AJC Merit Research Co-ops Opening for July 2024

We are delighted to announce the third cohort for the AJC Merit Research Scholarship is opening for Fall 2024. These co-ops will begin in July and end in December.

Academically talented and ambitious students can apply to conduct research in the lab or group of a tenured or tenure-track STEM faculty member at a rate comparable to what they’d encounter in industry in two ways.

  • By sharing a proposal to conduct a research co-op with a faculty member with whom they are already working.
  • By applying into an Approved AJC Merit Research Scholar Co-op position.

Below is an overview of the five faculty-approved positions collaborating with Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. Full job descriptions can be viewed on NUWorks. 

Cardiovascular Therapeutics AJC Merit Research Scholars Co-op
Mentor: Eno Ebong, Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, COE
The Ebong Mechanobiology Laboratory studies how mechanical forces control blood vessel wall cell and tissue behavior in healthy versus diseased condition. Much of the research focus is on studying the structure and function of the protective gel-like layer of sugar molecules and proteins coating the surface of the endothelial cells—called the glycocalyx—to understand, on a molecular level, how mechanobiology remodels the endothelial cells to facilitate protection from disease.

Augmented Reality AJC Merit Research Scholars Co-op
Mentor: Wallace Lages, Assistant Professor, Khoury
Our research is focused on exploring how mixed reality can:

  • Enable new ways to create and have fun.
  • Enhance our ability to understand and act in the world.


Assessing Metacognition Across Cognitive Domains – AJC Merit Research Scholars Co-op
Mentor: Jorge Morales, Assistant Professor, Psychology, College of Science & Philosophy, CSSH
The Subjectivity Lab seeks to answer questions about metacognition using an interdisciplinary approach. Our work focuses on understanding the subjective point of view of the mind: How we perceive the world around us, how the brain creates conscious experiences, and how introspection opens a window into our own minds.

Safe Drinking Water Science AJC Merit Research Scholars Co-op
Mentor: Kelsey Pieper, Assistant Professor,  Civil and Environmental Engineering, COE
Using community science sampling, bench-scale testing, and spatial modeling, I explore the extent and magnitude of contamination in communities; evaluate the efficacy and adoptability of household-level interventions; and examine how access is influenced by socio-demographics.

Biomechanics of Bone/Cartilage AJC Merit Research Scholars Co-op
Mentor: Sandra Shefelbine, Professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Bioengineering, COE
We are developing new techniques for examining and measuring the musculoskeletal system. We use novel animal models, develop computational methods, and build hardware to explore aspects of the musculoskeletal system. We are interested in musculoskeletal mechanobiology and biomechanics. Bones and cartilage respond to mechanical load with a biological reaction. The Shefelbine Group is trying to understand mechanobiology in the musculoskeletal system in order to develop eventual therapies.