STTAR (Students in Technology Transfer And Research)

Program Information/Time Lines:

The STTAR program provides upper-division students (juniors through graduate students) in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) with an opportunity to use their academic training and experience to address the most challenging science and technology-based problems faced by North Dakota companies. The primary emphasis of STTAR is on research and development rather than sales and marketing. The ND EPSCoR State Office cost-shares the student salary.

The ND EPSCoR State Office established the STTAR program in 1994 in response to recognized state and national needs for increased technology transfer from universities to industry. STTAR is a North Dakota University System University-Industry Technology Transfer Program. Since it began, dozens of North Dakota companies from across the state have participated in this highly successful program.

STTAR Summer 2023 application timeline

  • DEADLINE EXTENDED: March 31, 2023: Last day to submit a Business Application. Companies are encouraged to apply early. 
  • April 15, 2023: Last day for student applications to be sent to businesses. 
  • May 5, 2023: Last day for companies to hire and to notify ND EPSCoR and Career Centers of student hired. 
  • May 12, 2023: Company signed contracts DUE to ND EPSCoR. 
  • May 16, 2023: STTAR contract award period begins.

The application acceptance window for 2023 is now open.

    Business Eligibility:

    The North Dakota business enterprise does NOT have to be a technology company to be eligible for assistance. However, the research effort or specific problem to be addressed must have its foundation in STEM. To participate, companies must demonstrate that students will make significant contributions to company performance or new product/process development using their science and technology education and experience. Companies must provide at least a 1:1 cost-share, which would be a minimum salary of $15/hour to the student.

    How to Apply:

    What to Expect:

    1. Once the application is submitted, the ND EPSCoR State Office notifies the company of the proposal award status.
      Note: In instances where student hires are selected prior to a request for funding, steps 2-4 are not necessary.
    2. If approved, the company forwards the position(s) with research topic(s) to the campus career offices for job posting.
    3. Career offices post the positions; students apply directly to companies through their respective job boards.
    4. Companies screen student applications, select interviewees, conduct interviews, and hire applicants.
    5. Companies receive a contract for funding from the ND EPSCoR State Office; complete, sign, and return it.
    6. Students, whose major requires coop/internship credits should register with their campus career office after receiving approval from their academic advisor.
      Note: Students who have fulfilled their coop/internship credit are not required to register for credits.
    7. Whether registered for credits or not, students and companies should maintain a liaison relationship with their career offices regarding the work experience.
    8. Companies and students each provide a report of their project experience to the ND EPSCoR State Office at the end of the experience.

    Student Eligibility:

    North Dakota University System students, ND residents enrolled at other colleges and universities, and students enrolled at tribal colleges/universities in ND, are eligible to work with North Dakota companies for a minimum of eight (8) weeks during the summer months; must be U.S. citizens or possess an immigration (i.e., INS) work permit, and be enrolled in cooperative education/internships course credits if they are a first-time hire with a STTAR company. Students wishing to register for cooperative education/internship course credits, should contact their respective campus career office. Additionally, students must have completed their sophomore year (determined by completed credits).


    STTAR cost-share is $7.50/hour. Companies must provide a minimum 1:1 match. Salary for the student must be a minimum of $600 per week ($15 per hour) for a minimum of eight (8) weeks and a maximum of 12 weeks, based on 40 hours/week. Please note that competitive salaries for technically-trained students generally exceed $15 per hour, based on cooperative education salary data.

    • Maximum summer program award from the ND EPSCoR State Office: $3,600 (480 hours x $7.50): Reimbursement is based on 40 hours per week with no reimbursement available for overtime hours.
    • Anticipated Funding: Allocation of positions is based on the availability of funds. Funding for up to 20 student positions/year is anticipated.

      STTAR is administered through the combined efforts of the ND EPSCoR State Office and the North Dakota University System Career Center Offices.

      Questions? Please contact 

      The overall goal of the North Dakota Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ND EPSCoR) State Office is to increase the competitiveness of North Dakota for merit-based grants and contracts in support of research in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from federal funding agencies in an atmosphere that promotes leadership, teamwork and the convergence of those sciences. The NDUS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

      ND EPSCoR State Office:             

      1805 NDSU Research Park Drive N
      Dept. 4450, PO Box 6050
      Fargo ND 58108-6050