Undergraduate Research Award (URA) applications due October 5

For over three decades, the Miami University Senate has sponsored the URA to provide Miami undergraduates with a faculty-mentored experience in developing grant applications. The goal of these partnerships is to encourage discovery and stimulate creative activity.

New this year are two special sub-categories:

  • DEI Diversity, Equity and Inclusion — In keeping with broader university-wide diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, a portion of available funds will be reserved for research, scholarship, or creative activities in the areas of social justice, human rights, diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • IDEA (Interdisciplinary Engagement Award) — This award category provides a student team an opportunity to collaborate with at least one faculty mentor across student team members’ disciplinary boundaries. The award can be used to address a research question and intentionally apply knowledge from different fields.

Students with any major can apply for URA awards. Both individual and team projects are eligible. In 2019-2020, 26 of 46 URAs went to student teams.

Typical awards range from $150 to $500, but individual projects of exceptional merit or projects involving student teams may receive up to $1,000. A faculty sponsor must certify that an individual or team project is worth doing, has educational value to the student(s) and can be accomplished in the proposed time frame. The aim and result of proposed projects may be modest as long as the work can reasonably be interpreted as research or a creative endeavor. The faculty sponsor must also ensure that the proposed research complies with university guidelines for conducting research during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications for Spring 2021 projects are due October 5, 2020.  Full program guidelines and application instructions are available on the ORU website.


Photo by Miami University Photo Services.

Student Selina Davis works on a drawing while her faculty sponsor, Associate Professor of Art Joomi Chung, looks on.

Undergraduate Research Award (URA) applications due March 2

Miami’s Office of Research for Undergraduates provides funding for undergraduate research, like that done by Isabel Held (left) under the mentorship of associate professor of psychology Jennifer Quinn (right).

For over three decades, the Miami University Senate has sponsored the URA to provide Miami undergraduates with a faculty-mentored experience in developing grant applications. The goal of these partnerships is to encourage discovery and stimulate creative activity.

Students with any major can apply for these awards, as long as they have an existing research experience with a faculty mentor. Both individual and team projects are eligible. In 2018-2019, 26 of 49 URAs went to student teams.

Typical awards range from $150 to $500, but individual projects of exceptional merit or projects involving student teams may receive up to $1,000. A faculty sponsor must certify that an individual or team project is worth doing, has educational value to the student(s) and can be accomplished in the proposed time frame. The aim and result of proposed projects may be modest as long as the work can reasonably be interpreted as research or a creative endeavor.

Applications for Fall 2020 projects are due March 2, 2020.  Full program guidelines and application instructions are available here.


Updated February 11 to correct deadline in headline. The original headline listed a deadline of October 14. The correct deadline for projects for Fall 2020 is March 2.

Photo of Isabel Held and Associate Professor Jennifer Quinn by Scott Kissell, Miami University Photo Services. Photo of Selina Davis and Associate Professor Joomi Chung by Ricardo Trevino, Miami University Photo Services.

An undergraduate student researcher discusses his poster with an Undergraduate Research Forum attendee.

Save the date: 26th Annual Undergraduate Research Forum

An undergraduate student researcher discusses her work with attendees at the 25th Annual Undergraduate Research Forum

Miami University’s 26th Annual Undergraduate Research Forum will be held Wednesday, April 22, 2020. This showcase of faculty-mentored student research and scholarly and creative activities by Miami undergraduate students will feature poster sessions and 10-minute talks. The Miami University community and the public are encouraged to save the date for this free event.

Registration for undergraduate student presenters opens Monday, January 27, 2020 and remains available through Friday, March 6.


Photos by Miami University Photo Services.

Student Selina Davis works on a drawing while her faculty sponsor, Associate Professor of Art Joomi Chung, looks on.

Undergraduate Research Award (URA) applications due October 14

Miami’s Office of Research for Undergraduates provides funding for undergraduate research, like that done by Isabel Held (left) under the mentorship of associate professor of psychology Jennifer Quinn (right).

For over three decades, the Miami University Senate has sponsored the URA to provide Miami undergraduates with a faculty-mentored experience in developing grant applications. The goal of these partnerships is to encourage discovery and stimulate creative activity.

Students with any major can apply for these awards, as long as they have an existing research experience with a faculty mentor. Both individual and team projects are eligible. In 2018-2019, 26 of 49 URAs went to student teams.

Typical awards range from $150 to $500, but individual projects of exceptional merit or projects involving student teams may receive up to $1,000. A faculty sponsor must certify that an individual or team project is worth doing, has educational value to the student(s) and can be accomplished in the proposed time frame. The aim and result of proposed projects may be modest as long as the work can reasonably be interpreted as research or a creative endeavor.

Applications for Spring 2020 projects are due October 14, 2019.  Full program guidelines and application instructions are available here.


Photo of Isabel Held and Associate Professor Jennifer Quinn by Scott Kissell, Miami University Photo Services. Photo of Selina Davis and Associate Professor Joomi Chung by Ricardo Trevina, Miami University Photo Services.

Image of Miami University's Office of Research for Undergraduates (ORU). Visible are a wall with "ORU" painted on it and three people standing in a circle in a glass-walled office.

Guest post: Undergraduate experiences enhanced by participating in research

In this post, guest posters Grace Chaney and Micailah Guthrie share their experiences as undergraduate researchers.

Grace Chaney

Kinesiology and pre-medical sciences major; molecular biology minor

Grace Chaney poses with fellow members of Randal Claytor's Muscle Fatigue Lab.
Grace Chaney (front row, second from left) conducts research in the Muscle Fatigue Lab, under the supervision of associate professor of kinesiology and health Randal Claytor (back row, second from right).

There is a quote that says the squat is the perfect analogy for life: “It’s about standing back up after something heavy takes you down.”

During my junior year of high school I had two partial knee reconstructions which resulted in the end of my soccer career. After 13 months of physical rehabilitation, I became fascinated with the body’s ability to heal. Furthermore, its ability to come back from an injury even stronger than it was before.

Fitness became an area of my life where curiosity was welcomed, change was sought out and innovation was abundant. The ability to alter variables in physical activity or nutritional intake and obtain significant and measurable results is astounding to me. I quickly became mesmerized by exercise science research and its applications in exercise programming. In my senior year of high school, I pursued and completed my certification in personal training and small group fitness through the American College of Sports Medicine. Through my certification I am able to help people reach their goals through science-backed research, customized programming and compassion.

My involvement in undergraduate research at Miami University has undoubtedly been one of the most influential experiences of my academic career. It has reinforced my passion for hypothesis driven research while also expanding my interests in translational research exponentially. I have had the privilege to be a part of the Muscle Fatigue Lab in the Department of Kinesiology and Health, under Dr. Randal Claytor. We have been studying acute, local muscle fatigue and muscle fiber activation adaptation patterns from a neuromuscular and external mechanical perspective. We utilize a dynamic single-leg extension model and drop-set training template in order to better understand the muscle fatigue and muscle activation processes. According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, time constraints are one of the leading reasons people give as to why they do not partake in regular physical activity. My current research interests during my undergraduate career are to study training methodologies that minimize time spent exercising while maximizing the health benefits of physical movement.

Through the Undergraduate Summer Scholars program, and with faculty mentorship, I will have the opportunity this summer to pursue a research proposal of my own creation. The Undergraduate Summer Scholars program allows students to explore the depths of their passion for research while also providing a unique and focused learning opportunity. I am sure it will be a pivotal experience in my time here at Miami. In my remaining years left here as a student I hope to be an Ambassador for the Office of Research for Undergraduates (ORU). I hope to encourage other students to engage in and explore research opportunities both on and off campus. I also want to help current student researchers further develop their involvement with and passion for their field of study. I am excited to be working with the ORU, with individuals who share my passion for research and with an institution dedicated towards cultivating and encouraging investigators in so many different fields of study.

In the future, I hope to pursue a career in medicine. The medical field is the perfect culmination of everything I am looking for in a career. A career in which I can focus on compassion, service, innovation and translational research. My research interests are in intraoperative and postoperative research specifically in the field of orthopedics and sports medicine. I am particularly drawn to studying surgical repair techniques and postoperative protocol and how those can be altered to improve patient outcomes.

My love for hypothesis driven research was born out of a terrible experience but that experience built the foundation for who I am today and the kind of doctor I want to become in the future. I am forever grateful for my injuries — they are a constant reminder that you can stand back up after something heavy takes you down.

