CUL Undergraduate Research Award

Thanks to the generous gift of SMU Libraries Executive Board member Larrie Weil and his wife Bobbi, Central University Libraries is pleased to announce the Larrie and Bobbi Weil Undergraduate Research Award for excellence in library research.  All undergraduate students are eligible, based on a research project completed during the preceding calendar year.

Members of the faculty, in reading and grading undergraduate research papers, will choose papers for nomination.  Nominated papers should demonstrate depth and breadth in the use of library research materials and clear evidence of thoughtful command of these resources.  Faculty members should notify students of their intent to nominate papers.  To be eligible, students must be registered for the semester in which the award is presented.   Any papers from the spring 2016, summer 2016, or fall 2016 semesters are eligible for the award, which will be presented at the Honors Convocation in April 2017.   Submissions are accepted in electronic form only; please attach the paper as a Word document and send to Elizabeth Killingsworth, Head of Research Services and Director of the Fondren Library (  Papers will be accepted for consideration if received on or before Friday, February 3, 2017.  Please see the Weil Award website for more specific details.

The winning student will receive a $500 cash prize.  The winning paper will be placed in the SMU Archives in DeGolyer Special Collections Library, and an electronic copy of the paper will be available online through the CUL website and in the Digital Repository.

Questions?  Call or email Elizabeth Killingsworth at or call 214-768-3686.

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Brooke Owens Fellowship

I wanted to personally reach out and pass along this amazing new program for young women, the Brooke Owens Fellowship.  It is designed to serve as an inspiration and career opportunity for capable young women who aspire to explore and innovate in the aerospace community, and was created in honor of the legacy of Dawn Brooke Owens (1980 – 2016).

Those who apply and are awarded the fellowship will receive a paid summer internship and will be matched with specific job openings at aerospace and aviation organizations.  Prior to the beginning of their internship, each fellow will also be connected with two experienced aerospace industry mentors: one at their host company and another mentor elsewhere in the industry.

Below is the website to provide further information, and to be shared among faculty and students.

If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact me.

Warm regards,


Ashley E. Hollis-Bussey

Arianespace, Inc.

5335 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Suite 520

Washington, DC 20015


Tel.: +1 202 628 3936

Fax: +1 202 628 3949

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The Horizons Fellowship

The Horizons Fellowship supports 10 outstanding university students in their pursuit to become tomorrow’s leaders in technology.  The program provides immersive software engineering and web/mobile development courses geared towards high-achieving college students.  Our full-stack Javascript curriculum, developed by ex-Salesforce, Optimizely, and D.E. Shaw engineers, is designed to teach students how to build web, mobile (iOS and Android) and desktop applications.  We have a 4-month spring program and a 3-month summer program in San Francisco, Boston, and Philadelphia.

The Horizons Mentor Network includes current/past employees of firms such as Google, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, Snapchat, and more.  As a Horizons student/graduate, you will have permanent access to this exceptional group of mentors to help with career choices, general mentorship, and more.

Two graduates of our latest summer cohort have been placed at NASA and Thrive Capital within 2 weeks of the program.  Others are currently interviewing for engineering roles at Lyft, Airbnb, Andreessen Horowitz, Asana, Heap, Slack, and more.

Past Horizonites have come from a variety of schools and backgrounds.  Students have hailed from Harvard, Princeton, UPenn/Wharton, Columbia, Northwestern, Brown, Michigan and more. We’ve welcomed National Math Olympiad winners, USA Computing Olympiad participants, renowned college entrepreneurs, students with perfect SAT/ACT scores, talented designers, photographers, and more as part of our previous cohort.  Our program requires no formal computer science background.

Application Process/Criteria

*  Currently enrolled in an undergrad or graduate university program

*  Submission of resume and standardized test scores on

*  Series of fit and technical interviews

*  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.


