Inaugural awards from the Undergraduate Research Initiative to support 150 students
Through the newly formed Undergraduate Research Initiative, the Florida High Tech Corridor and USF Research & Innovation will deploy $110,000 to support undergraduate research opportunities across USF. More than 150 students are expected to be impacted by these funds through paid research engagements, training and opportunities to present their work.
Funds have been awarded to each of the nine USF colleges with a dedicated undergraduate student population. Opportunities include the first-of-its kind Research Academy in the College of Education to introduce and engage students in community-driven research, an expansion of the College of Engineering’s successful Research Experience for Undergraduate funding program, advanced training and mentorship opportunities through the College of Nursing’s Biobehavioral Research Lab, and the launch of a new Summer Arts & Interdisciplinary Research Colloquium. A full list of supported projects is below.
"After attending USF Research & Innovation’s annual Student Research Awards luncheon, I was energized by what I learned about the impact a research engagement can have on a student’s college experience and career trajectory," said Florida High Tech Corridor CEO Paul Sohl. "The Corridor’s flagship Matching Grants Research Program most often supports our region’s talented graduate students. This new program is a way to strategically help students tap into the power of research earlier in their academic career."
The Undergraduate Research Initiative will support meaningful research experiences for undergraduate students at USF to fuel future innovations and build the high-tech workforce pipeline. USF colleges will distribute the funds in a variety of methods that best serve their students, from scholarships focused on community-engaged research, to paid summer research opportunities.
“Undergraduate research and high-impact practices keep our students engaged and provide marketable skills beyond classroom learning,” said Sylvia Thomas, interim vice president of USF Research & Innovation.” As USF continues to focus on providing students a variety of extracurricular learning opportunities, the Undergraduate Research Initiative will expand those options and ensure students have a chance to participate regardless of college, background or circumstance.”
Below is a full list of projects funded through the inaugural Undergraduate Research Initiative:
College of The Arts – Music and Visual Art Training on Creativity and Cognition in Children
This program will provide an Interdisciplinary Summer Arts Research Scholarship to eight USF College of the Arts undergraduate students and two USF interdisciplinary undergraduate students who will work collaboratively to complete a project that includes training opportunities in arts instruction, intervention design, research protocols, recruitment, standardized measures, data entry, statistical analysis and manuscript preparation.
College of Arts and Sciences – Undergraduate Research Fellowships in Visualization, Virtualization & Simulation
The USF College of Arts and Sciences is establishing a new transdisciplinary, pan-campus network of faculty researchers and scholars with expertise in all aspects of visualization, virtualization and simulation. The summer undergraduate fellowship will provide opportunities for undergraduate students across OneUSF to work with interdisciplinary faculty clusters on existing projects or to initiate new projects in areas of visualization, virtualization and simulation.
College of Behavioral and Community Sciences – College of Behavioral and Community Sciences Corridor Undergraduate Research Initiative
Funds will be used to expand two existing undergraduate research programs: the Summer Research Institute (SRI) and the Undergraduate Research Scholarship (URS) program. SRI is an intensive, 11 week in-person summer program designed for undergraduate students interested in building their research skills within the context of substance use and co-occurring disorders to help them prepare for a senior thesis and/or graduate school. The URS program funds students working with faculty mentors to conduct guided research projects over 1-3 semesters.
Muma College of Business – Corridor Community Research Scholarship – Business Honors Program
Funds will be used to expand the college’s primary undergraduate research support program, its Business Honors Program, by supporting the current students and their research while attracting more students to the program.
College of Education – Educational Research in the Classroom & Beyond: The College of Education Undergraduate Summer Research Academy
The program will pilot a model for expanding student participation in undergraduate research opportunities by developing and delivering a Summer Research Academy for undergraduate students across USF’s three campuses, particularly targeting those who plan to pursue an advanced degree with the goal of creating a pipeline for more undergraduate students to engage in research.
College of Engineering – Towards the Highest Number of REU Students in the College of Engineering’s History
The College of Engineering Research Experiences for Undergraduates program aims to give undergraduate students an opportunity to participate directly in research efforts as research assistants with professors and graduate students on a variety of exciting and interdisciplinary research projects. Corridor funds will be used to expand the college’s existing programs to support more students than is possible with internal college funding.
Judy Genshaft Honors College – USF Undergraduate Research Portal
The program’s goal is to engage students in the development of a comprehensive research portal that will allow students to be quickly matched to research opportunities at USF. The team aims to solve existing pain points for students to find research opportunities in a timely fashion. This project will be co-developed with a team of student researchers and the development team from the Honors IT Incubator.
College of Nursing – Biobehavioral Research Laboratory: Expanding Undergraduate Research and Leadership
This funding will expand the College of Nursing's existing Biobehavioral Lab undergraduate volunteer program to provide paid opportunities for interested students to continue participating in the lab's research and act as trainers and mentors for incoming volunteers. This program encourages those without experience to learn biobehavioral techniques and creates an opportunity for collaboration between undergraduate students and practicing researchers using biobehavioral lab techniques whether they are in the College of Nursing, the College of Medicine, Public Health, Health Sciences or biotechnology.
College of Public Health – Research Experience in Genomics and Infectious Disease
The College of Public Health's Public Health Genomics and Infectious Disease Research team will formalize its undergraduate research program designed to target these undergraduate students. The provided support will sponsor two undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds to participate in externally-funded projects related to infectious diseases and another student will participate in hands-on training for ‘big data’ computational genomics research.
Office of Undergraduate Research – Summer Arts and Interdisciplinary Research (AIR) Colloquium
Summer AIR Colloquium will provide a unique opportunity for students to present their
artistic and interdisciplinary research in a supportive environment that promotes
the fact that research happens in literally every discipline, not just in labs.