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The Advancement of Undergraduate Research in the Sciences (AURS)
The University of Central Arkansas

The AURS Endowment

The Advancement of Undergraduate Research in the Sciences (AURS) endowment was established in 2008 to support undergraduate research in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Central Arkansas. We believe that engaging undergraduates in fundamental research prepares them for graduate or professional school as well as enhancing their undergraduate education. Not only do our undergraduates perform original research with a faculty mentor they also present that research at local, regional and national professional meetings and are coauthors on publications about their research. Our undergraduates have gone on to be successful in their careers upon graduation due in part to these experiences with our faculty.

Undergraduates benefit from working with a faculty member on an original research project. Their confidence in their abilities are increased, their understanding of fundamental science and mathematics is increased and they are able to parlay those experiences into enhanced internships and support at the graduate or professional school level. However, the opportunity to support these undergraduates depends on the funding level of the endowment. The AURS endowment is managed by the University of Central Arkansas Foundation, Inc. Please consider supporting this endeavor.

Sincerely,
Dr. Micah Abrams & Dr. William V. Slaton
AURS Endowment co-founders

Awards

Fellowship

Student written proposals should be a clear and precise statement of the research problem to be investigated and the need for its investigation. Proposals should include objectives, hypotheses, and or questions posed by the student to be investigated as well as the proposed methodology to be undertaken as appropriate. The fellowship budget can include a stipend for the applicant, materials & supplies, travel, etc as appropriate for the project. The proposed project can be planned to occur at any time within the following year.

Undergraduate students applying for the fellowship must demonstrate financial need; have a minimum 3.0 GPA; be of any standing with a preference shown to freshmen and sophomores.

Two $6,000 AURS Fellowship awards are anticipated.

3-page proposals PLUS cover letter are due Friday, March 18th, 2022.

Full details in the guidelines below.

Cover Letter: (DOCX) (PDF)
Guidelines: (PDF)

STEM Communicator

No slides. No notes. Only one contestant can speak per pitch. Only one pitch per contestant. Two $500 awards. You only have 60 seconds.

The AURS STEM Communicator award is to encourage the communication of science to the public in an informative and compelling manner. Public understanding of science is critical for shared democracy, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the United States.

15 contestants max and 75 audience members max

Register as a Contestant or Attendee to Pitch your Science as a AURS STEM Communicator. Contestants agree to participate in a pitch training session in collaboration with the UCA Conductor. Watch for more details about future events.

Full details in the guidelines below.

AURS STEM Communicator Guidelines: (PDF)

Recipents

2021 Research Awards:
Jayden Carter in Dr. Arijit Mukherjee's lab "Identification of novel components of a plant-signaling pathway essential for the legume-rhizobia symbiosis."
Paul Seminara in Dr. Yaqian He's lab "Identifying the Effects of Climate Variables on the Spread of COVID-19 in Arkansas"

2021 Thesis Awards:*
Biology:
Willow Newman's thesis entitled "TURNING UP THE HEAT: THERMAL TOLERANCES OF FISHES IN THE KINGS RIVER, ARKANSAS" with Dr. Ginny Adams.
James DuBose's thesis entitled "THE ECOLOGICAL AND EVOLUTIONARY DYNAMICS OF SOCIAL AMOEBA MICROBIOMES AND KEY SYMBIONTS" with Dr. Tamara Haselkorn.
Mackenzie Hoogshagen's thesis entitled "DICTYOSTELIA SOCIAL AMOEBAE SYMBIONT PREVALENCE ACROSS HARDWOOD FORESTS OF ARKANSAS" with Dr. Tamara Haselkorn.

Chemistry:
Kathryn Walden's thesis entitled "Computing the Reactivity of Cationic Gold Halide Complexes" with Dr. Makenzie Long.

* - The AURS Thesis award has been discontinued.

Support

The Advancement of Undergraduate Research in the Sciences Endowment is managed by the University of Central Arkansas Foundation, Inc. The UCA Foundation is a nonprofit public charity and offers many options for enabling you to support the AURS endowment. Options for giving to the UCA Foundation may be found here which includes an option for secure online donations. Alternatively, your support can be mailed to the UCA Foundation's office at:

The UCA Foundation, Inc.
Buffalo Alumni Hall
UCA Box 4986
Conway AR 72035

Please be sure to designate your gift to the Advancement of Undergraduate Research in the Sciences, Account #0590, to ensure that your gift goes to support undergraduate students in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Central Arkansas.

Thank you for your support!