Information for Students

Application Process

The Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship (DURI) Program provides an opportunity for Purdue-West Lafayette undergraduate students to work one-on-one with Discovery Park faculty members and researchers on interdisciplinary cutting-edge research projects. Students meet regularly with faculty for research mentoring and attend a one credit seminar course. In many cases, students also have the opportunity to earn one academic credit for each 3 hours of research work (limited to 4 credits per semester) through the host department. The program is designed to stimulate awareness of advanced research and interest in graduate study. Students receive a $500 scholarship at the end of every participating semester in recognition of their selection. Travel and supply grants are available to DURI participants on a competitive basis.

Project applications for each time period are limited:
You may apply for a maximum of 5 projects per academic semester and 3 projects for Summer.
Please read the descriptions carefully and choose the project or projects that best suit your interests and abilities.

You may work on only ONE DURI project in a semester.

If you are selected for more than one project, you should make your choice quickly and advise faculty immediately of your plans so that another student may be engaged to work on the project you decline. You will gain more by spending additional time on a single project, and going into greater depth in your research involvement than by spreading yourself thinly over multiple projects.

Completing Your Application

1. Read the project proposals carefully to see if you have the required skills and qualifications -- they vary greatly from project to project. Make a serious assessment of your interests and abilities. Do you find the project truly interesting?

2. Ask yourself about your time commitments for the coming year. Are your course or extracurricular commitments already unusually heavy? Research internships are not "easy credits." To benefit from the program students are required to devote at least 6 hours a week to the project over the course of the entire semester.

3. Apply only for projects to which you are prepared to commit yourself and for which you are qualified (some require only diligence and enthusiasm). Please do not jeopardize the research project or your potential relationship with a professor by applying to, or accepting, intern positions that you cannot or do not want to see through to completion.

4. Make sure you are eligible. The program is currently open only to registered undergraduates in their Sophomore, Junior, or Senior year with a GPA of at least 3.0. Students from all majors are encouraged to apply.

5. Use the online application form to apply for the projects you select. You will be asked for contact and academic data, as well as a statement of interest for each project. In your statement, make sure that you address each project specifically: Why are you interested? Why are you qualified? What skills can you bring to this project? What classes have you taken that relate to the research? What do you hope to get out of this research experience?

6. Faculty will need to evaluate your academic achievement and experiences.

7. Deadlines are firm and will be extended only for those (rare) projects which receive no qualified applicants. Check this website for open (or re-opened) listings after the deadline.

After You Have Submitted Your Application

1. Faculty will review their applicant pool and arrange interviews with their top candidates. Please check your email daily and respond promptly to requests for interview.

2. Do not telephone faculty or their departments. They will contact you.

If You Are Selected

1. Learning Contract: Meet with your research mentor immediately to set up a research schedule and to have your Learning Contract signed. (Contracts are sent directly to faculty with the applications.) You must return your Learning Contract to the DURI office, even if you are NOT enrolling for units.

Download Learning Contract PDF form

Submitting a Learning Contract documents your participation in the program and makes you eligible for your stipend and credits. It may also make you eligible for a Summer Stipend, travel grant, or supply grant.

2. Seminar Series: All participating DURIs are required to participate in a one credit seminar series, GS490A. You must register for this course with your academic advisor.

3. Research Credits: Many students also receive undergraduate research credits. Undergraduate research credits must be arranged through your research mentor’s hosting department and noted on your Learning Contract. One credit of undergraduate research credit may be awarded for every 3 hours of research work you do for your mentor (to a maximum of 4 credits per semester). YOU MUST REGISTER FOR THESE CREDITS THROUGH YOUR ACADEMIC ADVISOR AND YOUR FACULTY RESEARCHER. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Kirkham (lkirkham@purdue.edu, 494-2424).

4. Final Evaluation: All DURIs are required to complete a survey assessing their experience as a Discovery Park intern. More information about this requirement is provided in GS490A at the end of the semester; you should expect to spend about 30–45 minutes completing the evaluation during class.

Questions

At a workshop you will obtain more general information on Discovery Park Undergraduate Internships, and get tips on making clear and effective applications.

If you have any questions, please visit our office in the Hall for Discovery and Learning Research, Room 203C or contact Lisa Kirkham (lkirkham@purdue.edu, 494-2424).