Science and Math Achievement and Resourcefulness Track (SMART)

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The Office for Undergraduate Research is pleased to announce support for undergraduate research, scientific communication, peer mentoring and preparation for graduate school in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (a “STEM” discipline). This program is conducted in partnership with North Carolina A & T University, the lead campus in the North Carolina Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, (NC-LSAMP) Phase IV. Other participating campuses include Fayetteville State University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. The overall goals of the NC-LSAMP are to increase the number of underrepresented minority students who earn degrees in STEM disciplines, pursue graduate study, and become faculty and/or researchers in their chosen field.

Eligibility and Program requirements:

All currently enrolled UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate students in good academic standing who have completed no more than two semesters of academic work are eligible to apply. Selected students will be matched to a laboratory based on their interests. Relevant Labs will come from the following fields: Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geology, Marine Sciences, Math, Operations Research, or Statistics.

The program will include two major components. First, the students will spend nine weeks during the summer doing 30 hours of research per week under the mentoring of a lab member (i.e. co-mentor) and the principle investigator of the lab (i.e. research advisor). Second, students will attend weekly meetings with their peers and the program director. During those meetings they will review scientific papers and present their research.

Anticipated number and amount of awards:

We expect to make 9 awards of $3,000 each. Students will be responsible for their own housing and tuition (if they choose to enroll in a course). Selected students will receive $1,500 after the first summer session, and $1,500 at the end of the program, after they have submitted the required final materials and the materials are approved by OUR. If a graduate student will also be involved in mentoring the undergraduate, the graduate student should be encouraged to apply for an associated Graduate Mentor Award (up to $1,000).

Application materials:

Interested students should complete the Application Form (.pdf), save it, and submit it as an email attachment to Dr. Gidi Shemer (bishemer@email.unc.edu) by Monday, March 31, 2014 at 8 a.m. Finalists will be invited for an interview.

Acceptance Checklist:

Fellowships are paid in two installments, one at the beginning of the summer, and one at the end. In order to process your first payment, we must receive required items#1, #2, and #3 (if applicable) listed in checklist #1. In addition you will be asked to complete a short survey for the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation funded by the National Science Foundation at the beginning of the program.

Final Payment Checklist:

In order to process your second payment at the end of the summer, we must receive all required items listed on checklist #2.

Reporting requirements:

At the end of the summer, each student will present his or her work at the closing symposium for program participants. In addition, each student must prepare an abbreviated PowerPoint presentation for display on the OUR website. To view previous PowerPoint displays, please visit the Past SMART and DEBS Student Projects page.

SMART students will be invited to participate in an undergraduate research symposium, the Annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research to discuss their results. Students should also acknowledge support from the Office for Undergraduate Research in any publications resulting from the project.