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Undergraduate Research

The School of Sciences & Mathematics has a strong commitment to experiential learning and encourages all majors to pursue a research project during their time at the College. Opportunities for funding are available through both the School and the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (urca.cofc.edu.) Students can receive assistance with placement by attending our Research Mixer, a casual meet & greet meant to pair faculty mentors with undergraduate research students, held annually in November. Scholars are invited to participate in the School's annual Undergraduate Research Poster Session in April of each year. Summer research activities are showcased at the Celebration of Scholars, hosted by URCA, in August.

 

SCHOOL OF SCIENCES & MATHEMATICS SUMMER RESEARCH AWARDS

SSM majors are invited to apply for research stipends, provided by the School of Sciences and Mathematics. The intent of these merit awards is to afford students the opportunity to begin or continue a research project between academic years. Students will be offered stipends of around $4000 for approximately 10 weeks of research study between the dates May 15 – August 15. Applications open on January 1. This is a competitive award and not all applications will be funded. Deadline for submission is the first Monday of February. A link will appear on this page when applications open.

INFORMATION FOR FACULTY & STUDENTS

  • Students must identify and meet with a faculty member willing to serve as a mentor. Students with a SSM faculty mentor will be prioritized.
  • Student and faculty mentor must discuss the research and supplies needed for the project.
  • Student and faculty mentor should devise a list of supplies and associated cost.
    • Students may request up to $500 in supplies, travel expenses to field collection sites, software, or other materials needed, specific to the project.
    • Students may request up to $1000 for wet lab research.
    • Students may NOT request funds for travel to conferences or meetings to present findings. Those funds should now be sought from your major department.
    • Supplies request will be part of the faculty application.
    • To be eligible, students must be registered and returning for Fall classes at the College.
    • Prorated awards for abbreviated periods will receive a lower priority for funding.

FOR STUDENTS

  • Student must complete student portion of application by the posted deadline.
  • If awarded, students will be required to:
    • Register for your department’s zero credit research course in Summer 1.
      • A nominal fee will be incurred for IT, library, and health services.
  • Successfully complete any research safety training required by the department in which you conduct your research.
  • Dedicate approximately 40 hours a week to your study.
  • Meet with your mentor regularly to chart progress.
  • Present a research poster at the Celebration of Faculty in August and/or at the SSM Annual Poster session the following spring.
  • Respond promptly to all follow-up surveys and assessment efforts from the College of Charleston.
  • Understand that failure to follow through on elements of your agreement will make you ineligible for future funding.
  • First time summer research students must attend the weekly SSM research skills seminar.

FOR FACULTY

Stipends are available for faculty who agree to mentor a summer research student.

  • Mentors must complete the faculty portion of the application by the posted deadline.
  • If awarded, mentors must:
    • Ensure mentee(s) enroll in department’s zero credit research course in Summer 1.
    • Provide safety training, as applicable.
    • Confirm you are the mentee(s) primary mentor and that the student is conducting research with you at CofC or with you at another site.
    • Have sufficient time to provide mentorship to student(s) conducting full-time research in your lab. Other summer paid activities must be reported.
    • Confirm that student(s) is the prime beneficiary of the research being conducted.
    • Confirm mentee(s) will participate in poster sessions sponsored by URCA and/or SSM.
    • Will maintain contact with former research students and report on their career intentions and progress when requests are made.
    • Respond, in a timely fashion, to all surveys and assessment efforts from the College of Charleston.
    • Understand that failure to follow through on elements of your agreement will make you ineligible for future funding.