With the final weeks of the fall semester approaching, the Office of Undergraduate Research is drumming up interest in undergraduate research and creative scholarship opportunities. 

Deadlines for conferences and programs are approaching, and a new group of student ambassadors is disseminating information about undergraduate research to students curious about complementing their course of study with a research or creative scholarship project.

Student Ambassadors

The Office of Undergraduate Research selected eight students as the inaugural group of student ambassadors. The group will help promote undergraduate research to their peers through office hours and information sessions.

The inaugural group of student ambassadors includes:

  • Mahtaab Bagherzadeh, a senior majoring in biological sciences in the College of Science.
  • Kristen Fread of Accomac, Virginia, a senior majoring in biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
  • Albert Hinman of Smithfield, Virginia, a senior majoring in biological sciences in the College of Science.
  • Dorian Jackson of Plano, Texas, a senior majoring in biological sciences in the College of Science.
  • Sarah Rouzer, a senior majoring in economics in the Pamplin College of Business.
  • Colby Weit of Lititz, Pennsylvania, a sophomore majoring in aerospace engineering in the College of Engineering.
  • Jade Womack, a senior majoring in applied economic management in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
  • Diana Woodrum of Sterling, Virginia, a junior majoring in food science and technology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The ambassadors hold office hours every Monday and Thursday when classes are in session from 1 to 3 p.m. Office hours on Mondays are held in the Newman Library café, while office hours on Thursdays take place in 201 McByrde Hall.

The final information sessions of the semester will be held on Monday, Dec. 1, at noon and 12:30 p.m. in the Newman Library Multipurpose Room.

Conference Deadlines

Undergraduate students who have already participated in undergraduate research are encouraged to submit applications to upcoming spring conferences.

  • The National Conference on Undergraduate Research takes place at Eastern Washington University April 16-17, 2015. The deadline to apply is Dec. 2, 2014. The Office of Undergraduate Research will cover travel expenses for accepted Virginia Tech students.
  • North Carolina State University will host the tenth annual Atlantic Coast Conference Meeting of the Minds Conference on April 10-12, 2015. This conference features undergraduate research and creative scholarships from undergraduate students at the ACC member schools. Virginia Tech students must apply by Jan. 15. The Office of Undergraduate Research, through funding from the ACC, will cover the accepted students’ travel expenses.
  • Virginia Tech’s Spring Undergraduate Research Conference will be held Friday, April 24, 2015. This year, the program will expand beyond oral and poster presentations to also include art installations, performances, and other presentation formats. Abstract submission will open in early spring on the Office of Undergraduate Research’s website.

Program Deadlines

Summer can be an excellent time to pursue undergraduate research. Deadlines for competitive and paid programs vary, but most need to be submitted early in the spring semester.

  • The Fralin Life Science Institute Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship is a 10-week training program designed to give motivated Virginia Tech undergraduates the opportunity to engage in full-time research and related professional development activities that mirror graduate training. Participants receive a $4,000 stipend. Applications are due Feb. 16, 2015.
  • The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Creativity and Innovation Fellowships support undergraduates involved in student-driven projects at each of the ACC member campuses. Virginia Tech is offering awards of up to $2,000 to support undergraduate research or creative work projects within any academic discipline. Applications are due Feb. 16, 2015.
  • The National Science Foundation offers hundreds of Research Experiences for Undergraduates. Deadlines vary by program, but most have deadlines early in the spring semester. Virginia Tech is home to at least nine of these programs, one of which is in an international setting.

The Office of Undergraduate Research is currently developing a searchable database for undergraduate research programs as well as project opportunities with faculty members. Once the database is ready, an announcement will be made through Virginia Tech News.

Information on services offered by the Office of Undergraduate Research, resources available to student researchers, and available research opportunities can be found on the office’s website.

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