Micailah Guthrie

Public health major;  medical sociology and individualized studies minor

Undergraduate student Micailah Guthrie conducted research on the career aspirations of Black South African adolescents as part of a study abroad experience in Durban, South Africa.

This spring semester, I had the amazing opportunity to study in Durban, South Africa with the School for International Training (SIT) through their Community Health and Social Policy program. One of the main features of the SIT’s study abroad programs is that each student is able to conduct research as part of an independent study project (ISP). Based off of my experiences here in South Africa and my personal experiences, I’ve focused my ISP on understanding the personal career aspirations of Black South African adolescents and the pathways of support that they may or may not receive. This qualitative research will be conducted using the method of body mapping, which is an art-based method of data collection that serves as a reflective tool for a person to tell their narrative using their bodies. As I am currently in the ISP period of my study aboard program, I am very excited to review and share my findings.

Also this summer, I’ve have the great opportunity to participate in the Summer Research Opportunity Program at Penn State University, which is a graduate research internship and mentorship for undergraduates. There, I will be working with the College of Health and Human Development’s Dr. Jennifer Graham-Engeland, who directs the Stress & Health lab. I’ll be assisting one of her graduate students on their dissertation project, which focuses on understanding the knowledge gaps of both low and high arousal positive affect in everyday life. I will also be able to explore my own research interests, which lie within health behavior, stress, racial disparities, and personal and familial development.


Photo of Miami University Office of Research for Undergraduates by Miami University Photo Services. Photo of members of the Muscle Fatigue Lab courtesy of Grace Chaney. Photo of Micailah Guthrie courtesy of Michailah Guthrie.

25th Undergraduate Research Forum charted new territory

 

Roshika Bhattarai, a medical laboratory science and premedical studies major, explains her poster to a Forum attendee.

The Undergraduate Research Forum turned 25 this year — a significant milestone in showcasing scholarly and creative works, conducted by our students, under the guidance of dedicated faculty, staff, and graduate student mentors. The Office of Research for Undergraduates (ORU), established in 2014, celebrated this milestone with an extra day of programming on Tuesday, April 23, followed by poster sessions and talks on Wednesday, April 24.

Several new program features were introduced for this two-day celebration to prominently showcase the wide variety of resources that make undergraduate research at Miami the successful enterprise it is. Twelve themed panel discussions took place on April 23 to raise awareness of the breadth of undergraduate research across disciplines and colleges. Mentors stepped up to serve as moderators for themed panel discussions and provide a synthesis of the presentations. Graduate-undergraduate student teams, faculty-undergraduate teams, and undergraduate teams served as presenters. More than 20 centers and research support entities across campus responded to a call to highlight their roles as resources for undergraduate research. They were featured on April 23 from 1:-00 to 4:00pm. The Undergraduate Research Forum’s staples — the poster sessions and oral presentations — had some new components as well. The first poster session was attended by a group of 40 high school students from Cincinnati Public Schools, as part of a collaboration with the Office of Admissions, whose staff plays a critical role in publicizing undergraduate research at Miami, for the purposes of recruitment. Recognizing that poster printing costs can be a barrier for students to participate in the forum, two new formats were introduced this year: e-posters presented as 10 minute talks, and storyboarding, the old-fashioned approach, which allowed for quite a bit of creativity.

Programming for the 2019 Undergraduate Research Forum aimed to:

  • Showcase research, experiential learning, and creative works across colleges;
  • Promote synergistic and interdisciplinary pursuits;
  • Recognize the role of research centers and research support entities across campus; and
  • Raise early awareness of pathways for research, scholarly works, and creative endeavors.

The ORU invites the university community to provide feedback about the new formats, as well as to suggest ideas for raising the profile of undergraduate research at Miami University.


Written by Joyce Fernandes, Director, Office of Research for Undergraduates, Miami University.

Photo of Mackenzie Mettey and Maria DeSantiago by Stephanie Danker, Miami University Department of Art. Photo of Roshika Bhattarai by Bryce Mysona, Miami University Photo Services.

 

Undergraduate researchers Ryan Parnell and Danille Allaire pose in front of a poster explaining their cancer research project.

Updates from the Office of Research for Undergraduates

A group of students and faculty, along with President and Dr. Crawford pose for a photo in front of a Love.Honor.Care photo backdrop in Millett Hall.
Teams of undergraduate students and their faculty sponsors were honored for their research on cancer during Miami’s Love.Honor.Care Weekend.

