University of Vermont

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Richard Barrett Scholarships

Promoting Undergraduate Expertise in Environmental Engineering

Richard Barrett Scholarship recipient James Lent.
Jamie Lent, '14 used his Barrett Scholarship to better understand how microbes withstand unfavorable environments
Undergraduate summer engineering research is about developing a personal relationship with a distinguished faculty member, struggling a little before having questions answered for you and — most of all — constantly adapting to make do with what you have. In that, the preparation reflects the profession.

This is exactly what the Barrett Foundation intended when the family nonprofit, led by 1966 UVM graduate Richard Barrett, a successful entrepreneur whose career was boosted by early internship experiences, decided to provide summer research scholarships for top students in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS).

The Program

The program provides prestigious, competitive awards to outstanding undergraduate engineers who wish to pursue a specific research project under the mentorship of a faculty member. The proposed projects must fit within the general research area of the faculty advisor. In this way, undergraduates have the opportunity and resources to pursue independent research as well as work closely with active faculty members who are leading scholars in their fields. Projects ideas can be independently generated by the student or select among descriptions of research topics that have been described by faculty members.

The competition is structured to reflect the application process and the execution of a program that would typically be funded by an external granting agency:

  • students are required to submit a application describing a specific research project to be completed under the direction of a faculty mentor;
  • applications are evaluated by a panel of UVM School of Engineering faculty, and the top ranked proposals are elected for funding; and
  • awardees carry out the research during a semester and a summer, create and present a poster describing their work and their results, and submit a final report detailing the outcomes.

In many instances, results may be suitable for presentation at regional or national conferences and/or publication.

Priority is given to students in their sophomore and junior year.

How to Apply

Applications open November 18, 2016!

Deadlines - February 13, 2017

(Read the Barrett Research Scholarships Program Guidelines for all the details!)

  1. Review project topics described by prospective faculty members, and meet with them to discuss your interest, or if proposing research of your own idea, meet with faculty to identify a mentor.
  2. Prepare the application materials in communication with your faculty mentor.
  3. Submit the application, plus a cover page by the application deadline.
    • November 18, 2016 - Applications become available in the CEMS Career Database and student proposals can be submitted. Meet with Lauren Petrie, CEMS Career Readiness Program Coordinator in Votey 337 to discuss your own proposal.
    • January 13, 2017 - Faculty Project Topics posted in CEMS Career Database
    • February 13, 2017 - Application Deadline!

Previous Barrett Scholars & Projects