Resources for independent research, internships, and careers

General guidelines for undergraduates research

UW-Madison undergraduate research awards

Board of Visitors Fund for Undergraduate Research: In 2013, the Physics Department's Board of Visitors has graciously established a new fund to support physics undergraduate research. Questions about the fund may be addressed to Professor Carlsmith.

Venturewell sponsors undergraduate R&D in Garage Physics. Contact Professor Carlsmith for further information.

The Department of Physics maintains a list of opportunities at

Application forms are available at the websites listed below. Questions may be directed to Julie Stubbs, Director of the Undergraduate Academic Awards Office (1107 Nancy Nicholas Hall, 265-2428,


Meyerhoff Undergraduate Excellence Award for $1,000: Deadline March 15, 2016 (L&S undergraduates only) This award for leadership, service and scholarship recognizes students who have made outstanding leadership and service contributions to the University and/or the surrounding communities while maintaining a record of academic excellence. Requires essay, 2 recommendations, and resume.

Charles Manthey Winter and Richard Ralph Winter Phoenix Rising Humanitarian Scholarship, for $1,000; deadline March 4, 2016 (L&S undergraduates only) For $1,000 rewards humanitarian achievement and service, encourages excellence and commitment in the application of humanitarian ideals, and affirms the moral obligation to provide for human welfare. Requires essay, 2 recommendations, and record of activities, achievements, and service.

Troxell Glicksman Awards for $300 - $1,500 by faculty or staff nomination; (campus wide undergraduate women). Nominations deadline February 26, 2016. These awards recognize outstanding upperclass women whose qualifications include intellectual ability and curiosity, good citizenship, appreciation of the world outside herself and interest in participating in its affairs. Once nominated by faculty or staff, application materials are requested including short essay about future plans and resume. Selected applications are invited to a small group interview in early April.

Incoming Freshmen Scholarships:

General application for a variety of scholarships from $500 - $8,000 is due February 1, 2016. Application submissions include essays, activities, employment, service, honors and awards record; letter of recommendation, 12th grade course grades and schedule, and test or AP credits. Thermo Scientific Scholars for $5,000 per year for 4 years for L&S/Engineering incoming freshmen with particular areas of study only) is due March 1, 2016. Application is for very specific science, technology or math areas of study (not clinical medicine track). Essay, 1 letter of recommendation (science or math instructors only), activities, employment, service, honors and awards record; and 12 grade course grades and schedule, and test or AP credits. Financial need is required. A FAFSA must be on file by April 1, 2016.

Students can apply for all opportunities listed above at:

Scholarships for summer term at UW-Madison

Sophomore and later research fellowhsips and awards

Funded by a one-year University of Wisconsin System Undergraduate Research & Discovery Grant, the Sophomore Research Fellowships support undergraduate research done in collaboration with UW–Madison faculty or research/instructional academic staff. Approximately 15 awards are available. The student researcher receives $2,500, and the faculty/staff research advisor receives $500 to help offset research costs (e.g., supplies, faculty or student travel related to the project). The application deadline is March 9, 2015. Directions for accessing the on-line application, instructions and FAQs can be found at the UAA website. .

HILLDALE UNDERGRADUATE/FACULTY RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS AND HOLSTROM ENVIRONMENTAL SCHOLARSHIPS provide support for collaborative research between undergraduate students and faculty or research/instructional academic staff members. Each provides a grant of $3,000 to the student and $500 to the faculty/staff mentor (up to $1,000 under exceptional circumstances) to help offset research costs. Students must have at least junior standing at the time of application. The Holstrom Scholarships require an environmental focus. We’re pleased to announce this year the McPherson Eye Research Institute will sponsor one additional Hilldale Fellowship for vision based research (including bioengineering, imaging, data visualization, ophthalmology and general biology of the eye). The application deadline is February 17, 2014. Directions for accessing the on-line application, instructions and FAQs can be found at the UAA website. <>

WISCONSIN IDEA UNDERGRADUATE FELLOWSHIPS are awarded to undergraduate students to develop and implement community-based research or service-learning projects that will meet a community identified need (local, national or international) under the supervision of a UW-Madison faculty or instructional academic staff member. Fellowships provide three (3) academic credits, a stipend of up to $3000 to a student ($5000 for a group of up to five students) and up to $2000 to help offset project related costs. The application deadline for 2014-15 fellowships is February 14, 2014. The on-line application, instructions and FAQs can be found on the Morgridge Center for Public Service website. < >