Abhi Ramesh

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Co-Founder,

Horizons School of Technology

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Seeking Research Assistant

Dr. Sushmita Purkayastha in the Department of Applied Physiology & Wellness in the Simmons School is seeking a research assistant for her Cerebrovascular Research laboratory. Her research focus is brain blood flow regulation and vascular control in healthy and diseased/injured individuals during various physiological challenges such as alterations in blood pressure from sit-to-stand, changes in metabolism and during cognitive stress. Brain blood flow is measured continuously with transcranial Doppler ultrasonography

The Research Assistant will maintain a human research laboratory and be actively involved in on going research projects. Duties will include equipment set-up, calibration, general maintenance and upkeep of the equipment, subject recruitment, subject preparation, equipment calibration, data analysis and management.  Additional duties may include data reduction, analysis, managing ordering and purchasing of lab supplies and providing support for manuscript and grant preparation.

Required: Bachelor’s degree in a biological or life science major along with hands-on laboratory experience. Preferred: Master’s degree in exercise science, kinesiology, integrative physiology or a related field of study that offers knowledge about basic human physiology. Experience working in human cardiovascular hemodynamics laboratory data acquisition systems and analysis software. Certification and experience in phlebotomy is highly desirable.

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Hamilton Scholars Awards for 2016-17

Proposals for a small number of Hamilton Scholars for the summer are being accepted. The deadline is Friday, April 15. Awards for the Hamilton Scholars program are matched by the university (financial aid) making $4,000 available for the summer if the student is working full-time (40 hours/week; for 10 weeks; at $12/hour).

Further information on the parameters of this requirement can be found on the Undergraduate Research website:

In particular, note the guidelines for Summer Research Assistants.

The deadline for Hamilton Scholar Proposals for any 2016-17 semester or academic year is Friday, August 26, 2016.

All Hamilton Scholar proposals (maximum length 2 pages) should identify the student and the student’s background and contain a brief description of the project the student will be working on as well as the time frame—summer, one semester, two semesters. Please also include the student’s ID number and best contact telephone number. Academic year Hamilton Awards can be matched by University Awards making $3,000/academic year available or $1,500/semester. Normally students are paid at the rate of $10/hour and hence can work up to 150 hours/semester.

For more information on the Hamilton Scholars program see the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute website:

Please note that all projects involving Hamilton Scholars must be meaningful research and learning experiences for the students involved, but they also should help faculty members to advance their research. The funds should be used to compensate the student but budgets can include up to $200 for research expenses. The Hamilton funds have also been supporting travel to professional meetings for Hamilton Scholar students who wish to present their work at a national forum or who might need to travel for research.

Applications for such awards are on a case by case basis.

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5th Annual full-time Summer Research Assistantships

Research activity during the summer is an excellent way for a student researcher to make focused progress in a project. There are many such opportunities across campus, and students are encouraged to talk to faculty members to devise a new project, or continue one begun during the academic year. Projects can be either student generated ideas, or projects connected to a faculty mentor’s ongoing research.  SMU supports assistantships for students to pursue their research interests full-time so that undergraduates can make the most of opportunities provided by their faculty mentors. These Summer Research Assistantships (SRAs) allow students to earn up to $4000 during the summer, including the 50% match from the University, doing the research of their choice.  They will be paid hourly on a biweekly basis.

The selection of SRAs is a competitive process. To be considered, the interested student should prepare a proposal of 650 words or more by April 8, 2016. Students are encouraged to seek editorial comment from their faculty mentors, but the proposal should be written by the student. It should include the following information:

  • clear title
  • overall motivation for the research
  • methodology, technique or practice needed in the research
  • description of specific research to be carried out by the student
  • the student should also indicate how they hope to benefit from performing research, with particular emphasis on the proposed SRA effort. Potential benefits include the connection of the proposed project to their vocational/career goals.
  • a brief letter of reference from the faculty mentor supporting the student
  • Acknowledgement that the student will write a 1500 word report of their research experience, which will be due no later than August 15, 2016.
  • a filled out URA form is needed as well as a Payroll Authorization form filled out by the faculty mentor and corresponding department’s administrative assistant

With the SRA proposal, the 2nd page of the URA form can be left blank aside from the required signatures at the bottom. The proposal, URA form, and PAF are due to the Director of Undergraduate Research, Clements G13 PO Box 750283, by April 8, 2016 to be guaranteed full consideration.  A panel of SMU faculty will select approved SRAs from the submitted applications.

