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Undergraduate students have an opportunity to participate in groundbreaking research. Approximately 30% of BME students participate in research projects. The UNC Office of Undergraduate Research and NC State Office of Undergraduate Research have information and resources on research opportunities and funding. In particular, they have helpful information on how to connect with mentors at UNC and NC State, which includes tips for writing an email to faculty to inquire about lab positions.

Students work in research labs in the BME Department, as well as labs in related departments throughout the College of Engineering or Arts and Sciences, and the Schools of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Nursing, and Public Health. Many students participate in summer research opportunities, such as REUs, at other universities as well.

We also encourage students to present at the UNC Celebration of Undergraduate Research or NC State University Annual Symposium

Students may conduct work as a volunteer, for pay, or for credit.  Students also participate in research through the Abrams Scholars and Lucas Scholars programs (see below).

Questions? Contact the Chair of the Undergraduate Research Committee, Dr. Rahima Benhabbour.

Read our BME UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH GUIDE that introduces research to undergraduates from all backgrounds.

Abrams Scholarship Program

The Abrams Scholarship program provides stipends to undergraduate students to undertake faculty-guided laboratory research projects. The program honors C. Frank Abrams, Jr., a BME and BAE emeritus faculty member. Dr. Abrams led the development of the first courses in Biomedical Engineering at NC State and was instrumental in the founding of NC State’s BME Department; the creation of the joint UNC-CH/NC State graduate program; and ultimately the launch of the UNC-CH/NC State Joint BME Department. He was the Joint Department’s first senior design instructor as well as the first Director of Graduate Studies.

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Career Development

The Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering is committed to preparing students for life after graduating from the program, whether they intend to pursue an advanced degree or go straight to industry. Our mission is to educate students about opportunities outside of academics and help them to network and position themselves to pursue these opportunities.

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Co-Op Program

Students based at either campus are eligible to participate in the co-op program through NC State after attending a co-op orientation. The Cooperative Education Program typically delays graduation by a year but provides valuable industry experience and the opportunity to earn money working as an engineer to help with tuition and other expenses.

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Department Honors Programs

In addition to completing University level honors programs at UNC Honors Carolina)UNC and NC State University Honors Program, students also have the opportunity to complete department honors on each campus.

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I4 Competition

The i4 Program is a novel initiative within the UNC/NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering that melds traditional undergraduate engineering education with biomedical entrepreneurship. Composed of four phases of need Identification, Ideation, Innovation and Implementation, this design program culminates in an annual competition awarding a financial prize that supports further intellectual property development and the eventual formation of student-founded companies. Bringing talented students together with highly accomplished academic, clinical and industry professionals, the i4 Program drives young, innovative entrepreneurship into the Triangle region while fostering the creation of practical solutions to real-world problems

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Lucas Scholar Fellowship

The Lucas Scholar Fellowship (LSF) was named to honor Carol Lucas, a former chair of the BME department at UNC. The LSF is an intensive independent research program for outstanding students in Biomedical Engineering. One goal of this program is to encourage interaction between UNC and NC State through undergraduate research. Undergraduate candidates can apply from either UNC or NCSU. Scholars work over the spring, summer and fall semesters. Candidates that are in an under-represented minority group are encouraged to apply.

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Study Abroad

Students interested in study-abroad programs should see the information provided at their home institutions. The best time to study abroad is during the sophomore year, since the basic engineering courses required during the sophomore year are offered at most universities with an engineering program. Summers are also a good time to study abroad. Please meet with your BME advisor as early as possible to plan and stay on track for graduation.

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