Exploration and next steps

Author: Jennifer Lechtanski

Next Exploration Grants

First Year: Exploration

What would it be like for a doctor in London to operate remotely on a patient in Mumbai? Today, mechanical engineers are working on a robotic proxy that enables doctors to feel the physical condition of their patients in remote locations. First Year student Hannah Gillespie traveled to London during the summer to develop the technology of soft robotics. Here she poses for a picture before entering the lab itself.

Gillespie Hannah 16 17 Ug London
Hannah Gillespie ('20) in Mechanical Engineering
London, England

As an aspiring mechanical engineer with an interest in computer engineering and robotics, this summer opportunity provided excellent real-life experience in a research setting and allowed me to use both hard skills, like soldering, along with engineering skills of coding, design thinking, and problem solving.

Next Steps: Sophomore Year

Gao Ruying 16 17 Ug London1
Ruying Gao (‘19) in Mathematics
TATE Britain in London, England
Snider Family Endowment for Excellence in European Studies

As students settle into major courses of study, they can take advantage of Institute opportunities to bring their classroom experiences to life. Turning course materials into close encounters can be thrilling, especially if the objects being studied cannot be reproduced fully in any other way. 

While J.M.W. Turner has been widely praised for his novel treatment of the subject of slavery in art, it was revealed by one of the leading Turner experts that Turner invested in a Jamaican speculation that depended upon slave labor. Perplexed by Turner’s stance on the issue, Ruying Gao visited the world’s largest Turner Collection in the Clore Gallery at Tate Britain over the summer to explore the political and social views underlying his paintings through close-reading, archives research, and conversation with Turner experts.

This trip significantly enriched my undergraduate experience at Notre Dame.


The most cost-effective public health intervention is an immunization program. At the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO), Kristin Andrejko helped to keep the global pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) policy up to date. 


Andrejko Kristin 16 17 Ug Geneva4
Kristin Andrejko (‘19) in Science-Business
World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland
European Internship and Service Grant

From the day I knew I would be interning at the WHO, to my last day here, I honestly could not have imagined a better placement for the summer . . . . It forced me to think about how even the smallest of actions—changing a number in the policy from ‘two’ to ‘one’—could affect billions of lives.


Who to Contact?

A grant from the Nanovic Institute can have a demonstrable, transformative impact on a student’s future. Whether it be through the experience of independent research, a professional internship, conference presentation, or international service, all students return to Notre Dame profoundly shaped by their encounters with Europe.

If you are a student and interested in discussing possible options, please contact:

Chris Stump
Student Coordinator

View all undergraduate grant opportunities