University of Vermont

CEMS - The College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Richard Barrett Scholarships

Promoting Undergraduate Expertise in Environmental Engineering

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.Richard Barrett Scholarship recipients Alaina Dickason (left) and Tracy Owen (right).

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 four to five 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 and must be approved prior to proposal submission. 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.

The competition is structured to mirror both 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 proposal describing a specific research project to be completed under the direction of a faculty mentor;
  • proposals are evaluated by a panel of four UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences 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. Also, awardees are honored at a special event each year, and their efforts are publicized by the University.

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

How to Apply

Previous Barrett Scholars & Projects

See the interesting projects our previous Barrett Scholars have worked on!


Watch a short video on Allison Murphy's Barrett Scholarship supported research.

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