Join us for VCU Diversity Scholars in Research Week Feb. 23-27!

Students and faculty we welcome you  to join us for VCU Diversity Scholars in Research Week!

The Diversity Scholars in Research Week celebrates the diversity of scholarship among our undergraduate, graduate, and professional students as well as showcasing the passion and intensity they invest in their scholarship/research.

There will be a week of activities including an exhibition, panel discussion, luncheon, keynote speaker, networking opportunities and workshops scheduled for students interested in undergraduate research opportunities, funded scholarships, resume building and next steps after graduation.  See the full schedule of events for details.

Join us and support the amazing diversity of scholarship at Virginia Commonwealth University. For more information or to register for events please visit http://www.omsa.vcu.edu or call 804-828-6672

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Call for Applications: VCU IMSD Undergraduate Research Training Program

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The deadline for applications is: March 15th 2015 Prospective students can apply online here: http://www.healthdisparities.vcu.edu/?id=1353&sid=10

If you have any further questions about the program please contact Dr. Sarah Golding segolding@vcu.edu

For Questions regarding the application process please contact:

Ms Khiana Meade, IMSD Program Coordinator: cohdtraining@vcu.edu.

UROP Research Poster Creation Workshops

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The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program will be hosting poster sessions on:

Thursday, February 19th at 3pm in room 441 of Hibbs Hall 

Friday, February 27th at 1pm in Richmond Salons 3 & 4                                      

Friday, March 6th at 3pm in room 441 of Hibbs Hall 

Thursday, March 19th at 3pm in room 441 of Hibbs Hall 

Thursday, March 26th at 3pm in room 441 of Hibbs Hall 

Wednesday, April 1st at 3pm in room 441 of Hibbs Hall 

The workshops will focus on the significance of a poster as a vehicle for research presentation while covering some of the technical aspects of poster creation from design to printing.

Completion of the workshop will assist in preparing undergrads to present their work, whether for the Poster Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creativity taking place on campus April 22nd, 2015, or for any other national conferences related to undergraduate research.

If you would like to workshop your poster, but are unable to attend any of the announced sessions, please contact Herb Hill at hhill@vcu.edu to schedule an alternate meeting time.

Upcoming Deadlines for VCU Summer Undergraduate Research Programs!

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Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) Summer FellowshipMar. 1st The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) will fund a limited number of undergraduate student fellowship awards for projects mentored by VCU faculty. Successful student applicants will receive a cash stipend of $1,500 and $500 for the faculty mentor.  Applicants must submit an online application no later than March 1st, 2014 for review.

Global Education Undergraduate Research Fellowships – Mar. 1st                                The Global Education Office will fund three unique undergraduate fellowship awards for research projects, mentored by VCU faculty. Research proposals should show evidence of significant engagement with a culture originating from outside of the US that is different from the applicant’s native culture. Successful proposals should exhibit how the project will increase the student researcher’s knowledge, skills and experience to demonstrate successfully functioning across a variety of borders, such as national, linguistic, cultural, religious, and/or others. Each fellowship award includes $1500 in funding for the student and $500 for the faculty mentor.

Undergraduate Fellowships for Clinical and Translational ResearchMar. 1st              The VCU Center for Clinical and Translational Research will fund one undergraduate research fellowship award for a clinical translational research project focused on human health and mentored by a VCU faculty member. A clinical translational research project is one that aims to translate scientific discoveries into improved human health and wellness. Successful proposals must discuss how the project will increase the student researcher’s knowledge, skills and experience while simultaneously attempting to advance human health through clinical research. Each fellowship award includes $1500 in funding for the student and $500 for the faculty mentor.

Undergraduate Fellowships for Community Engaged & Translational Research – Mar. 1st The Division of Community Engagement and the Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR) will fund three undergraduate community-engaged research fellowship awards for research projects mentored by VCU faculty and carried out in collaboration with a community partner. Proposals for this fellowship should include a community-engaged research project that creates and disseminates knowledge or creative expression with the goal of contributing to the discipline and strengthening the well-being of the community. At least one of these fellowships will be awarded to a project that focuses on the advancement of human health.  Each fellowship award includes $1500 in funding for the student and $500 for the faculty mentor.

