Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Update (Mar. 31, 2022): Please check our available projects here and send your application here if you are interested.


Research Labs represent a different type of experience for students that can supplement the undergraduate curriculum. Students involved in undergraduate research work on cutting-edge scientific problems as part of a team comprising research faculty, Ph.D. students, M.S. students and undergraduates.

There are several ways that students can participate in research:

Research Credits
the student and professor agree to some standard for how much the student must contribute to the project to receive a passing grade. See your degree requirements for limitations on how much research credit can be applied to your degree.
Thesis Credits
Undergraduates wishing to graduate with department honors must complete some number of research credits under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Graduation with honors in CS is possible even for students who are not enrolled in the Honors College. See your degree requirements for limitations on how much thesis credit can be applied to your degree.
Paid Research
Some professors have grants that support student researchers. The limitations on paid research are part of the specific grant and also subject to UO student employment policies; however, paid research cannot also be used for academic credit.
Career Enhancement
Most students do some research that is not covered by either academic credit or pay. Students use the opportunity to generate good recommendations, network with other students on and off the UO campus and have their names on published works.

Research and Thesis credits

To enroll in research or thesis credits, the CS department requires an Individualized Study Approval Form be on file before the research begins.

Most professors have additional requirements for student researchers. Usually, a student pursuing honors will find a thesis advisor and explore the research area before pinning down the specific thesis topic, but students should have a fairly well developed interest in the field before contacting the thesis advisor.

Paid Research

Paid positions are usually offered to students who have done well in a seminar class or shown a particular aptitude toward the research. The department does not maintain a list of paid positions, and decisions about hiring are left entirely to the individual professor. The best way to be considered for a paid position is to participate enthusiastically in a lab or research project.

General Etiquette

Professors have widely varying expectations and demands of students who participate in their research. Before contacting a professor regarding research opportunities, a student should visit the professor's website to become familiar with the projects, have completed at least CS 313, and be a major in good academic standing. Most professors consider it polite to get an email requesting a meeting, rather than a visit during office hours. In the email, you should include a brief mini-resume that explains your preparedness for research. In addition to these general guidelines, some professors have specific guidelines that should be considered when approaching them about research.

CS Department Opportunities

For information about research groups within the Computer and Information Science Department, please visit our research pages. You will find a comprehensive list of active research groups along with related faculty and links to online materials.

Colloquia offer an overview of several faculty member's research projects. They are offered about once per term on the colloquium schedule.

University of Oregon Collaborations

There are several research institutes and centers with collaborative research ties to the Computer and Information Science Department at the University of Oregon. The University of Oregon posts a comprehensive listing of research institutes.

Performance Research Lab
Neuroinfomatics Center
Institute of Neuroscience
Advanced Network Technology Center
IE2: Institute of Ecology and Evolution
META center for Systems Biology
Spatial and Map Cognition Research Lab

National Summer Research Opportunities

The National Science Foundation funds a number of "Site REUs" where groups of undergraduates are brought together for summer research experiences. Many of these programs are open to all U.S. undergraduates.

NSF Computer Science REU Sites
CRA Computer Science Undergraduate Research Opportunities Zone
List of research opportunities

Additional opportunities can be found at many campuses and government labs.

Computing Research Association's Distributed REU Program
For women and under-represented minorities, this is a excellent program!
Computing Research Associations Collaborative Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Again for women, this funds work during the academic year at your home institution.
NSA Summer Research
The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is America's cryptologic organization. The NSA offers well-paid, highly theoretical internships.
DIMACS Summer Research
If you like theoretical Computer Science, this would be terrific.
Haystack Observatory
Haystack Observatory invites undergraduate science, engineering and computer science students to apply for summer research positions. The program extends from mid-June to mid-August. Support is provided by the National Science Foundation's REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) program. Women, minorities, and students with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Department of Energy Laboratories
Argonne National Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
AT&T Laboratories
IBM Alamden