UNIVERSITY BOOK STORE ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AWARDS provide $1,000 to undergraduate students who have distinguished themselves by completing outstanding projects, such as a senior thesis, at UW-Madison. Students must be enrolled in a degree program during the 2013-14 academic year (December 2013 graduates may apply). Applications are due March 24, 2014. Directions for accessing the on-line application can be found at the UAA website. <>

WID Frontier Fellows program for undergraduates

Undergraduate Research Award--for general research projects. If Garage Physics members ever decide to take on a bigger project, this is a great place to get the funds for it. Deadline Nov 15 UW Undergraduate Research Program:

UW Letter and Science Honors Program:

UW Undergraduate Symposium:

Wisconsin Idea Fellowships

UW-Madison Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP)

UW-Madison undergradute research opportunity links and

UW-Madison Physics Department student opportunities link

Other undergraduate research awards

The "Future Faces of Physics" Award--Outreach to underrepresented students in physics. Can the physics club and garage physics partner up to do a project to reach out to students in rural WI and show them the awesomeness of physics? Or to minority students in Milwaukee? Or young women in the Madison area? You get the idea. Deadline Oct 15

Society of Physics Students Marsh White Awards--Outreach to the general public like the WI Science Festival would qualify for this award. Deadline Nov 15

Wisconsin Space Grant:

Student Awards Program in Fuel Cycle Research:

Wisconsin Transportation Scholarship

APS DNP Conference Experience for Undergraduates

DAAD RISE-Research Internships in Science and Engineering:

Optical Society of America student grants and fellowship

UW Grants

Student Research on Campus Sustainability Award

AAPT award for development of an advanced educational laboratory

AAPT $25k Venture Fund for development of a product related to education in physics

Awards for physics teachers

Hashim A. Yamani Membership Grants

International Internships

Search at

Optics in the city of light REU program in Paris

Funding for graduate student projects

WARF Discovery Challenge:

WID Emerging Interfaces Award:

National Academies

Semiconductor Research Corporation

AAUW grants and fellowships

General grants, contests, awards

Humanitarian tech development grants roundup

Sustainable design contests and awards roundup

Internships (local and United States)

Wait a sec, get credit for your internship through Inter-LS 260





DOE/INFN Summer Exchange Program:

SLAC and


UW REU Program:

Harvard WYSS. Wyss-funded summer research positions for undergraduates from any university to work at the Wyss will be advertised through the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science's REU program.

Biomedical Engineering Society:

Carnegie Institition of Washington Summer Scholars program

Harvard Smithsonian Observatory solar and space science


Academic credit for internships, Internship in the Liberal Arts & Sciences,

Federal Pathways program internships

Webguru listings of undergraduate summer science research opportunities(includes physical sciences)

Bioprocess Engineering for Sustainability

Internships in Medical Physics

Public Forum Institute - policy internship in Washington

NREIP intern program

Long list of national internships

SRI International

150 or so REU websites at COMPADRE

Delphi Corporation summer internships

Intel internships and jobs

Shell Assessed Internships

Office of Science and Technology Policy summer internships (upaid, Washington DC)

American Association of Physicists in Medicine Summer Undergraduate Fellowships

Dept of Commerce

Blue Origin space tech

Information Technology and Innovation foundation (think tank)

Federation of American Scientists provides science-based analysis of and solutions to protect against catastrophic threats to national and international security.

Boom Technologies aerospace

Local private opportunities

Shine Medical Technologies (2013 Startup in Monona): For an overview of the the medical isotope industry, see

Atom Probe (Madison, microscopes) Thomas F. Kelly, Ph.D. Division Vice President of AMETEK, Inc., CAMECA Instruments, Inc. 5500 Nobel Drive, Suite 100, Madison, WI 53711-4951 Direct Phone: +1.608.229.1954 Main Phone: +1.608.274.6880 or toll free +1.877.464.6246 Fax: +1.608.442.0622 Mobile: +1.608.239.8470


International Internships

UW Programs list

Engineers without borders


APS Society of Physics Students list

APS list


Anita Borg Institute for women in computing

American Society for Engineering Education SMART scholarship, and NASA Aeronautic Scholarship

Barry Goldwater Scholarship

Professional Organizations

American Physical Society

American Institute of Physics

Society of Physics Students

National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance | NCIIA

Institute of Physics

Optical Society of American

SPIE Student Chapter UW-Madison

American Society for Engineering Education

List of professional societies with ABET accreditation

Faculty development

UW Baldwin Awards:

KERN Foundation


Interested in teaching?


Awards for entrepreneurs

Department of Energy Phase 0 SBIR program "for women- and minority-owned small businesses, as well as small R&D firms located in states that have historically had low submission rates to the DOE SBIR/STTR programs" including WIsconsin

Crowd funding

Crowdfunding: More than money, a powerful new way of jumpstarting entrepreneurship education

“March 3 2014, Kickstarter pass $1B in pledges."



