ATOC undergraduates participating in research should arrange to be compensated for their time. A student must decide whether to gain research experience inside or outside of ATOC, and also whether they'd like to receive course credit or monetary funding for their efforts.
ATOC undergraduates can gain research experience while receiving course credit by signing up for independent study hours, Honors thesis hours, or a for-credit external intership:
To enroll in either ATOC 4900, 4950, or 4990 a student must have previously located a research project and mentor. For ATOC majors, note that up to six credit hours in ATOC 4900, 4950, or 4990 can apply towards the twelve credit hour requirement for 4000-level methods courses.
A second option for ATOC undergraduates gaining research experience is to get paid for their research time in lieu of receiving course credit. The availability of paid opportunities varies semester to semester and also varies with your level of experience. While some paid opportunities are available directly through research advisors, there are many funding sources available within federal and University of Colorado programs as well:
The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, offers research stipends for undergraduates to work on research projects at numerous universities and laboratories across the United States. Most students travel for these projects to places other than their primary institution, which can often help transform and diversify their conceptions of a particular research topic. REU stipends are generous yet competitive, so be sure to get started early if you intend to apply for one.
The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), sponsored by the University of Colorado, provides funding campus-wide funding for undergraduate research projects and conference presentations.
UROP applications for both the Summer and Fall/Spring Academic year are due in mid February (check the UROP page for the exact deadlines). Students must identify a research mentor before applying for funding.
The Summer Multicultural Access to Research Training (SMART) Scholarship at the University of Colorado Boulder offers hands-on research internships for rising juniors and seniors for a 10-week period during the summer. The program aims to improve access to STEM research for racial/ethnic groups which are underrepresented in science, math, and engineering (African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native/ Native Pacific Islander), and for first-generation college students who are economically disadvantaged. Students with disabilities are also welcome to apply.
Your undergraduate research may be performed outside the university at a national laboratory, local company, or other program. In this case, a research professional at your chosen program will be your primary mentor, and ATOC will only assign a faculty member to overview your assignment if your internship is unpaid and is applied for CU course credit (i.e., taken as ATOC 4990, Internship). A short list of local scientific institutes that often have research opportunities are below:
A list of relevant internship boards and specific external internships may help you find just the right opportunity: