Purpose: To encourage undergraduate students from all disciplines to participate in independent research and creative projects in collaboration with CAS faculty.
Types of grants:
- Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). Full-time, 10-week commitment. Students work with faculty on research projects and participate in group activities. Students are required to present their research at Celebration of Scholarship. Salary adjusted to current pay rate for students. Includes 3 specially designated funds of $3,500 for Coburn Chair, Pre-health, and Physics. Part of those funds can be allocated for student travel to present at a conference or, in the Coburn case, to collect data.
- Research projects during the semester. Students work with faculty in research projects. Students are required to present their research at Celebration of Scholarship. Salary adjusted to current pay rate for students. Students work a variable number of hours up to a maximum of 10 hours per week. Funds cannot be used for thesis, capstone, or other required courses.
- Travel Subsidy. Only applies to travel to a conference to present research performed as a result of type 1 or 2 projects. Travel subsidies will be capped at $350. Students must complete this separate application for these funds.
- Summer fellowships are open to rising juniors & seniors and occasionally to other students under special circumstances. Juniors and seniors are eligible for type 2 projects.
- The student must work with a CAS faculty mentor. Mentors must be full-time faculty. Students must have the mentor’s approval before submitting an application.
- Type 1 (SURF) applications are due the Friday of the first week of February. [please import form]
- Type 2 (semester) applications are due the Friday of the first week of April for Fall projects or the Friday of the first week of November for Spring projects. [please import form]
- Travel applications [please import form] are due the semester previous to the scheduled travel time, the Friday of the first week of April for Fall or Summer travel, and the Friday of the first week of November for Spring travel.
- Students must submit an application form to be eligible (see links above or left menu).
- For type 1 and 2 grants: The Associate Dean for Sciences will convene the chairs of the departments with student applicants to review the applications and decide the winners. If multiple students select the same mentor, that mentor needs to be consulted as to her/his preference. Only one student per mentor will receive support (except in the case of group projects). Preference will be given to students and mentors who have not received support in the previous year. For travel grants: The chairs of the departments with student applicants will meet to review the applications and decide the winners. Students must attempt to find alternative sources of funding.
- For SURF applications: students will be notified the first week of March. They will be informed they have either received the award, are on a waiting list, or are not accepted for that summer. Waiting list should be cleared by the last week of March. For type 2 projects: students will be notified the last week of April for Fall projects and the last week of November for Spring projects. Travel awards will be announced the last week of April for Summer or Fall travel and the last week of November for Spring travel.
Blake Dixon '18 traveled to Colombia where he worked with Dr. James Watling and Colombian colleagues to collect data on thermal biology of amphibians and reptiles along an elevational gradient in the eastern slope of the Andes mountains.
My Research Story
Learn more about the JCU students who have conducted research in the classroom and in the field during their time on campus.
Blake Dixon '18 traveled to Colombia where he worked with Dr. James Watling and Colombian colleagues to collect data on thermal biology of amphibians and reptiles along an elevational gradient in the eastern slope of the Andes mountains. At several survey sites between 250 and 1300m, they sampled animals in rainforest and pasture, collecting data on body temperatures in situ. They transported animals to an ambient lab where to obtain additional data on thermal preferences and tolerance for high temperatures. In contrast with several previous studies, strong evidence was found that thermal traits vary a great deal within species, even among samples that are very close geographically.
Emily Ellis '19 performed research in Dr. Chrystal Bruce’s lab to understand how potential medications work to prevent certain types of cancer. Emily created models of a protein that is implicated in the development of cancer. She then studied the importance of molecular shape in determining the binding energy between potential therapeutic medications and the proteins they target.
Katie Puhalla ’18 worked in the Vanderzalm lab as a Colleran-Weaver SURF student. Her summer work was a continuation of an earlier project investigating neural development in the genetic model organism, Drosophila melanogaster, more commonly known as the fruit fly. Her project focused on identifying members of a signaling pathway involved in restricting growth of the neuromuscular junction, where nerves and muscles meet. The molecules involved in the development of this structure are akin to the molecules involved in the development of connections in the human central nervous system, so what she learns in the fruit fly will be applicable to other organisms as well.
Rebecca Reicholf '19 worked in the Drenovsky lab on two projects: inundation responses in the aquatic invasive weeds, Ludwigia hexapetala and Ludwigia peploides and resource responses in California chaparral shrubs. For the first project, Becca traveled to the Exotic Invasive Weed lab at the University of California, Davis, where the experiment took place. While there, she helped to make physiological measurements and harvest plants.