Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Summer Research Internship

Summer Research Internship (SRI)

Undergraduate Research 

University of Pittsburgh, Pitt EXCEL freshmen, sophomores, and juniors with no previous research experience are selected to participate in a nine week summer research internship program. Students are assigned to faculty mentors who lead research teams. The students will develop a mentoring relationship with their faculty member in order to complete a research project in their field of engineering. They will meet regularly with their faculty mentor to review daily journals, discuss progress, and collaboratively discover innovative solutions to problems that arise during their research experience. At the end of the program, students present their findings to engineering faculty members, industry representatives, staff, and their peers.  Only those students who are active members of the Pitt EXCEL Program will be considered for this research opportunity.  In addition, Pitt EXCEL students who actively participate in program activities will receive first preference in the selection process. At least eight to ten students will be selected for the program.  

Pre-PhD/PhD Scholars Research

The Engineering Office of Diversity (EOD) sponsors prospective students as Pre-PhD or PhD Scholars. These students are recruited from selected host institutions across the nation, and are assigned to faculty mentors who lead multidisciplinary teams in advanced research. Scholars are awarded conditional guarantees of admission to the PhD program at the Swanson School of Engineering contingent upon continued academic success with GPA of 3.5 or higher, a minimum Graduate Record Examination score determined by the students department, and satisfactory performance in the summer research program. At the end of the program, each student presents their research findings to Swanson School of Engineering faculty members, staff, and current students. Participants will receive a stipend for the program. Students from outside the Pittsburgh area will receive housing. 
Interested students should send a resume or CV, unofficial transcript, and a letter of intent to Diversity Program Assistant, Mrs. Natalia Goodnow. Pre-PhD/PhD Scholars students may have different requirements and responsibilities than the SRI undergraduate researchers. Therefore, please contact the Engineering Office of Diversity by phone (412-624-9842) or by e-mail (eodadmin@pitt.edu) for more information.  

SRI (Undergraduate Research) FAQ’s 

How many hours do I have to work?
You must be present in the lab for a minimum of 30 hours per week on research/internship related activities. You should meet with your mentor and agree on your daily schedule and inform us of your schedule and contact information.

If I work more than 30 hours will I get paid overtime?
No, your stipend is not based on the hours put in at work. The 30 hours is a minimum that we have set for your participation. Your mentor may require more than the minimum.

What should I do outside of work?
Get to know Pittsburgh. Make sure you make a trip to South Side, Waterfront, Robinson Town Center, Downtown, Ellsworth Avenue, Walnut Street, Liberty Avenue, and the Strip District. Stop by the EXCEL office for more information on getting around town.

When do I get paid?
You will receive your stipend at the end of July.

Who is my supervisor?
Your mentor is your supervisor. He or she may assign a graduate student or other staff member to work with you more closely. Discuss any concerns you may have with your mentor. If you are unsure of how to approach the situation, please come and talk to a member of the EXCEL staff. 

What if I don't get along with my mentor?
Come see us at the EXCEL office.

What if I don't like my research?
Talk to your mentor and explain the problems you are having and try to come to a solution. If you are still having concerns, please discuss them in your meeting with the EXCEL counselor. 

Will I be given laboratory safety training?
We will provide some general rules and guidelines, it is not meant to be all-inclusive. Your mentor will provide training that is specific to your assignment.

Where will I live?
The majority of the participants will live on campus. However, some students choose to live off campus. We encourage all students to interact during social events in order to build community.

Will we have group activities?
There will be several social events scheduled over the course of the program.