University of Vermont

Graduate Research Opportunities

In the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS), there are ample opportunities for motivated graduate students to pursue research projects under the mentorship of a faculty member.

UVM researchers bring in over $120 million in grants annually, and UVM ranks high in the list of colleges and universities surveyed for federal support of research and development.

Below are just some of the opportunities available throughout the College. For more information, contact the faculty member(s) listed or email

ENGINEERING – Graduate Programs

COMPUTER SCIENCE – Graduate Programs

There are no openings at this time.


Climate Sensitivity

Openings: Email for opportunities
Start: Ongoing
Contact: Chris Danforth (
Small changes in the composition of the Earth's atmosphere may result in large shifts in the climate. Evaluating the Earth's sensitivity to changes in the environment is one of the most important scientific endeavors of the 21st century. Professor Chris Danforth is developing a distributed computing project with Robert F. Cahalan, head of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Climate Radiation Branch, to estimate climate sensitivity to various physical parameters with a simple climate model. To generate several centuries of simulations, they are implementing their models on Goddard's Thunderhead cluster (1.2 Teraflops). They are also planning to use Apple's parallel computational environment Xgrid to run climate simulations as a background application on the network of desktop G5s in the Climate Radiation Branch. The project will explore the climate model parameter space and evaluate which processes are most important to our understanding of the Earth's climate. For more information, contact Prof. Chris Danforth (

Combinatorics and Graph Theory

Openings: Email for opportunities
Start: Ongoing
Contact: Dan Archdeacon (
Professor Dan Archdeacon is currently supervising two PhD students on topics in topological graph theory and combinatorial designs. One portion of the overall project is embeddings of graphs on manifolds. These embeddings have special properties, like all faces are triangles or quadrilaterals, with all face-adjacencies. Other topics include scheduling round-robin tournaments from year to year such that collectively the schedules are as different as possible. Professor Archdeacon is also supervising two MS students on a game approach to finding noncontractible cycles in a surface and Room Squares respectively. Funding for graduate student support is currently pending.

Data Assimilation

Openings: Email for opportunities
Start: Ongoing
Contact: Chris Danforth (
Numerical weather prediction relies on the efficient combination of model predictions with satellite observations to estimate the state of the atmosphere. The procedure by which this estimate and its associated probability distribution are generated is referred to as data assimilation. Given the probability distributions associated with the model prediction and the observations, the Kalman Filter finds the combined probability distribution which minimizes the mean square error. The chaos group at UMD has developed a new method to make the Kalman Filter more accurate and efficient for operational use; their state-of-the-art technique is known as the LETKF. Professor Chris Danforth is currently adapting the techniques he has developed for model error estimation and correction into the LETKF. The numerical experiments are being performed on the Japanese Earth Simulator, one of the fastest computers in the world (36 Teraflops).

Emotional State of the Blogosphere

Openings: Email for opportunities
Start: Ongoing
Contact: Chris Danforth (, Peter Dodds (
Online journals or "blogs" represent a vast, unsolicited source of information on the thoughts and feelings of a large community of people. The nature of these writings lends itself to automated sentiment analysis for the purpose of understanding how people of different countries, longitudes, sexes, and age groups feel about their lives. Is a seasonal affective disorder visible in the blogosphere? What effect do holidays have on the emotional state of the inhabitants of different countries? Do emotions spread across the network of blogs in a manner dynamically similar to viral media? This project uses data from the site to answer these and other questions. Online experiments are also being designed to test the role of collective influence in decision making.

Mathematic Methods Applied to Groundwater Hydrology

Openings: Email for opportunities
Start: Ongoing
Contact: George Pinder (
Professor George Pinder's research includes:

  1. Mathematical simulation of microbiological activity in multiphase subsurface flow and transport
  2. Use of fuzzy logic and possibility theory to quantify subsurface properties
  3. Development of an algorithm to identify a Dense, Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid contaminant in the subsurface
  4. Experimental and theoretical study of the effect of tidal fluctuations on contaminant discharge to the benthic layer
  5. Numerical solution of non-linear partial differential equations
  6. General study of the physics of flow and transport in porous media
  7. Assessment of risk using fuzzy logic and approximate reasoning

Prediction of Chaotic Systems

Openings: Email for opportunities
Start: Ongoing
Contact: Chris Danforth (
Professor Chris Danforth's research, in collaboration with James Yorke and Eugenia Kalnay of the Chaos group at the University of Maryland, focuses on developing novel techniques to improve the ability to make accurate predictions of physical systems using numerical models. Since research thus far has proven the project's concepts to be successful in use with small global weather models, these same techniques will now be applied to a version of the operational weather model used by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). This model has about 100 million degrees of freedom; it is used by the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue predictions to the government and media.

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH CENTER (interdisciplinary) – Find out more and apply now!

Transportation-related Research in any UVM Graduate Program

Openings: Graduate Scholar Research Assistantships
Start: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Deadline: Applications must be received at the TRC by March 1st for consideration for the coming academic year.
Contact: Glenn McRae, TRC Graduate Program Coordinator (
One-year (12-month) graduate student research assistantships of $28,000 are available to full-time UVM graduate students (U.S. Citizens or permanent residents) who work as research assistants (RAs) for 20 hours per week on transportation research related to the Center's theme. Students may be in any graduate program within UVM's colleges or schools. An additional $1,000 may be available to support the selected student's professional travel, conferences or registration fees. RAs must also apply to the Graduate Certificate Program in Sustainable Transportation Systems. Most RAs will be provided with office space at the Transportation Research Center. Find out more and apply now!


Openings: Variable, refer to annual call for proposals
Start: annual - beginning in fall semester; applications due in March
Contact: Debra Fraser (
The Vermont Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) / NASA EPSCoR offers a number of research opportunities:

  • VSGC supports 8 full-time equivalent Graduate Fellowships each year to allow graduate students to work on faculty research projects on topics of interest to NASA. This funding typically includes support for both the academic year and summer research.
  • VT-NASA EPSCoR small-scale grants to faculty researchers often include support for graduate students to assist with research aligned with new and continuing NASA research priorities.