VCU Society for Engineering and Entrepreneurial Design (SEED) Meeting Today!

Message from Elliot Roth, founder and President of SEED:

The Society for Engineering and Entrepreneurial Design (SEED) is a student organization that serves to network students of different majors and disciplines (Art, Business, Engineering) who have design project ideas. We work on these projects starting very early on in undergrad, so that by the time students have to submit Senior Design or Capstone project proposals, the groundwork for their project is already laid. SEED works with these project teams to build prototypes with the eventual goal of launching start-up companies comprised of students immediately after graduating.

SEED will be having a pitch meeting TODAY, October 25th in Engineering West room 0101 at 7:00pm to present a combined art and engineering project.

The premise of the project is to take sensory data from a site around VCU and change the data in a synesthetic way. Synesthesia is the conversion of senses (i.e. sound to sight). This data will be mapped to an artspace that students can freely walk around in.

If you are interested in the project, or in SEED, come to the meeting on Thursday. If you cannot make the meeting, email me if you are still intrigued in this, or any other projects.


SEED is a completely self-motivated club. We have students pitch an idea to a group and then depending on the interest, it is completely up to them to meet as often as they wish to make their project a reality. Students form a project group out of the members of the club and make their own schedule depending on their free time.


 If you have any more questions about SEED don’t hesitate to email me. Do you have any design ideas yourself? Email me what you’ve been thinking about and SEED can turn that project in reality.  Contact:


NASA Seeks Student Experiments For 2013 High-Altitude Scientific Balloon Flight

NASA Seeks Student Experiments For 2013 High-Altitude Scientific Balloon Flight

 WASHINGTON — NASA is accepting applications from graduate and undergraduate university students to fly experiments to the edge of space on a scientific balloon next year. The balloon competition is a joint project between NASA and the Louisiana Space Consortium (LaSPACE) in Baton Rouge.

NASA is targeting fall 2013 for the next flight opportunity for the High Altitude Student Platform (HASP). HASP is a balloon-borne instrument stack that provides an annual near-space flight opportunity for 12 instruments built by students.

A panel of experts from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia and LaSPACE will review the applications and select the finalists for the next flight opportunity. Flights are launched from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility’s remote site in Fort Sumner, N.M., and typically achieve 15 to 20 hours’ duration at an altitude of about 23 miles.

HASP houses and provides power, mechanical support, interactivity and communications for the instruments. It can be used to flight-test compact satellites, prototypes and other small payloads designed and built by students.

HASP can support about 200 pounds for payloads and test articles. Since 2006, the HASP program has flown 60 payloads involving more than 500 students from 14 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.

The deadline for applications for the 2013 flight is Dec. 14. A question-and-answer teleconference for interested parties will be held Nov. 16.

For application materials and details about HASP, visit:

For information on NASA’s scientific balloon program, visit:

Undergraduate Research Opportunities at Oak Ridge National Laboratories

General Information
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has a long history and interest in providing hands-on research experiences to students at all academic levels.  Over the years, these research experience programs have enhanced students’ academic curricula and at the same time have helped the Laboratory (1) develop its own workforce and (2) contribute to the national vision for excellence in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. ORNL is a multi-program science and technology laboratory managed for the U.S. Department (DOE) by UT-Battelle, LLC.  Scientists and engineers at ORNL conduct basic and applied research and development to create scientific knowledge and technological solutions that strengthen the nation’s leadership in key areas of sciences, engineering, mathematics, and technology.  ORNL scientists are also fully supportive of their responsibility to help mentor the next generation of scientists.

Higher Education Research Experiences (HERE)

This program is open to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who are currently enrolled in an A.S. or B.S. degree program with a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0, including those who have completed a B.S. within the past year. Opportunities are available for 10 to 12 weeks during the summer term; some sabbatical appointments lasting 6 to 12 months, plus some intermittent appointments, also are available.


Participants in HERE at ORNL will be funded by programmatic funds of the ORNL host research divisions or through funding provided by institutions of higher education. Currently, there are no DOE funds earmarked for education that are available in this program.


General Benefits for Research Participation appointments include:

  • Stipend (determined by category of participant)
  • One round trip between home or school and ORNL
  • Housing allowance (for students whose permanent address is more than 60 miles from Oak Ridge)

Research Areas Available

In completing your application, you will be asked to review the scope of research conducted at ORNL and specify up to three research areas in which you are interested.

Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis (NESLS)

This cooperative research initiative is geared toward students in physics and nuclear engineering. There are no citizenship requirements. Summer applications must be received by March 1 for a 10-week appointment.

Eligibility: The ORNL NESLS program is open to faculty and full- or part-time engineering students enrolled at a U.S. university at the time of appointment. All awards and active participation in the program are contingent upon security access approval to Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Qualifications: Student applicants will be chosen on the basis of academic performance, class standing, career goals, recommendations, and compatibility of educational interests and abilities with the needs of ORNL.

Application Procedure: Applications for the summer program must be submitted prior to the February 28 program deadline. A limited number of slots are available during fall and winter sessions. Applicants may apply for NESLS via the online application form.

Selection: The award will be based on mentor’s selection and project funding availability. Applicants will be notified of acceptance on or around April 15 for the summer session.

Duration: The award is an appointment of approximately 10 weeks. Renewals are limited.

Benefits: Travel to and from (max $500); Housing allowance of $125/week if located more than 60 miles from laboratory.

For more information on the HERE or NESLS programs Cheryl Brown ( or Cheryl Terry (

Daniel T. Watts Research Symposium 2012

Traditionally held in the early Fall, the Watts Research Symposium is structured as a series of research poster presentations by students and post-doctorals in the science disciplines. The program is coordinated through the Office of Graduate Education in the School of Medicine by a Student Committee composed of representatives of participating units. Poster presentations of ongoing research by students in all areas of science are welcome; in the past several years presentations have come from the Schools of Pharmacy, Engineering, Nursing, and the College of Humanities and Sciences as well as presentations by students in the School of Medicine.

The 29th Annual Research Poster Symposium

 An exposition of ongoing research by and for the VCU research community!

Poster Presentations of Ongoing Science Research by Graduate Students and Post-Doctoral Scholars!


          POSTER SESSIONS:  Lobby and Rooms 104/105

                                               Kontos/Medical Sciences Building

                                                MCV Campus

                 Session I              Tuesday, October 23, 2012

                                                3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

                 Session II            Wednesday, October 24, 2012

                                                3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

                 Session III            Thursday, October 25, 2012

                                                    3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

     Different Posters at Each Session


Supported by the Office of Graduate Education, VCU School of Medicine

Spit for Science is seeking Research Assistants for spring semester!




In the fall of 2011 VCU launched Spit for Science: the VCU Student Survey ( This project is following the 2011 and 2012 VCU freshman classes across their college years, and will also enroll new VCU freshman classes over the next few years.  The goal of the project is to understand how genetic and environmental factors come together to influence a variety of health-related outcomes in the VCU undergraduate population.  A big focus is on substance use and emotional health problems, such as depression, since the life stage that college students are entering is a high risk period for the onset of these problems.

We’re currently looking for students to be a part of the research team for Spring Semester 2013.  Research assistants will be involved in recruitment, marketing, data collection and analysis, and other research activities.  Students will work in teams to develop research questions and analyze Spit for Science data.  Weekly meetings will be held with different faculty involved in the project where students will review research papers and learn about topics related to the goals of the research.  Required class meetings will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:50-5:20 PM in the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics conference room (located in Biotech 1, 800 E. Leigh Street on the MCV campus), which can be easily reached from the Monroe Park campus via the free Campus Connector.

There are no prerequisites required to apply to be part of the team.  Students at all class levels are welcome to apply.  Enrollment will be for three credits (A-F) through either Psychology 494 or Honors 398. To apply, please complete our online application at:

Inquiries or questions can be directed to Dr. Jessica Salvatore <>. The application deadline is Friday, November 2 at 5:00 PM. 

UNCF ●Merck Undergraduate Science Research Scholarship Awards

UNCF/Merck Undergraduate Science Research Scholarship Awards are intended to help African American undergraduate students who are interested in science to further their science education and potentially pursue science and engineering careers.  The UNCF ● Merck awards provide tuition support and opportunities for research experience in a state-of-the-art research facility.

