We are excited to learn that you might be interested in undergraduate research in sustainable energy. All of the faculty affiliated with the Ralph O’Connor Sustainable Energy Institute (ROSEI) regularly work with undergraduates in their energy research. However, matching students with faculty is still not a streamlined process. Therefore, we encourage you to: 

  • Let us know you are looking and interested (contact us at [email protected]) in finding a research opportunity that focuses on sustainable energy
  • Be persistent in your search

We want to know who is looking for positions in energy research and will aim to assist in making introductions and matches to the best of our abilities.

ROSEI Director Ben Schafer working with a student

“Some of the most exciting research I have conducted at Hopkins has not just had participation from undergraduates, but real ingenuity and leadership from undergraduates” says ROSEI Director Ben Schafer.   

ROSEI regularly coordinates with the Hopkins Office for Undergraduate Research (HOUR). The getting started advice given by HOUR is spot on, and we highly encourage you to read and follow the steps they prescribe in preparing for research and contacting and meeting with faculty, as well as the variety of possible compensation methods from volunteer, to credit, to being paid. Also, don’t assume online databases like Forager will be up to date with opportunities. You should reach out directly to the faculty of interest.  

Once your research is underway, there are lots of ways to share what you are learning. 

In addition to assisting with matching faculty, ROSEI offers a yearly Summit where undergraduate researchers can report on their work to the larger Hopkins community. This is in addition to DREAMS, the university-wide celebration of undergraduate research, and HURJ, the Hopkins Undergraduate Research Journal.  

You can utilize ROSEI’s lists of core, associate, and affiliated faculty to help you find a match. We encourage you to learn more about each of the faculty that may be working in areas of interest to you. ROSEI’s focused research efforts in carbon, storage, wind, and grid, as well as sustainable energy education all have undergraduate researchers involved and the faculty listed as leaders in these areas can be a great source for helping you find a productive research experience if these areas align with your interest. 

Once paired with a faculty your research experience may be volunteer, for credit, or for pay. It is common to start as a volunteer and to move to credit or a paid position if it proves to be a strong match. Paid research opportunities also exist through the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Awards (PURA) program. PURA programs exist for both the school year and for summers. In addition, if you are an undergraduate engineer and interested in performing research abroad for the summer, ROSEI can assist you in finding an international match and applying for funding through the Vredenberg Travel Fund. Please contact us for assistance. 

Consistent with our diversity statement we are particularly interested in involving participants from traditionally underrepresented groups in our fields of study. Please contact us so we can be of assistance. 

ROSEI also hires undergraduate student workers to assist with its functions. Separate from undergraduate research, this can still expose interested students to the field of sustainable energy. Please contact us if you are interested if any of these opportunities are available. 

If you are not a Hopkins undergraduate student we do not currently have direct undergraduate research opportunities for you. However, we are in the process of developing a Research Experiences for Undergraduates site, so check back with us, or contact us ([email protected]) directly for the latest.