Summer Research Experience

2017 Summer Research Symposium

Join us to recognize and celebrate the work of our summer researchers

Thursday, July 27, 9:00am - 4:45pm
in the atrium of Goodwin Hall

Welcome to your summer

research experience at Virginia Tech!

Summer is arguably (but only minimally so) the best time of the year to be in Blacksburg. In the Office of Undergraduate Research, we are here to help you make the most of your experience and your time here. 

We are here to support you as you discover and rise to the challenges of research, particularly those unique to one condensed into the span of about 10 weeks. We will provide you with opportunities to learn how to instill in others enthusiasm for your work, whether that is through a personal statement, abstract, research proposal, presentation, or casual conversation. We will show you why we love this campus and community, and what makes us so proud to be Hokies.  

What we ask of you is that you explore the seminars we are offering. Peruse the tours and day trips. Put them on your calendar. Participate. Engage. Play. Ask questions (of your faculty advisors, lab mates, mentors, and of each other). When you feel stuck, take a brain break. Go for a hike or out to dinner with your peer mentors. Sometimes you can find answers to difficult questions in the most unexpected places. 

Our goal is that when your research comes to an end, you finish proud of the work you have accomplished and a little more secure in the path you hope to take through life.

Lofty? Perhaps. Attainable? Absolutely. 

Survey: How'd we do? 

Let us know your thoughts on your summer research experience, the good, the not-as-good, the things-we-can-improve-upon.

When you get a chance, fill out our feedback survey.


Upcoming Events + Opportunities


STEMability Camp: Talk to campers about your experiences in Undergraduate Research
July 10, 2017, 1:30 - 2:15pm
Learn more or sign-up here!


Student Transition into Engineering Program (STEP): Offer incoming engineering students insights into Undergraduate Research
July 21, 2017, 2:00 - 2:45pm
Learn more or sign-up here!

German Fulbright

German Fulbright Program: 
multiple opportunities to meet visiting German undergraduates participating in the Fulbright program at Virginia Tech
July 23-24, 2017
Learn more or sign-up here!

Professional Development Seminar Series

Ellen Krupar of VT Libraries will speak on the ethical use of data. 

Wednesday, May 31, 4:00-5:00pm

Steger Hall Auditorium, Biocomplexity Institute

Paul Heilker, associate professor of english and Honors College faculty fellow for curriculum development, will talk about how to craft an effective personal statement. 

Wednesday, June 14, 4:00-5:00pm

Steger Hall Auditorium, Biocomplexity Institute

Wednesday, June 21, 4:00-5:00pm

Steger Hall Auditorium, Biocomplexity Institute

Kiri DeBose of VT Libraries will speak on writing effective abstracts & proposals

Wednesday, June 28, 4:00-5:00pm

Steger Hall Auditorium, Biocomplexity Institute

Patty Raun, Director of the Center for Communicating Science and professor of theatre in the School of Performing Arts, will lead a participatory workshop on science communication.

Wednesday, July 5, 4:00-5:00pm

Lavery Hall, Room 330

Amanda MacDonald of VT Libraries will lead a seminar on best practices in poster and oral presentation of research.

Wednesday, July 11, 4:00-5:00pm

Steger Hall Auditorium, Biocomplexity Institute

Carrie Kroehler, Assistant Director for the Center for Communicating Science, will lead part 2 of this participatory workshop. 

Wednesday, July 19, 4:00-5:00pm

Newman Library, Multipurpose Room

Tours of Labs + Research Facilities

Please note that you have to sign up for the individual tours to be able to participate. The a link to the sign-up form for each tour is included in the descriptions below. All have limits on the number of students who can participate, so if any really interest you, don't delay in filling out that form!

If the one you would like to attend is full, still sign-up. We will keep a waiting list for each. Email us if you have any questions. 

Sign-up Here

The TREC Lab (Terrestrial Robotics Engineering & Controls) at Virginia Tech aims to change the way the world perceives robotics through cutting edge mechanics and controls.

Tours at 4 & 4:30pm; max 15 students per tour. Meet in the main lobby of Goodwin Hall (635 Prices Fork Road, VT).

Sign-up Here

The Roanoke-based VTCRI provides state-of-the-art facilities for molecular medicine, imaging using lasers, high-power electron beams and magnetic resonance, high-capacity data handling, and human performance analysis. In addition to touring, this experience will allow you the opportunity to mix and mingle with VTCRI faculty, graduate students, and Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows in the neuro and molecular visualization SURF programs.

Tentatively, Van will leave BCI parking lot at 2:45pm, CRC lot at 2:50, for arrival on site at 3:45 pm. For the tour, no open-toe shoes. Students with pacemakers, surgical screws, or other metal implants need to make us aware prior to the trip in preparation for going into the MRI suite.

Sign-up Here

Visit the world class Moss Arts Center, home of the Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology (ICAT). Explore behind the scenes and visit high tech A/V research facilities

Tour at 4pm; max 20 students. Meet at 3:55pm in the main lobby of the Moss Center for the Arts (190 Alumni Mall, VT).

Sign-up Here

Visit the state of the art food processing pilot plant, which provides process and product development support to researches and industry, including a newly installed brewhouse:

Tour at 4 pm; max 20 students. Meet in main lobby of HABB1 Building, 1230 Washington St., SW, VT. Students must wear close-toed shoes.

Sign-up Here

“Virginia Tech was born as a land-grant college, and appropriately, its distinctive buildings have been constructed from the product of Southwest Virginia geology. The university mines the distinguishing limestone at its own quarry on the fringes of Blacksburg.”

Tour at 8:30-10:30 am. We can take a maximum of 20 students. We will meet in the Derring parking lot at 8:30am to drive to the quarry for a tour start time of 8:45. We will return to campus by 10:30am.

Sign-up Here

Virginia Tech’s own farm. A historic district with preserved structures. Kentland farm is utilized for research and teaching purposes by faculty members in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and by 12 departments in other colleges at Virginia Tech.

Students will tour the grounds, and see the utilization of the farm for research. 60 minutes required. 10 student max. Van will leave BCI parking lot at 3:45pm, CRC lot at 3:50, for arrival on site at 4:00 pm. Students should wear closed-toe walking shoes. We expect to return to campus around 5:30pm.

Sign-up Here

See firsthand how associate professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science, David Schmale and colleagues, use research drones to track the movement of dangerous microorganisms that surf atmospheric waves. This research earned Dr. Schmale a spot as one of “Popular Science’s Brilliant Ten”.

‘Tour’ at 4:00pm. 10 students in the van, but there is an option for more if you are willing and able to drive/carpool. Van will leave BCI parking lot at 3:45pm, CRC lot at 3:50, for arrival on site at 4:00 pm. Dr. Schmale recommends that you wear a walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. We will return to campus a little after 5:00pm.


Have questions or need more information?
Please email us or contact your peer mentor. We are here to help!