Undergraduate Research Opportunities at UH Hilo
E Komo Mai!
"ʻAʻohe pau ka ʻike i ka hālau hoʻokahi"
Knowledge is vast and can be gained from many different people, places, or experiences.
An intimate and vibrant campus community located at one of the finest places in the world to engage in research. A focus on high-impact research that has meaning for the island, the state, and the region. Labs led by experts in the field, conducting over $14 million in annual research in the sciences, humanities and social sciences. A campus culture that encourages hands-on learning and collaboration -- between students and faculty, between disciplines and departments, between the campus and the surrounding world.
There are several opportunities for UH Hilo students, regardless of previous experience, to conduct research in any discipline. Your success in finding a research opportunity will depend on your ability to be proactive, build faculty relationships, and use key resources. However, at times, research opportunities won't perfectly match your expectations, so while it is important to chart your personal goals and interests, it is equally important to remain flexible and open-minded through the process.
Undergraduate Student Research Opportunities
Some existing courses at UH Hilo have a strong research component. To explore this option, the best place to start is asking your academic advisor or Department Chair if a course involves an opportunity to engage in research.
Directed Studies Courses
Most departments have an option that enables students to engage in independent reading and research under the guidance of a faculty member and earn academic credit for a Directed Studies course. These courses require the sponsorship of a faculty member and approval of the Department Chair, and a description of the work to be undertaken. While a Directed Studies course normally is student-initiated, early interaction with faculty is essential in the development of a mutually acceptable project description. Talk to your faculty advisor or Department Chair to learn more about this option.
There are several programs at UH Hilo that offer structured research opportunities for undergraduates in a variety of fields. They are usually offered on an annual basis and require formal applications. Structured research programs sometimes include financial support (e.g. stipends) as well as opportunities for community-building, intellectual growth, career exploration, and travel to conferences.
- Students of Hawaiʻi Advanced Research Program (SHARP)
- Marine Option Program (MOP)
- IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE)
- Keaholoa STEM Scholars Program
- Hawaiʻi Space Grant Consortium
- Islands of Opportunity Alliance - LSAMP
- SEED Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access and Success (IDEAS): Grants offered by the UH System to implement diversity projects that make a concerted effort to meet the core value of the UH system goal for diversity
- Summer Undergraduate Research Experience Program: For UH students doing research or creative work with a UH Manoa faculty mentor
- Fulbright Student Program: Funds US citizens to study, conduct research, or teach English abroad
Another way to engage in research is to participate in an internship. Some internships involve assisting with or conducting independent research. Internships help you connect academic learning to the real world, enabling you to obtain and enhance the knowledge and skills required for employment, graduate or professional school, and active participation in the local community. Internships are typically at off campus locations (though some are on campus) and students can often earn academic credit for an internship. Some internships are paid, while some are unpaid. In addition to the Research Programs listed above which may have internship components, below is a list of other internship opportunities.
- Internship Courses: UH Hilo offers numerous internship credit courses. Course descriptions can be found in the UH Hilo Catalog. For more information about an internship course, contact the Department Chair.
- UH Hilo Internship Database
- College of Business & Economics Internships
- Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES)
- Akamai Internship Program: Summer work experience at an observatory, company or scientific/technical facility in Hawaiʻi in a wide range of STEM fields.
- College Central: Browse local and national internship and job postings.
Keaohou, an online newsletter highlighting faculty research and scholarly activity, and visit the Research at UH Hilo page. You can also find information about faculty interests and research activity on the various academic department websites.Discover more about the exciting research that UH Hilo faculty are engaged in! Check out