Opportunities & Courses

University Research Week

University Research Week 2019 will took place November 4-8, 2019.

University Research Week (URW) is an annual, campus-wide event designed to improve awareness of what it means to be a research university, align the University’s missions of producing world-class research and providing a world-class undergraduate education, and promote opportunities for students to discover and engage in research and scholarship. In support of this week-long effort, departments are encouraged to coordinate department-specific activities such as research interest group meetings; workshops for faculty and students to network and foster new research opportunities; symposia highlighting faculty and student research and scholarship; and tours of laboratories and other research facilities. In addition, faculty are encouraged to take 15-20 minutes during a class that week to discuss their own research with undergraduate students.

Please contact Bob Pleasants if you have ideas or questions regarding sponsoring activities or events during University Research Week or submit your event here.

Click here for 2019’s full University Research Week Schedule.

Highlights of this URW 2019 included the following: 

  • NASA Astronaut Zena Cardman: UNC alumna and NASA Astronaut Zena Cardman returned to Carolina to share her journey from conducting research as an undergraduate to training for future space missions. Selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class, Cardman graduated from UNC in 2010 with a B.S. in biology, honors in poetry, and minors in marine science, creative writing, and chemistry. She completed her master’s degree in marine science at UNC in 2014. Her research has focused on microorganisms in subsurface environments, ranging from caves to deep sea sediments. Cardman’s field experience includes multiple Antarctic expeditions, work aboard research vessels as both scientist and crew, and NASA analog missions in British Columbia, Idaho, and Hawaii.
  • What’s Next at NASA: This event offered student an exclusive chance to hear about NASA’s current missions and opportunities to work with the space agency. Experts from NASA shared information about about Artemis technology; how NASA plans to get the next men, and first women, back to the moon; how NASA employs interdisciplinary creative teamwork to design new technology such as space suits, and how to chart a path toward a potential career at NASA.
  • NASA Day: Keynote presentations and workshops on how to work with NASA, details about the Artemis mission to the moon, and exposure to collaborative research opportunities across the agency. Leaders representing NASA’s Mission Directorates – Human Exploration & OperationsScience, and Space Technology – were on campus to meet with UNC faculty.
  • Getting Involved in Research Workshop: In this workshop, students learned how to enter the research community at UNC, including resources for identifying research opportunities, identifying faculty mentors and how the Office for Undergraduate Research supports research efforts. The workshop included a student panel discussing how they got involved in research and a faculty panel to discuss what faculty look for in students to mentor.
  • From Science to Summits: Former UNC research communicator and alumnae Mary Lide Parker returned to Carolina to share her experiences working alongside researchers and scientists on expeditions as close as the Outer Banks of North Carolina and as far away as the Antarctic Peninsula. A science communicator and journalist, she has covered both domestic and international projects sponsored by the NSF, the NIH, NASA, and the Schmidt Ocean Institute, among others.
  • Climate Game Changers: Participants learned about the experiences of three undergraduate researchers who traveled to the northern Andes Mountains this past summer with UNC geographer Diego Riveros-Iregui to measure carbon in a watershed. This work will help researchers understand how these carbon emissions will affect climate change. Panelists discussed the stresses and joys of field work, how they overcame problems, lessons learned, and what it’s like conducting research in a foreign country.

Posts that are made in regards to University Research Week, should include the hashtag #UNCResearchWeek making posts easy to find and to help promote the week.