Paid Summer Program Description

Exposure of undergraduates to basic research, scholarly, and creative activities serves several purposes. First, it provides a strong teaching tool through "hands-on" experience and provides the means to develop critical thinking. In other words, these activities allow students to move beyond the mere repetition of printed information into a new level in which they learn how this information is discovered and disseminated. These ideas have recently been addressed in a report by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching entitled "Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America's Research Universities" and have been echoed by the administration at the University of South Alabama with the creation of UCUR in 1998.

Students receiving UCUR Summer Fellowships will be expected to:

  • Devote about 20 hours a week to their project: The time commitments will vary from discipline to discipline. Time allocation may also vary given the unpredictable nature of most scholarly activities.
  • Write or present the results of their studies in a format considered appropriate for their discipline (see Related Resources page for written format). The presentation of your results will be evaluated for a best paper/portfolio award to be given at the fall symposium. The UCUR Committee will do the evaluations.
  • Meet with other students and their mentors on a regular basis: Undergraduates involved in the summer program will meet three times during the Summer semester, in small groups, to discuss their progress with participants from other disciplines. This will be done to train students to present ideas in a non-technical format so that even non experienced individuals, with limited background, will be able to understand. These meetings will be organized and supervised by the Program Director, and with the help of faculty mentors who will act as moderators and will also share their experiences with undergraduates.
  • Present their results to their peers on Campus: All undergraduates conducting scholarly and creative activity during the summer will present their results in poster or short oral format, as an exhibit or performance during the Undergraduate Symposium to be held in the Fall semester. This symposium on campus is designed to stimulate awareness among students and faculty. (see Links page for suggestions on format).
  • Attend an organizational meeting (end spring term), professional development workshops (summer) and complete a responsible conduct of research online training program. Participate in outreach events, such as orientation and USA Day.
  • Future Student and Mentor Handbooks

Student Recognition

In recognition for their efforts, all students participating in the UCUR Summer Undergraduate Research Program will receive a certificate from UCUR. In addition, UCUR will send press releases to local newspapers in their communities, reporting that one of their young members is participating in the Summer Program. This is expected to increase the impact of our program and ultimately the prestige of the university within those communities.

Students may directly contact a faculty mentor during their Sophomore or Junior year or, alternatively, UCUR may act as a liaison helping students in identifying faculty members with projects in specific areas. Past projects and student testimonials are good examples of the work done that may help you better understand the significance and importance of this program. The following documents require Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing or printing purposes. If you do not have a copy of the program, download a FREE COPY by clicking here. When you are ready, click the following links to see several examples of past projects and students testimonials.