The SRA Report

Final reports are expected of all SRAs.  Normal part-time URA support for the student or faculty mentor can be renewed for the subsequent term only once the SRA report has been submitted.  These reports should be written by the student, and students are encouraged to seek editorial comment from their faculty mentor.  The reports should be written to satisfy the following criteria:

– Clear title
– Project Description:
       – Motivation and intellectual context for the student’s specific research
– Description of the research project carried out by the student
– Results: what was new, or what was the result of the work?
– What was the student’s unique contribution?
– How could the effort be improved upon in future work?
– Reflective Component
       – What did you learn from this experience?
– Did your experience impact your vocational plans or expectations? If so, how?

Based on the criteria listed for the Project Description, as well as overall writing quality and the Reflective Component, each report will be judged by a faculty panel.  The selection is highly competitive.  Students authoring the highest quality reports will be invited to present their results at the Undergraduate Research Presentations session of SMU’s Research Day, held in Spring Semester.  Invitees who will be off-campus for that event will be able to present at the Fall Engaged Learning Symposium.  Invited students who present their work earn the distinction of Summer Research Fellow (SRF).

Faculty Guidelines on SRAs

Faculty mentors should review the URA program Guidelines.  For the summer, they can seek support for up to 3 SRAs, with a limit of a total of 6 students including part-time URAs.

There are two choices for summer research as specified in the student pay papers and registration:

  • If the student is taking a credit bearing (1 or more credit) course during the relevant summer period, they are classified as a student employee. This student is exempt from FICA tax, and pays income tax, and no benefits are charged to the home base org.
  • For students not enrolled in SMU credit bearing courses, they must be enrolled in a zero credit research course during their summer research and they must be classified as ‘temporary staff’.  The student is charged FICA and income tax.  Benefits charges are incurred against the same fund and org that the wages are paid from (50% benefits charged to URA program, 50% to the fund or provided by the department).  All departments should have one of these courses defined in the catalog.  For now, if no such course exists in your discipline, one from a different department can be used (e.g. PHYS 4049).

It is important the students be registered in one of these two scenarios.

For those applications that rely on a source of matching funds for which the application is still pending, such as McNair Scholars or Hamilton Research Scholars, the SRA application should still be submitted by the SRA deadline for full consideration.  In this case, the application should include:

  • Mention of this status
  • Name of the matching program (eg. McNair Scholars)
  • Date that program’s application decisions are expected to be known

The latter is particularly important for external sources of funding.  SRA approvals will be decided based on merit, but new openings arise after the deadline for full-consideration if any approved SRAs don’t secure matching funding.

By contrast, if a student is applying for an internship but would be interested in applying for an SRA should the internship not become available, the student should only apply for SRA when they are informed of this status.

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The 7th Annual Collin College Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Student Research Conference: Call for Papers

Hello, SMU Undergrad Research Department!
I would like to invite you and your undergraduate students to participate in the annual Collin College Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Student Research Conference.
Over the past 6 years, this regional conference has seen submissions and presentations from students attending UTD, UTA, UNT, SMU, UT, NCTC, A &M Commerce, TCU, TWU, Baylor, Texas Tech, Angelo State University, and others.  Please consider continuing that tradition by presenting the Call for Papers (seen below and attached) to your students this semester.
This professional academic conference includes research presentations, a key note speaker, student success workshops, and catered breakfast, lunch, and snacks throughout the day. The entire event is free and open to the public, and you may come and go as you like.  
If you would, please distribute this Call to your faculty and also distribute to your students.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at or check out our website
Lastly, I am more than happy to travel to your institution if you would like an informational presentation about the conference, the competitive submission process, etc. E-mail me if interested.  
Call for Undergraduate Student
Research Papers
For presentation at The 7th Annual Collin College Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Student Research Conference – April 13 & 14, 2016
THEME: Research across the Disciplines
  • Including Literature Reviews, Research Papers, Research Manuscripts, Research Reports, Service Learning Research, Scientific Experiment Research, Exploratory Research, etc.
OPEN TO: Undergraduate students at both 2-year and 4-year institutions. Students who complete their undergraduate degree in Dec. 2015 are eligible for conference consideration.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION: Scholarly Work; Defined Justification; Logical Organization; Mastery of Subject; Appropriate Citation Documentation. 

