The MERIT Program

  The A. James Clark School of Engineering
  University of Maryland Home
MERIT Program Home

MERIT 2013:
BIEN - Biosystems Internships for Engineers

Program Introduction

The University of Maryland's Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, with support from the National Science Foundation, is offering exciting research opportunities for undergraduate students in the broad area of electrical engineering. The Maryland Engineering Research Internship Teams (MERIT) program combines cutting-edge, team-based research with technical and educational seminars. Students typically work in teams of two or three and are supervised jointly by faculty members and graduate students. For Summer 2013, we are pleased to offer students research experiences under BIEN - Biosystems Internships for Engineers, an NSF-funded REU.

See: BIEN 2012 Project Titles, Descriptions, and Faculty

Purpose of MERIT

- Involve talented students in a diverse research program.

- Introduce undergraduates to team-based and cross-disciplinary research.

- Help students prepare for graduate school and define career goals.

During the 10-week summer program, students develop their research projects, attend technical seminars, visit local industry and government organizations, meet with leaders in the field, and prepare a technical research report. Students also attend a series of ethics seminars that cover various ethical concepts and theories as well as their application, especially in research settings. Students actively participate in seminar discussions and brief writing assignments. The summer program culminates in the MERIT Fair, a day-long program during which student teams demonstrate their accomplishments and are evaluated by a panel of experts.

MERIT students receive a $5,000 stipend for their summer work, plus on campus housing and partial travel support (if they reside outside of the Greater Washington, DC/Baltimore Metropolitan area) UMCP students are generally not eligible for on-campus housing. Married-student housing is not available. Subject to available funds, participants may be eligible to continue their work during the following academic year -- receiving a stipend of $1,000 per semester. The program begins on June 3rd and ends on August 9th.


MERIT participants will be selected to work on projects provided under the BIEN (Biosystems Internships for Engineers) REU. Each project uses electrical engineering skills and tools to address important biosystems applications. The projects range from nanotechnology, measurement of energy absorbtion, and microelectronics devices to autonomous control, information security, system modeling,and speech recognition.

Qualifications and How to Apply

The MERIT Program is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only. Students must be currently enrolled in a college or university and have an anticipated graduation date of December 2013 or later. The minimum preferred GPA is 3.3 on a 4.0 scale. (Motivated students without the recommended GPA may apply but such applications will only be considered if special mitigating circumstances exist.)

Applicants who wish to be considered for the MERIT BIEN Summer 2013 Program must apply to the program and submit the following documents:
  • Current resume
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Essay
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation

Your essay should address how the MERIT program will help further your academic and/or career goals. It should be no longer than one page in length and formatted with 12 pt. font and 1” margins. Please note – a Statement of Purpose is NOT required for the MERIT application; only an essay should be submitted. 

The MERIT BIEN application, all required documents, and letters of recommendation are due by 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (USA) on March 22, 2013. Late applications will not be considered.

For more information about the MERIT Program please contact:

Office of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
2426 A.V. Williams Building
University of Maryland, College Park
College Park, MD 20742