Eureka Fund



21 Examples of Crowd sourced fundraising platforms

Crowd funding for universities

Tomorrow’s coolest products from today’s best Makers.


Other sources

Do Something!

National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance

The Awesome Foundation


Looking for project ideas? Try


Bureau of Labor Statistics, Physicists and Astronomers,

American Institute of Physics (AIP) employment data

Society of Physics Students Career advice and resources,

APS Career Insight slideshow on careers with links to research

APS Career advice

UW-Madison advice,,,

AAPT careers information

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Individual Development Plans (recommended),

UW-Madison Individual Development plans (recommended for all postdocs, graduate students and undergraduates)

Career cornerstone - careers in physics

The challenge of industrial physics (Physics today),2Q68J,E1N5G9,9XSG6,1

Generic help,


The state of the job market in science (feb 2016) "about a third of employers use referrals from their own employees for recruiting" "More than 40 per cent of companies now recruit directly on LinkedIn."

Wetfeet guides (Explore top companies for science)

A commercial career matching service

Jobs listing sites: Careershift, CareerSearch, Indeed, SimplyHired

Mendeley job listings

Listen to interviews with Badgers as they look back to their UW experience

Social impact of career choices:

Insight data science fellowships

Grad school

Physics GRE prep,


UW Writing Center help


Career guides

Transitioning your career beyond academia (for physicists)

Networking for Nerds: Find, Access and Land Hidden Game-Changing Career Opportunities Everywhere, Yalda Hakim,

Questions to ask in an interview

Easy-to-ask, revealing-to-answer questions for you to take with you to an interview:

1. What's the biggest change your group has gone through in the last year? Does your group feel like the tough times are over and things are getting better, or are things still pretty bleak? What's the plan to handle to either scenario?

2. If I get the job, how do I earn a "gold star" on my performance review? What are the key accomplishments you'd like to see in this role over the next year?

3. What's your (or my future boss') leadership style?

4. About which competitor are you most worried?

5. How does sales / operations / technology / marketing / finance work around here? (I.e., groups other than the one you're interviewing for.)

6. What type of people are successful here? What type of people are not?

7. What's one thing that's key to this company's success that somebody from outside the company wouldn't know about?

8. How did you get your start in this industry? Why do you stay?

9. What are your group's best and worst working relationships with other groups in the company? What are the pain points you have to deal with day-to-day?

10. What keeps you up at night? What's your biggest worry these days?

11. What's the timeline for making a decision on this position? When should I get back in touch with you?

12. These are tough economic times, and every position is precious when it comes to the budget. Why did you decide to hire somebody for this position instead of the many other roles / jobs you could have hired for? What about this position made you prioritize it over others?

13. What is your reward system? Is it a star system / team-oriented / equity-based / bonus-based / "attaboy!"-based? Why is that your reward system? What do you guys hope to get out of it, and what actually happens when you put it into practice? What are the positives and the negatives of your reward system? If you could change any one thing, what would it be?

14. What information is shared with the employees (revenues, costs, operating metrics)? Is this an "open book" shop, or do you play it closer to the vest? How is information shared? How do I get access to the information I need to be successful in this job?

15. If we are going to have a very successful year in 2015, what will that look like? What will we have done over the next 6 months to make it successful? How does this position help achieve those goals? (This question helps show your ability to look beyond today's duties to the future more than a year away.)

16. How does the company / my future boss do performance reviews? How do I make the most of the performance review process to ensure that I'm doing the best I can for the company?

17. What is the rhythm to the work around here? Is there a time of year that it's "all hands on deck" and we're pulling all-nighters, or is it pretty consistent throughout the year? How about during the week / month? Is it pretty evenly spread throughout the week / month, or are there crunch days?

18. What type of industry / functional / skills-based experience and background are you looking for in the person who will fill this position? What would the "perfect" candidate look like? How do you assess my experience in comparison? What gaps do you see?

19. What is your (or my future boss') hiring philosophy? Is it "hire the attitude / teach the skills" or are you primarily looking to add people with domain expertise first and foremost?

20. In my career, I've primarily enjoyed working with big / small / growing / independent / private / public / family-run companies. If that's the case, how successful will I be at your firm?

21. Who are the heroes at your company? What characteristics do the people who are most celebrated have in common with each other? Conversely, what are the characteristics that are common to the promising people you hired, but who then flamed out and failed or left? As I'm considering whether or not I'd be successful here, how should I think about the experiences of the heroes and of the flame-outs?

- Marc Cenedella