Guided Engineering Apprenticeship in Research




The GEAR 2024 - 2025 application for continuing students is closed.


 Incoming Transfer Application Due by Sunday July 21, 2024 11:59PM.


Check back in Winter 2025 for the 2025 - 2026 cohort information. 


Program Overview

GEAR is a year-long research apprenticeship program for students who have not had the opportunity to get involved with research in the Jacobs School of Engineering*.  As a GEAR Research Apprentice, you will work with a teammate on a research project within a Jacobs School of Engineering faculty research lab. In this program you will participate in:

  • Research Lab Placement: Teams receive a research project and mentorship from faculty and graduate students throughout the academic school year.
  • Mentorship: Receive additional mentorship from IDEA Engineering Student Center mentors throughout the year.
  • ENG 20 "Introduction to Engineering Research": All GEAR Research Apprentices will take this 2-unit course in Fall 2024 to get an orientation to engineering research and write a research proposal.
  • Workshops & Socials: Stay connected with GEAR Research Apprentices while learning tools and skills to support your research during Winter & Spring 2025.
  • Poster Presentation: Research teams create and present a poster to showcase their research study at a poster session during Spring 2025.

*Students in Computer Science & Engineering or CSE-related majors, please apply to the CSE Early Research Scholars Program.

Join us during one of these joint information sessions to learn more about the GEAR and ESRP from staff and get your questions answered. 

Monday April 1, 2024

3:00 - 4:00 p.m. In Person: CSE 1242​​​​​​

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Virtually: Zoom Link

Missed the Info Session? 

Linked here is the recording from the 2024 session. Password: InfoSession2024!

Linked here are the slides.

Application timeline:

The GEAR 2024-2025 application opens March. 

Applications are due mid April.

Students will be notified about whether they have been accepted into the program by mid May.

Check out our YouTube Playlist for previous projects!


"The lab I was placed in is very encouraging...I also love that the program is structured, and I feel like I have support and can reach out to multiple people if I need help..."

"I like how easy it is to communicate with everyone and how accessible it is to reach out if I need help. I also like having the push to read more research papers and explore ideas I otherwise would not have looked into."

Helping students make the most of undergraduate research

Two Jacobs School of Engineering programs are helping undergraduates broaden their understanding of what it means to study engineering by getting involved in engineering research. The Guided Engineering Apprenticeship in Research and Early Research Scholars Program bring second-year undergraduates into university research labs, where they work on team projects that contribute to the actual research mission of the lab. Both programs are aimed at students with no previous research experience and from traditionally underrepresented groups in engineering, and provide mentorship from people within the research lab, as well as outside guidance, mentorship and community building opportunities.  

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  • What is the time commitment?
    • We expect you to commit to all three quarters of the academic year.
    • Fall Quarter: Total time commitment is 12-15 hours per week. This includes the 2-unit ENG 20 course (6 hours of lecture and assignments), lab and related independent learning (6-8 hours), and meetings with GEAR staff (up to 1 hour) each week.
    • Winter Quarter: Total time commitment is 6-12 hours per week. 
    • Spring Quarter: Total time commitment is 6-12 hours per week. 
  • What credit do I get for this?
    • You will receive a 2-unit credit for ENG 20.
    • If accepted, meet with your department/major advisor(s) to decide whether you should take research hours as 199 credit, Co-Curricular Record, or on a volunteer basis.
  • Is this a paid experience?
    • No, GEAR is not currently a paid experience.
  • What projects are available? Do I get to pick my project?
    • Projects are not finalized until summer or the start of Fall Quarter. We will ask you about your skills and interests and match you with a lab based on that information.
    • Students/faculty will be matched by the start of Fall Quarter.
  • I have already been working in a lab or plan to work in a lab over the summer. Can I stay with that lab as part of GEAR?
    • No. Given that you have already worked in a lab, GEAR will not be a good fit for you. The program is meant to introduce students to research for the very first time. If you have already had some experience with a lab, some parts of ENG 20 and GEAR will feel repetitive to you.

Questions? Contact Sara Eckardt at