National Science Foundation

Engineering Research Opportunities
For Students

The NSF-sponsored Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) offer research and education opportunities through these and other programs to talented students from diverse backgrounds. They would like to meet you! You're invited to contact the ERCs through their websites (linked from the list of ERCs at the bottom of the page) 

Engineering Research Opportunities 
For Students

Research Experiences for
Undergraduates (REU)
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Graduate Research 
Fellowship Program (GRFP)
...more information

The National Science Foundation (NSF) offers a variety of ways for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in science and engineering to get involved in cutting-edge research at major universities—not garden-variety research, but research in emerging fields of technology, in the most advanced laboratories, with world-class investigators as your team members!  In many cases, students even receive a substantial stipend to support their work.  Imagine getting paid to do fascinating research at one of the flagship Engineering Research Centers, for example—all the way from undergraduate through to your doctoral degree in engineering! 

The NSF programs shown above fund students directly. Those shown below don’t fund students directly, but instead award academic institutions and faculty with funds that they can then provide, through education programs they establish, to interested students to come study and work with them. To access these, find an ERC whose research area interests you and contact the Education Director there; or contact the NSF program officer for guidance as to the program(s) and institutional awardee(s) most suited to your needs and situation. Note that the programs in the second row are aimed at supporting junior faculty and institution-wide diversity programs.

NSF is making these opportunities available because the Foundation wants to improve the nation’s ability to draw upon pools of talent existing among population groups, such as minorities and women, who are underrepresented in today’s engineering workforce and on engineering faculties.  The opportunities are there for students, young faculty, and prospective Principal Investigators alike. Take advantage of them!

NSF's ERC Program

The National Science Foundation-sponsored Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) are a group of large, interdisciplinary centers located at universities all across the United States, each in close partnership with industry.  ERCs pursue strategic advances in complex engineered systems and systems-level technologies that have the potential to spawn whole new industries or to radically transform current industries.  These centers help fulfill NSF's strategic goal to increase the diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce by including all members of society, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender, in all aspects of their activities. ...more info

Engineering Research Centers & Fact Sheets

Center for Biorenewable Chemicals  (CBiRC) Visit the Center |  Factsheet
Nanosystems ERC for Nanomanufacturing Systems for Mobile Computing and Mobile Energy Technologies   (NASCENT)  - Visit the Center | Factsheet

Nanosystems ERC for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) - Visit the Center | Factsheet
Nanosystems ERC for Cellular Metamaterials (CELL-MET) - Visit the Center | Factsheet
Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMat) - Visit the Center | Factsheet
Center for Neurotechnology (CNT) - Visit the Center | Factsheet
Precise Advanced Technologies and Health Systems for Underserved Populations (PATHS-UP) - Visit the Center | Factsheet
ERC for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials (RMB) - Visit the Center | Factsheet

ERC for Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies (QESST) - Visit the Center | Factsheet
Center for Innovative and Strategic Transformation of Alkane Resources (CISTAR) - Visit the Center | Factsheet
Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center - Visit the Center | Factsheet
ERC for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics (CBBG) - Visit the Center | Factsheet
Nanosystems ERC for Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment Systems (NEWT) - Visit the Center | Factsheet
ERC for Re-Inventing America's Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt) - Visit the Center | Factsheet
ERC for Ultra-wide Area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks (CURENT) - Visit the Center | Factsheet

Center for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN) - Visit the Center | Factsheet
Nanosystems ERC for Translational Applications of Nanoscale Multiferroic Systems (TANMS) - Visit the Center | Factsheet
ERC for Power Optimization for Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS) - Visit the Center | Factsheet
Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA) - Visit the Center | Factsheet

Visit the Engineering Research Center website to learn more about them.

NSF's education programs are rich with opportunity for students interested in engineering. 
See what interests you and make a contact. It's the next step toward your future!

Check out these related non-NSF resources