STem Academic Research and Training (START)

Preparing students for STEM careers

Students who are accepted to the START program will choose from a group of projects. Each project is led by a particular faculty mentor and is focused on exploring a research question. A project may have multiple students who each contribute in their own way. A student’s overall contribution to the project is referred to as their Discovery Opportunity. Completion of a Discovery Opportunity will involve meeting research targets along the way. Research targets may involve a range of possible tasks that include learning how to use instruments, attending academic conferences, running experiments and/or presenting your work.

START mission statement

The mission of the Mathematics, Sciences & Engineering Division’s START program is to increase students’ retention and success in the Associate in Engineering and Associate in Science programs and improve engineering, quantitative and scientific literacy. Students will actively participate in faculty-mentored, co-curricular discovery opportunities. Through hands-on research and engagement with the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) community, students will enrich their academic experience, further develop technical skills and increase their ability to be competitive in higher education and the STEM workforce.

Students may have the opportunity to work on research projects and interact with peers from our partner institutions and have campus tours.

Four-year partners

  • North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Additional partners

  • Duke University
  • Duke Lemur Center
  • Fayetteville State University
  • Piedmont Health

Qualifications and expectations

  • Enrolled as a Wake Tech student during the internship
  • Dedicate 60 hours per semester on internship (40 hours on research, 15 hours on weekly seminar, five hours of campus tours and community building), along with an oral or written communication piece
  • At least 18 years old
  • Aspire to transfer
  • Interested in a future career or degree program related to STEM
  • No GPA requirement
  • Agree to be a part of the evaluation study related to the grant

START benefits

  • Participating in START makes you officially a Wake Tech employee with a job history.
  • Students will receive $15/hour for 60 hours of commitment each semester
  • Add real skills and work experience to strengthen your transfer application
  • Learn to use cutting-edge tech used by STEM professionals
  • Experience classroom concepts in a practical setting to learn more and improve your grades
  • Decide if a future in STEM is right for you

START applications

Applications for Fall 2022 are available until 12 p.m. June 30. Applicants who are randomly selected will be notified the first week of July. Applicants will be expected to check and respond to email during this time. If, for some reason, you are unable to respond to email between July 5 and July 15, please let us know. Internships will begin once the fall semester is in session.

Questions? Email [email protected]

This program is supported by the National Science Foundation PD 21‐7980 Advancing Innovation and Impact in Undergraduate STEM Education at Two‐year Institutions of Higher Education grant program, DUE‐2133600.