongside Voinovich School faculty and professional staff. Service to the region is primary to the research efforts of the various Voinovich School units. 


Scholars work 10 hours per week, 15 weeks per semester for two semesters at the rate of $15 per hour. Scholars will be assigned to work with Voinovich School faculty and professional staff. 

How to Apply 

Interested students are required to provide:

  • Cover letter 
  • Resume 
  • DARS report 
  • TWO academic writing samples  

For full consideration for the 2024-25 selection cycle, please apply by March 3, 2024. Questions? email Dr. Ani Ruhil, Professor, at

Apply Now


Opportunities to Explore

Scholars represent a wide range of disciplines from political science to environmental and plant biology, journalism to business administration. Opportunities include innovative research and work related to energy and the environment, entrepreneurship and regional development, and public policy and leadership. Over the past 20 years, more than 250 students have participated in the Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholars program. Are you next? 

Energy and the Environment 

Sustainability  |  Watershed management  | Ecology  | GIS | Field and lab research opportunities 


ElliAna Shanklin

Environmental Team; Watershed Group

“I have worked as an undergrad research scholar for the Voinovich school for almost 2 years now. I work on watershed research under Jen Bowman and have loved the projects I've had the opportunity to work on. My favorite project has been My Backyard Stream, a water quality testing kit that promotes citizen science. Through working on this project, I've had the chance to travel throughout Southeast Ohio to help educate community members on the importance of water quality and STEM education. The Voinovich Scholars program has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and learn new skills in the field like how to test water, as well as important technology skills like Microsoft Excel and online data programs like I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to work for the Voinovich Scholars as an undergrad as it has taught me so much and helped me to become a well-rounded student.”  

Portrait of Ellianna Shanklin. Smiling woman looks at the camera. She has blonde should length curly hair and is wearing a white high necked blouse. The backdrop is a landscape of trees and grass.

Sarah Liederbach

Environmental Studies, Dr. Sarah Davis’ Lab 

“As a scholar I have developed a mathematical model which helps predict the efficiency of an anaerobic digestion system. Anaerobic digestion is a promising method for waste management and renewable energy production. Working as a scholar has been a great opportunity to learn to review literature, use MATLAB, solve problems independently, and effectively communicate my work.” 

Portrait of Sarah Liederbach. Smiling woman looks at the camera, she has shoulder length brown hair and is wearing a light blue shirt. The backdrop is of a hilly landscape.

Entrepreneurship and Regional Development 

Small business planning | Economic development | Product design and marketing | Social entrepreneurship 

Maxwell Burton

Social Enterprise Ecosystem  

“As an Undergraduate Research Scholar I am provided real-life, hands-on work experience and get to tie that with my passion for non-profit and philanthropy work. I am entrusted with tasks that help me grow as a human being and a professional. I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity for growth.” 

A headshot of Maxwell Burton. A man smiles at the camera and is wearing a black t-shirt. He has curly brown hair and the background of the image is of a white porch and landscaping.

Anna Woltermann

Social Enterprise Ecosystem

“What I like most about being a scholar is being presented with the opportunity to meet so many different people with different experiences and perspectives, and working together with them to create something beautiful and unique. I work with the SEE Team, where I film and edit videos for small businesses in the Appalachian area, which helps me immensely as an undergraduate student at OU by providing me with that valuable and enriching experience!” 

Portrait of Anna Wolterman. Woman smiling at the camera with brown hair and a white shirt the background is of an interior window.

Public Policy and Leadership 

Community health | Education | Public relations and communication | Research and evaluation 


Alyssa Manning

Mayors’ Partnership for Progress

“As an Undergraduate Research Scholar, I enjoy the chance to meet and collaborate with mayors, actively contributing to initiatives aimed at supporting Appalachian leaders. Engaging in policy research and working closely with faculty mentors have deepened my understanding of leadership and public affairs. This experience offers practical insights into real-world leadership challenges.” 

Headshot of Alyssa Manning. Woman smiles at the camera, she is wearing a navy blouse and dark rimmed glasses. Her blonde and brown hair hangs past her shoulders and her backdrop is an outdoor scene of trees and grass.

Molly Pennington

Partnership for Children and Families; Planning, Evaluation, Education, and Research  

“I've assisted with and conducted public health research that is having a real impact on my community! I feel supported by my team and prepared for the high-level work I'll do in graduate school!” 

Headshot of Molly Pennington. A woman smiles at the camera, she has brunette hair and is wearing wire framed glasses.

Research Scholar Experiences and Beyond

  • Tre Spencer

    “The work that I’m doing now, it’s something that I’m proud of.”

    Read More
  • Victoria Crawford

    From Undergraduate Research Scholar to Master of Public Administration (MPA) student, internship with International Economic Development Council

    Read More
  • Mia Citino

    “It’s such an incredible honor to be in this position and given an opportunity to use my voice in the Board meetings.”

    Read More
  • Lucy Thompson

    Favorite Memories from Ohio University "Doing grant presentations with my Voinovich School team."

    Read More
  • Student Research Presentations

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  • Partnership for Community-based Prevention | OHIO Research Expo Presentation 2021

    Watch Now
  • Ohio University Students Dare to Step out of the Classroom (Full)

    From exhibits and performances to field and laboratory research, see how Ohio University undergraduate students dare to step outside the classroom and...
    Watch Video

Projects and Initiatives

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Reports and Publications

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