RISE Program

 

COMPETITIVE UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH AWARDS (CURA)

 

Overview

Students who have completed TILT and have worked in a faculty research laboratory for at least one semester will be eligible to apply for Competitive Undergraduate Research Awards (CURA) to cover the cost of research supplies for the following summer or academic year. The program will award grants of up to $1,000 to students for the purchase of non-standard laboratory supplies and equipment necessary to complete a specific research project.

 

These small grants will serve several goals. They will provide students practice with grant writing, including the development of a research budget, and give them a formal document that would help focus their attention on the goals of their project. It would provide peer students with the experience of reviewing a grant proposal. Additionally, it would provide a mechanism to purchase supplies for students working in a lab that does not have external funding. The final benefit is that CURA recipients will have two items to add to their CV’s when they graduate: grant awardee and grant panel reviewer.

 

Rationale

  • The rationale for CURA is that the reality of modern science is that researchers are constantly in the process of presenting both their ideas and findings to funding agencies. We will use this mechanism as part of RISE to help prepare our scholars for these realities.
  • CURA is based on the successful Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research (GIAR) program that has been providing undergraduate and graduate students with valuable educational experiences for more than 80 years. By encouraging close working relationships between students and research faculty, the program promotes scientific excellence and achievement through hands-on learning.
  • CURA will provide a mechanism to purchase supplies for students working in a lab that does not have external funding.

 

Description of Activities

  • Students who have completed TILT and have worked in a faculty research laboratory for at least one semester will be eligible to apply for a competitive undergraduate research award to cover the cost of research supplies for the following summer or academic year. The CURA proposal could be a short as three pages and follow the conventional format of background, specific aims, rationale, research design and potential pitfalls. The proposal will be accompanied by a detailed budget with a cap of $1,000 for the duration of a summer or academic year and limited to 10 per program fiscal year.
  • CURA applications will be reviewed by a panel of advanced RISE students/ previous grant awardees. The RISE PD and Associate-PD will act as panel moderators to help the students direct the proceedings. The applications will be reviewed in the spring and awards could be made before the summer research season starts.

  • Awardees will be expected prepare a report (6 months after the date of the award for summer support or 12 months after the date of their award for academic year support) and present their findings as a poster or talk at a regional meeting.

 

Measureable Outcomes

  • Provide junior students practice with grant writing experience and give them a formal document that would help focus their attention on the goals of their project.

  • Provide senior students with the experience of reviewing a grant proposal.

  • CURA recipients will have two items to add to their CV’s when they graduate: grant awardee and grant panel reviewer.

  • Unfunded labs will receive small amounts of research funds to help support RISE interns.

 

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