Skip to main content
The official hub for news and stories from Colorado Mesa University
NASA Names Colorado Mesa University an Emerging Research Institution with Inaugural Grant

The new partnership between NASA and CMU offers a unique research opportunity for undergraduate students

This February, a new, out-of-this world partnership was launched at Colorado Mesa University. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced CMU will receive a portion of a $3.7 million dollar grant that supports emerging research institutions.

CMU, which values its position as a teaching university, is unique in that it also provides undergraduate students the chance to get hands-on research experiences that are typically only offered to those in graduate programs. NASA’s Science Mission Directorate Bridge Seed Program is one such opportunity.

In a press release put out by NASA, the agency’s Senior Advisor for Engagement Shahra Lambert said initiatives like the bridge program, and partnerships like the one with CMU, are created to continue to build relationships and provide "the best and brightest talents in our nation" access to NASA in order to "develop a diverse and capable workforce to further our understanding of the cosmos."

This program allows CMU students to explore collaborative research that will result in meaningful relationships with the agency, including access to mentorships and employment opportunities within NASA’s workforce.

"I'm extremely excited that NASA has given us the opportunity to build and lead a unique multi-institutional STEM undergraduate research and education consortium out of CMU. By continuing to build our program with NASA Glenn Research Center and including other CMU faculty research, we hope to create even more opportunities for students interested in graduate STEM study or NASA/aerospace-related careers in the near future," said Assistant Professor Physics Jarrod Schiffbauer, PhD.

The bridge program is a yearlong, two summer, paid research opportunity starting Summer 2024. The research collaborations will focus on complex fluids and soft matter.

During the academic year, students will meet remotely with research partners at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Florida International University and NASA Glenn Research Center. Summer 2025 students will spend about 10 weeks at one of the partner institutions working on a research project.

The application deadline is 5pm on Thursday, February 29, 2024 and must be submitted by email to Assistant Professor Physics Jarrod Schiffbauer, PhD at [email protected].

CMU STEM students interested in collaborative research projects with a team across three universities and the NASA Glenn Research Center Fluid Physics program are encouraged to apply today.

Eligibility and Application Details:

  • Three (3) 2-year positions available for the first round.
  • STEM majors seeking careers in research or engineering-related STEM fields.
  • Ideally suited for students with sophomore standing, but freshmen and junior applicants considered.
  • Competitive evaluation process.
  • Application deadline is 5pm on Thursday, February 29, 2024.
  • Application materials, including personal statement and letter of recommendation, must be submitted by email to [email protected].

Program Overview:

  • Research projects focused on fluid flow, heat transfer, and phase change.
  • Minimum prerequisite: completion of Phys 131 and enrollment in Phys 132 in Spring 2024.
  • Participants required to register for at least 1 credit in Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 for a related Independent Study or Special Topics course.

How to Apply:

  • Original, typed applications in electronic format by 5pm, February 29, 2024.
  • 11 pt font, single-spaced, 1-inch margins, Word or PDF documents accepted.


Written by Kelsey Coleman