Awards up to $30,000. At least 15 scholarship awards will be granted in 2013. Each award provides up to $30,000, which includes up to $25,000 towards tuition, room and board, and billable fees. This award is not transferable.

Each UNCF● Merck Undergraduate Fellow will be paired with a mentor/s and will be eligible for an Internship at a Merck Facility (applied for separetly).

The recipient’s department may apply for a Department Grant of up to $10,000. The actual amount of this grant is continent upon funds remaining in the scholarship portion of the award after all tuition, room and board, and billable fees are paid.

Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for a UNCF●Merck Undergraduate Science Research Scholarship Award, you must be:

  • African American (Black)
  • Enrolled full-time in any four-year college or university in the United States
  • A junior who will be a B.S. or B.A. degree candidate in the 2013-2014 academic year
  • A life sciences, physical sciences, or engineering major. (Applicants majoring in the physical sciences must have completed two semesters of organic chemistry by the end of the 2012-13 academic year). First professional (Pharm.D., D.V.M., D.D.S., etc.) majors are ineligible
  • A student with a minimum GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale
  • Committed to and eligible for the summer internship at a Merck facility
  • A citizen or permanent resident of the United States.

Award recipients will be selected based on their GPA, their demonstrated interest in their own scientific education and a career in scientific research or engineering, and their ability to perform in a laboratory or engineering environment.

If you have questions about the application process for this opportunity, contact Herb hill at

‘Preparing for Undergraduate Research’ Info Sessions

The VCU Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) will host the next info session for undergraduate students entitled, “Preparing for Undergraduate Research” on October 10, 2012.  The session is scheduled for 11-11:50am in Hibbs Hall, room 430.

The info session will provide information about upcoming opportunities for research at VCU, and will help interested undergraduates prepare themselves for a research experience.   In order to participate, students must register first by contacting Herb Hill at at least 24 hours before each session.

VCU Student Research Organization-General Body Meeting is Oct. 8 at 6pm

VCU Student Research Organization Meeting

Where: VCU Student Commons Theater

When: Monday October 8th, 2012 6pm

The Student Research Organization’s next General Body meeting will be
held Monday, October 8th, at 6 pm in the VCU Student Commons Theater. The Student Research Organization (SRO) was built and founded by students, for students, to promote undergraduate research at Virginia Commonwealth University.

The Student Research Organization (SRO) exists to raise awareness in undergraduate research through educational programs, workshops, and by providing avenues to become more involved in research.

Hear about our upcoming activities and events. We’ll also be discussing several opportunities for those who have done or are currently conducting research to present your work. Additionally, learn about the Auctus Undergraduate Research Journal and how you can contribute to it. A representative from Spit for Science will also be present to discuss the ongoing project and ways you can get involved!

For more information contact:

Follow us at:                                                                                                                                                                            

Fall 2013 EPA Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships For Undergraduate Environmental Study

Synopsis of Program:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Center for Environmental Research (NCER), invites applications for the Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships for undergraduate environmentally-related study for bachelor’s level students. The deadline for receipt of applications is December 5, 2012. Subject to availability of funding, the quality of applications received and other applicable considerations, the Agency plans to award approximately 40 new fellowships in the summer of 2013. The fellowship provides up to $20,700 per year of academic support and $8,600 for internship support for a combined total of up to $50,000 over the life of the fellowship. The GRO program enhances and supports quality environmental education for undergraduates, and thereby encourages them to continue their education beyond the baccalaureate level, and pursue careers in environmentally-related fields, such as biology, health, the social sciences, and engineering. The actual amount awarded per year will vary depending on the amount of tuition and fees and the number of months the stipend is required. This fellowship is intended to help defray costs associated with environmentally-oriented study leading to a bachelor’s degree.

EPA recognizes that scientific, technical, engineering and mathematical (STEM) competence is essential to the Nation’s future well-being in terms of national security and competitive economic advantage.  For instance, the health and vitality of the economy is predicated, in part, on the availability of an adequate supply of scientists, technicians, engineers and mathematicians, to develop innovative technologies and solutions.  In other words, this country must engage all available minds to address the challenges it faces.  Minorities, women, and persons with disabilities historically have been under-represented in the STEM fields.  For this reason, EPA strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to apply.

For more information and details on the application process go to:

If you are interested in applying for this fellowship, please contact Herb Hill at