STEM Academic Research and Training (START)

Students accepted to the START program will choose from a group of projects, each led by a particular faculty mentor and 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 and Sciences 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

Wake Tech STEM Four-year Partners


Additional partners

Wake Tech STEM Additional Partners

Qualifications and expectations

  • Enrolled as a Wake Tech student during the internship
  • At least 18 years old
  • Aspire to transfer to a four-year university
  • Interested in a future career or degree program related to STEM
  • Weren't an applicant in the previous semester who wasn't selected for the program
  • No GPA requirement
  • Dedicate 60 hours per semester to internship (40 hours to research, 15 hours to weekly seminar, five hours to campus tours and community building), along with an oral or written communication piece
  • 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 (NOTE: Interns are paid monthly, one month in arrears, so you would get paid for January work at the end of February.)
  • 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 the Fall 2023 semester will be accepted until 10 a.m. on July 3. All applicants will be notified, beginning July 5, as to whether they were chosen for the program through a random selection process or not. Applicants are expected to check and respond to email daily during this time.

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.

National Science Foundation logo