Cancer research awards

Thanks to the generosity of donors Cynthia Henderson and Tom and Ann Hayden, four teams of undergraduates will each receive $5,000 for their Cancer Research projects, to be carried out during the 2019-2020 academic year:

  • A Spectral Phaser Approach for Monitoring Cellular Metabolism in Turbid Media
    Conducted by Max Kreider, Mathematics major and Andy Rodriguez, Biological Physics major, under the direction of faculty sponsors, Paul Urayama and Karthik Vishwanath, Department of Physics
  • Looking at Cancer Through the Lens of the Newt
    Conducted by Biology majors Alyssa Miller and Arielle Martinez and Biochemistry major Vayda Barker, under the direction of faculty sponsors Katia Del Rio-Tsonis and Tracy Haynes, Department of Biology
  • Using Viral Genes to Sensitize Cancer Cells to Medical Interventions
    Conducted by Gabriel Ortiz, Microbiology major, under the direction of
    faculty sponsor Eileen Bridge, Department of Microbiology
  • In-silico Exploration of Microsatellite Instability Markers in cancer genomes for Osteosarcoma Patients
    Conducted by Biology majors Linh Le, Ariel Xue, and Anjali Gupta and Computer Science major Gretchen Blackwell, under the direction of faculty sponsor Chun Liang, Department of Biology

During the current academic year (2018-19) a generous donation made by Cynthia Henderson funded two research teams:

  • Decreasing Colon Cancer Cell Growth by Ketone Bodies via Metabolic Reprogramming: Potential Mechanisms for Treating Colon Cancer with Ketogenic Diets
    Conducted by Danielle Allaire, Biology major and Ryan Parnell, Biochemistry major, under the direction of faculty sponsor Claire Shi, Department of Biology
  • Analysis of Tumor Development and Supression Using an Engineered Adenoviral Vector Containing an HMGA Hyper-Binding Site in an Orthotopic Mouse Model
    Conducted by Microbiology major Shannon Ryan, Biology major Ellen Kasik, and Bioengineering Major Zachary Zampa, under the direction of faculty sponsor Michael Kennedy, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

All six teams were honored during half time at the women’s basketball game February 23 as part of the Love.Honor.Care Weekend benefitting Luna Cares.

Undergraduate Research Forum

The Undergraduate Research Forum will be 25 this year! To celebrate this milestone, a 2-day event is being planned, and several new features have been introduced to:

  • Showcase research, scholarly work, and creative endeavors across campus
  • Promote interdisciplinary and synergistic collaborations
  • Recognize the role of research centers and research support entities across campus
  • Raise early awareness of research and scholarly pathways

Tuesday April 23rd

  • Plenary session
  • Centers and research showcase
  • Themed panel discussions

Wednesday April 24

  • Poster sessions, talks, and e-posters

More details are available on the ORU website. Registration deadline for presenters is March 8, 2019.


Written by Joyce Fernandes, Director, Office of Research for Undergraduates, Miami University.

Photos courtesy of Joyce Fernandes.

Undergraduate Research Award (URA) applications due March 4

A young woman wearing a white lab coat and bright blue surgical gloves inserts a pipette into a test tube she is holding in her left hand. Her mentor, a woman who wears a white lab coat and glasses, looks on. The younger woman is seated at a counter cluttered with machinery and supplies. In the background is a bulletin board covered with paper and sticky notes.
Miami’s Office of Research for Undergraduates provides funding for undergraduate research, like that done by Rachel Mann (left) under the mentorship of associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry Carole Dabney Smith (right).

For over three decades, the Miami University Senate has sponsored the URA to provide Miami undergraduates with a faculty-mentored experience in developing grant applications. These partnerships are meant to encourage discovery and stimulate creative activity.  Students may submit individual projects or team projects. Typical awards range from $150 to $500, but individual projects of exceptional merit or projects involving student teams may be funded up to $1,000. Each individual or team project must be endorsed by a sponsor who certifies that the project is worth doing, has educational value to the student(s) and can be accomplished in the proposed time frame. The aim and result of specific projects supported by the program may be modest as long as the work can reasonably be interpreted as research or a creative endeavor.

Applications for summer session or Fall 2019 projects are due March 4, 2019.  Full program guidelines and application instructions are available here.


