Scientists never stop learning, and for most of their lives, their learning takes place outside of the classroom. That’s why we want physics and astronomy students to get a taste of research at a professional level. Consider joining one of our faculty research teams, or spend a summer off campus with one of the external partners in our scientific network.
Partner with professors in their research
As a student in physics and astronomy at Calvin, you have the opportunity to experience cutting-edge research that will prepare you for your career and graduate school.
As a research assistant, you can:
- develop a mentoring relationship with an experienced scientist
- use specialized equipment in well-equipped research facilities
- co-author publications and presentations in scholarly research journals with your research partners and professor
Find research positions
Summer on campus - Each summer, 5-10 paid, full-time research positions are available with physics and astronomy professors. The application process occurs in February each year. Learn more and apply for these positions through the science division.
Year-round - Physics and astronomy professors regularly employ students for research assistance throughout the year. If you are interested in doing research during the year, talk with your professors about available opportunities.
Summer off campus - Undergraduate research opportunities also exist off-campus, often at national labs or observatories. These positions offer a stipend and often a travel or housing allowance. Positions are advertised in late fall, with many applications due in January and February. See below for a list of off campus research.
View position descriptions and submit your application through the science division. Applications will be accepted in February. Be sure to talk with each professor you are applying to work with.
Check out 2017 research projects in the Physics & Astronomy department.
See what research students did on campus during previous summers.
Interested in academic credit for research? Enroll in PHYS 395 or ASTR 395 for 0-3 hours of course credit.
Non-Calvin research opportunities
Undergraduate research opportunities also exist off-campus, often at national labs or observatories. These positions offer a stipend and often a travel or housing allowance. Positions are advertised in late fall, with many applications due in January and February.
- The National Science Foundation funds Research Experiences for Undergraduates programs at institutions around the country in physics and astronomy.
- Searchable list of many positions from American Institute of PHysics
- National Radio Astronomy Observatory
- NASA Student Opportunities
- Department of Energy
- Department of Homeland Security
- Applied Physics Lab at Johns Hopkins
- MIT Lincoln Library
- Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy
- University of Chicago
- California Institute of Technology
- German Academic Exchange
- Canadian Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics (Canadian citizens)
- IAESTE Placement Program matches U.S. university students majoring in technical fields with paid internships abroad.
- APS/IBM Research Internships (for women)
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Challenge Program for Undergraduates
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory Higher Education Research Experiences (HERE)
- The Council for Undergraduate Research has a page listing student research opportunities
- Registry of Undergraduate Researchers and Graduate Schools from the Council for Undergraduate Research (shares your name with graduate schools which are recruiting)
- The Apker Award from the American Physical Society for outstanding undergraduate research
Please send an email to Mary VanderMeer, Department Administrative Assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have suggestions for other links here.