OUR Newsletter: May 10, 2016

The Office for Undergraduate Research newsletter is published bi-weekly to share news about undergraduate research at UNC, relevant events, accomplishments of our students and faculty, and more. For additional information, please visit our website or email us at our@unc.edu.

In this newsletter:

• OUR News

• Present Your Research

• Get Research Experience

• Opportunities for Faculty

• Make a Gift


OUR News


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

My 3-year term as associate dean and director has come to an end. I have very much enjoyed helping to engage faculty and students in undergraduate research!

During my time at OUR, your generous support helped OUR ensure the availability of funds to support undergraduate research. With contributions from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid, Honors Carolina, and with matching funds from many other units on campus, we were able to fund 75-85 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURFs) in each of the past two years. With contributions from the Summer School, the Graduate School, Honors Carolina, and the First Year Seminars Program, we were also able to begin to re-grow our Graduate Research Consultant (GRC) program and fund 152 GRC-supported, research-exposure courses in 2015-16.

We have established some exciting new programs that will expand undergraduate research opportunities in the future. First, with funding from the Summer School, we have established Summer Tuition Awards for Research Intensive Courses allowing one-to-one mentorship and course credit for undergraduate research mentored by UNC-Chapel Hill faculty during the summer. Second, with support from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Housing and Residential Life, we established the first Carolina Research Scholars Learning Community. In Fall 2016, 35 first-year students will enter as a cohort of research scholars, share a dormitory, and engage in a variety of activities to develop their skills as future researchers and leaders. Through this learning community and future learning communities, we aim to create cohorts of scholars and artists from the fine arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences who will work together on critical topics such as social justice, human rights, the environment, and health. Third, we have begun conversation with Arts@theCore to advance new initiatives for interdisciplinary collaborations to promote undergraduate research in the classroom and in the community.

Finally, we have assembled a talented staff with strong commitments to engaging undergraduate scholars with diverse interests and backgrounds. As interim associate director, Monica Richard (BA, Communications; MA, Organizational Development and Leadership) is managing the implementation and evaluation of OUR’s programs with an eye towards innovation and constant improvement. As communications and technology manager, Beth Fisher (BA, Art History; PhD Candidate, Art History) is modernizing our website, improving our database management, and leading the organization of the annual Celebrations of Undergraduate Research. As outreach coordinator, Yesenia Merino (BS, Biology; MPH, Behavioral Sciences and Health Education; PhD student, Health Behavior) is collaborating with OUR Ambassadors and others to reinvigorate OUR’s blogs, Facebook, e-newsletter, and Twitter. As business service coordinator, Denise Carter has ensured that our programs run smoothly and has effectively assisted with managing collaborations among all the students, faculty, and staff that contribute to OUR.

I am grateful to every member of the OUR team for the hard work and dedication. Together they will ensure that the Office for Undergraduate Research continues to make UNC-Chapel Hill a place where students and faculty can achieve excellence.

Have a great summer!
Krista Perreira, PhD


Present Your Research

EXPLORATIONS is the Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities for the State of North Carolina, celebrating the ingenuity, creativity and engaged learning being undertaken by undergraduates throughout the state. EXPLORATION is now accepting submissions of research papers, critical essays, and media of fine or creative arts endeavors. Submissions may be in any discipline. Faculty mentors must approve student submissions. Deadline for submissions: June 1, 2016. For more information, click here.


The 2016 Appalachian Energy Summit is a 3-day conference encompassing discussion topics centered on improving current energy policies and practices in the nation. The Summit Poster Competition lends not only a competitive element to this engaging event but is also a platform for students to discuss their energy-related research. To begin the process of joining the next Appalachian Energy Summit, e-mail your resume to Cynthia Olsen at damoncl@appstate.edu and fill out the attendance application to be considered. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to e-mail them or call at (954) 732-9613. Application deadline: June 3, 2016. For more information, click here.


The 2017 Hawaii University International Conferences welcome papers from all areas of Education, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, and related fields. The conference will be held from January 3-6, 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The conference main objective is to provide a platform for researchers and academicians as well as industrial professionals from all over the world to present their research results and development in their related fields. Application deadline: June 30, 2016. For more information, click here. 


Get Research Experience

Interested in health equity and the built environment? Volunteer with the Men's Health Research Lab this summer! The MANHOODS project is seeking volunteers to help with a study about neighborhoods and the health of African American men in Durham, NC. No previous experience in public health or research necessary! Trainings will be held in May. For more information, contact Jennifer Richmond at jennifer.richmond@unc.edu.


A research opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) in Research Triangle Park, NC. This research project will develop in vitro methods to describe cyanotoxin exposure and subsequent human health effects. The project will utilize in vitro assays which will include the use of human hepatocytes and colon cells. To find out more and apply for the position, click here.


Bayer Crop Science is interested in hiring undergraduate temporary researchers for 3+ months starting this summer. They are seeking highly motivated, goal-oriented trainees from the undergraduate level through recent PhD grads in biochemistry, entomology, nematology, plant pathology, microbiology, or related areas. If you are interested in any of these opportunities please email your resume and a letter of interest to Dr. Elyse Rodgers-Vieira at elyse.rodgers-vieira@bayer.com.


Opportunities for Faculty

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is now accepting applications for a Proposal Writing Institute to be held August 4-8, 2016 in Pomona, CA. This Institute will bring together faculty and administrators interested in preparing proposals for submission to external funding agencies. The four-day institute will consist of one-on-one work with a mentor, writing, small group discussions, and critiquing of proposals. Applicants must submit a one to two paragraph outline of their proposal and the name of the intended funding agency and/or program in the online application. This will help us determine how we can best support their proposal efforts. If you have NOT identified a funding source and begun writing a draft proposal, you should NOT participate in this Institute as it is geared for writing and revising draft proposals. Application Deadline: Friday, June 17, 2016. For more information, click here. 


Give to OUR

Would you like to provide support for the Office for Undergraduate Research?  You can make a gift here.