Photos by Scott Kissell, Miami University Photo Services.

Aaron Davidson-Bey (center) and Tone Pryer (right) discuss their poster, "The Accessibility and Inclusion of Oxford: Is It Built for Everyone?" with Miami University president, Greg Crawford (left)

24th Annual Undergraduate Research Forum featured 330 presentations

Ashley Mickens, a junior majoring in environmental earth science sustainability and minoring in history, discusses her poster, "Changes in Phytoplankton Community Composition Following Simulated Storm Events," with two URF attendees.
Ashley Mickens (right), a junior majoring in environmental earth science sustainability and minoring in history, discusses her poster, “Changes in Phytoplankton Community Composition Following Simulated Storm Events,” with URF attendees.

The 24th annual Miami University Undergraduate Research Forum (URF) was held on April 25 at Shriver Center. The event celebrated the scholarly and creative accomplishments of Miami students, who have worked alongside their dedicated faculty and graduate student mentors.

  • 330 unique presentations were made at the forum, which included 278 poster presentations and 52 oral presentations.
  • A total of 570 undergraduates were involved in the work that was presented.
  • 147 faculty members from across the institution sponsored the presentations
  • 123 graduate students mentors were represented.
Donut chart showing student researchers by division. CAS = 375; CEC = 26; Regionals = 71; EHS = 61; FSB = 32; CCA = 5
Student researchers by division

At a luncheon, President Greg Crawford congratulated the student researchers, and Provost Phyllis Callahan highlighted the significant learning outcomes that are at the core of a research experience.

Notable among the many outstanding student presentations were “poster clusters” from the following programs:

  • The newly redesigned First Year Research Experience (FYRE) program, which is taught as a 2-semester sequence of UNV171 and UNV 172 | Mentors: Kate de Medeiros, Mark Krekeler, and Joyce Fernandes
  • Nursing | Mentor: Eliad Musallam
  • Global Health Studies | Mentors: Cameron Hay-Rollins and Paul Flaspohler
  • Bridges Scholars | Mentor: Monica Adkins

An interesting trend is that students are seeking involvement in projects outside of their major/divisional affiliation, emphasizing the appeal of interdisciplinary perspectives, and the availability of such opportunities through dedicated and creative research mentors.

Donut chart showing posters sponsored by faculty across divisions. CAS = 253; CEC = 8; FSB = 7; EHS = 42; EMSS = 5; CLAAS = 15; TOTAL = 330
Posters sponsored by faculty across divisions

Miami’s Office of Research for Undergraduates (ORU), a sponsor of the URF, encourages student presenters to continue the dissemination of their work by archiving them in University Libraries’ Scholarly Commons or through publication in university journals such as COMPASS, if not in major international journals. Students can also apply for ORU-sponsored Undergraduate Presentation Awards to obtain support to present posters at regional and national conferences.


Written by Joyce Fernandes, Director, Miami University Office of Research for Undergraduates.

Photos by Scott Kissell, Miami University Photo Services.

Undergraduate Research Award (URA) applications due March 5

A young woman wearing a white lab coat and bright blue surgical gloves inserts a pipette into a test tube she is holding in her left hand. Her mentor, a woman who wears a white lab coat and glasses, looks on. The younger woman is seated at a counter cluttered with machinery and supplies. In the background is a bulletin board covered with paper and sticky notes.
Miami’s Office of Research for Undergraduates provides funding for undergraduate research, like that done by Rachel Mann (left) under the mentorship of associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry Carole Dabney Smith (right).

For over three decades, the Miami University Senate has sponsored the URA to provide Miami undergraduates with a faculty-mentored experience in developing grant applications. These partnerships are meant to encourage discovery and stimulate creative activity.  Students may submit individual projects or team projects. Typical awards range from $150 to $500, but individual projects of exceptional merit or projects involving student teams may be funded up to $1,000. Each individual or team project must be endorsed by a sponsor who certifies that the project is worth doing, has educational value to the student(s) and can be accomplished in the proposed time frame. The aim and result of specific projects supported by the program may be modest as long as the work can reasonably be interpreted as research or a creative endeavor.

Applications for summer session or Fall 2018 projects are due March 5, 2018.  Full program guidelines and application instructions are available here.


Photos by Scott Kissell, Miami University Photo Services.