  • Panel (students verbally explain their research to an audience. An expert makes comments. Ends with Q & A)
    • Students may submit an individual paper and, if accepted, will be placed on a panel with other students who have written papers on similar topics.
    • Students may submit a complete panel, which includes 4-7 students who have done similar research. If accepted, the group will present together. 
  • Roundtable (a group of students lead the audience through an interactive discussion of their group research)
  • Performance (student(s) present their research to an audience in the form of a rehearsed performance)
  • Poster boards (student(s) present their research to hallway passersby in the form of designed poster boards. This is similar in style to a Science Fair presentation).
EXCITING NEWS: Complete panels sponsored by a professor will be automatically accepted to the conference.



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SMU Research Day 2016



SMU Research Day 2016

Wednesday, February 10


Poster Session, Hughes-Trigg Student Center, Promenade Ballroom
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Research Day Registration for Poster Presentations – SMU

Submit Your Abstract Online

The first 160 abstract submissions will present at Research Day. All other submissions will be placed on a waitlist, and will be notified about your current status.

SMU graduate and undergraduate students are invited and encouraged to present results of ongoing and completed SMU-based research. 

The goal of this event is to foster communication between students in different disciplines, give students the opportunity to present their work in a professional setting, and share the outstanding research being conducted at SMU with their peers and industry professionals from the greater Dallas community.

A cash prize of $250 will be awarded to the best poster presentation from each department, provided there are at least three presenters from that discipline.  If the number is fewer than three, the best presentation will be chosen from a pool formed from underrepresented departments. Winners from 2015 are posted online, here.

To participate, please register online by January 27, 2016. Please be sure to include all of the information requested on the application. Late entries will be accommodated only as space and time permit.

For questions and concerns, please contact Sarah Sage at

Research and Graduate Studies, Perkins Administration Building, Suite 101

6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75275 | 214-768-4336






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2016-2017 Texas Space Grant Consortium Scholarships

Texas Space Grant has opened the 2016-2017 round of Undergraduate Scholarships and Graduate Fellowships

The Applications are open!!!

Announcements attached and detailed below:

1)   Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM)Columbia Crew Memorial
Scholarship – Funds Distributed Fall 2015 – DEADLINE TO APPLY IS April 29, 2016 – $1500.

2) TSGC Graduate Fellowship – Funds Distributed Fall 2015 – DEADLINE TO APPLY IS April 29, 2016 – $5000

$1,500 per student

DEADLINE TO APPLY IS April 29, 2016 – $1500.
Apply on line:

STEM Scholarship Announcement

These scholarships are intended to recognize high-quality students and encourage their consideration of graduate studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields which will ultimately lead to careers in STEM related fields. The scholarships stress:
* Excellence in academics
* Participation in science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics education projects * Participation in research projects * Exhibited leadership qualities

TSGC encourages participation by members of under-represented groups.


All TSGC Scholarship recipients must be:
1.  Citizens of the United States
2.  Registered for at least a half-time course load or more at a TSGC member institution in good standing as:
A) a sophomore at a 2 year institution or
B) a sophomore at a 4 year institution or
C) a junior or senior at a 4 year institution or
D) a first or second year student at a medical school

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Maria Mitchell Association – NSF

New research opportunity through NSF. Please consider applying!

From email:

I am writing to let you know about the NSF sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) program at the Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) in Nantucket, MA.

Our award winning program, the recipient of the 2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, is currently soliciting applications for summer 2016.

The program offers paid, 10-week-long research experiences for six undergraduate students every summer.  Student projects range from studies of extra-solar planets and observations of variable stars, to studies of galaxy formation and evolution, and encompass a mix of both observational and theoretical based projects.

As part of the program, the MMA provides free student housing, a student stipend, and paid travel to and from Nantucket.  In addition, all students are encouraged to present their research at the annual winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in January 2017, also sponsored by the MMA.

I am attaching below a poster advertising our program.  I would very much appreciate it if you would print out and hang this poster in a well-trafficked area within your department.  I would also greatly appreciate your encouragement of any interested undergraduate students to apply to the program.  Please note, the application deadline is February 1, 2016.

REU information and application can be found here:

Presidential Award:

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