Summer Undergraduate Research Program

This application closed on February 1, 2024.

About the Undergraduate Research Program

The Center for Sustainable Polymers is a NSF Center for Chemical Innovation whose mission is to transform how plastics are made and unmade through innovative research, engaging education, and diverse partnerships that together foster environmental stewardship. CSP participants aim to design, prepare, and implement polymers derived from renewable resources for a wide range of advanced applications, and to promote future economic development, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability in the emergent area of biobased products.

This paid research experience requires a full-time commitment to extensive lab work for ten weeks during the summer. All participants will have the opportunity to present their research in a CSP meeting at the end of the summer and in an undergraduate research expo.


This Application Has Closed

timeline of summer undergrad research for 2023 to 2024

Program & Eligibility

The CSP will provide full-time research positions to undergraduate students during the summer – hosted at the University of Minnesota. We expect that the 2024 CSP Summer Research program will be conducted in-person. Program structure and any modifications are subject to change.

Program dates are June 3- August 9, 2024 but we can accommodate students whose semester/quarter end dates overlap with the program start.

Participants will receive a stipend and meal allowance of $7500. In addition, costs for dorm housing at the University of Minnesota and travel to Minneapolis will be covered directly.

This program is open to undergraduate students in science and engineering majors, preferably chemistry, chemical engineering, or materials science. Program participants must be US citizens or permanent residents. Historically excluded and multicultural students are strongly encouraged to apply (e.g. female, genderqueer, transgender, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, Native American or Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, bisexual, gay, lesbian, queer, disability, or veteran of the US Armed Forces, Reserves, or National Guard).

Visit our team page to learn about our investigators and their research.


A complete application consists of:

  1. An online application form 
  2. Documents required as attachments to the online application form in (1)
    • Statement of purpose: 500-word (maximum) statement describing why you wish to participate in this program, sharing any previous research experience, and your career goals.
    • CV or Resume 
    • Transcript (unofficial accepted)
  3. One Letter of Recommendation: A Letter of Recommendation is required directly from the recommender and can be provided by someone who can speak to your ability/potential as a student/researcher (e.g., professor, advisor, research mentor). Preferred sources are faculty members or research supervisors.
    • The online application form in (1) will ask you for the name and email of the person providing a letter of recommendation. Please make sure that this individual knows that they will be receiving this request.

This Application Has Closed

CSP Highlights and Offerings

marc hillmyer at podium speaking

About the CSP

The CSP integrates sustainability issues that focus on the science and technology of polymeric materials into research, education, and public outreach initiatives. We aim to establish foundational chemical principles that enable the efficient and economical conversion of natural and abundant molecules into tomorrow’s advanced polymers.

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sustainable polymer framework infographic

Sustainable Polymer Framework

The field of sustainable polymers is a very active, broad, and diverse area of research. Our goal is to introduce an integrated systems-thinking approach that considers the interconnection of all sustainable polymer criteria and their potential impact across the environment, economy, and society.

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beyond the classroom

Beyond the Classroom

The Beyond the Classroom series allows our researchers to become more knowledgeable about broad topics relevant to the Center’s research. These seminars are designed to give interdisciplinary peers a shared understanding and to foster collaborative research.

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Internal Research Meetings

Each month, connect with over 70+ CSP investigators and researchers on the latest work happening around the Center. These virtual meetings consist of three ten-minute research presentations followed by breakout rooms to share ideas and ask questions with the speakers.

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What’s new?

See what is happening now around Center on CSP news and social media.

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Covestro Lectureship in Sustainability

With generous sponsorship from Covestro, the CSP hosts the annual Covestro Lectureship in Sustainability. Leaders working on issues in sustainability deliver a lecture designed for a general audience.

Covestro Lecture


For questions, contact