Undergraduate Research Fellowship for Inclusive Excellence – Mar. 1st                       The VCU Division for Inclusive Excellence will fund one undergraduate research fellowship award for a faculty-mentored research project focused on “diversity” as it relates to ideas, cultures, backgrounds and experiences. Successful proposals must discuss how the project will increase the student researcher’s knowledge, skills and experience related to the social, economic, political and historical significance of particular differences. This project may investigate diversity through the lens of gender, race/ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, disabilities and/or international issues. Each fellowship award includes $1500 in funding for the student and $500 for the faculty mentor.

Chemistry Research Experience for Undergraduates – Mar. 1st                                      Students will participate in the REU program that begins with a three-day training period teaching basic skills common to all scientific research, and developing the perspectives and career planning components. Full-time research begins after this three-day period. Development of the perspectives component continues with regular meetings and presentations from faculty and from local industrial collaborators. The students oral and written communication skills are developed throughout the program by completing a written proposal, revising their personal statements submitted as part of their application and preparing and presenting a poster of their work at the halfway point and an oral presentation for the final symposium. Written reports of the students research results are also submitted at the conclusion of the program.

Honors Summer Undergraduate Research ProgramMar. 8th                                      The Honors College cultivates a community of students and faculty focused on collaborative research that goes beyond the typical undergraduate experience. To that end, the Honors Summer Undergraduate Research Program is an opportunity for you to work one-on-one with a faculty mentor and participate in professional development workshops throughout the summer, as well as engage in research projects for independent study.

Rice Center Research GrantsApr. 1st                                                                          The Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences is soliciting graduate and undergraduate student research proposals that will advance the Rice Center’s mission in environmental science, health and education. Research grants up to $1,000 (undergraduate and graduate students) or $1,500 (Ph.D. students) may be used to purchase supplies and equipment, defray related travel expenses, and possibly to provide partial summer stipends. Eligible research activities are field studies conducted at the Rice Center property inclusive of the tidal James River, its tributaries, and associated riparian and upland landscapes in the vicinity of the Rice Center. Projects that involve nearby public lands owned by Rice Center partners, such as the USFWS and VDGIF, are also encouraged. Collaborative projects are encouraged and students may submit joint proposals.

Microbiology, Infectious Disease and Public Health Epidemiology – Mar. 15th               Join us at VCU for a new Summer Student Program in Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Public Health Epidemiology. The School of Medicine will offer an integrated series of seminars and workshops that range from local to global issues in infectious diseases. Studies are related to infectious diseases from basic science (pathogenic microbiology) to applied science (epidemiology). Accepted students will be paired with a mentor to conduct research in the areas of: microbiology, clinical research, or epidemiology.

Physiology and Biophysics Summer Research ProgramFeb. 15th                              The duration of SURP in Physiology and Biophysics is 10 weeks, from early June to mid August. Students are expected to work full-time in the host lab. Support for living expenses will be provided by the program. During the summer, in addition to work in the host lab, students will interact with faculty members and graduate students in the department to acquaint themselves with various research opportunities, facilities and the general environment of the department. Mechanisms to encourage these interactions include: 1) a breakfast gathering once per week with scientific presentations from members of the Department or to present progress reports in the projects at the midpoint and end of the program and 2) social events for the students led by current PhD and MD/PhD candidates.

JACKS Pediatric and Neonatal Summer Scholars – Feb. 20th                                  JACK’s Summer Scholars Program has a rich history of providing students with the opportunity to view the world of neonatology and pediatric subspecialties through clinical mentoring and research. Summer scholars have the opportunity to work with the neonatal team as they provide care and conduct research related to infant and maternal health. Specific emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of multidisciplinary hospital care. The program also enables participants to explore medical career opportunities in pediatric subspecialties such as general surgery, anesthesiology, neurosurgery and infectious diseases.

Summer Research Volunteer Opportunities at MCV – Mar. 15th

Spit for Science will be recruiting for Fall semester soon!

You should also consider applying for NSF-funded Research Experiences (REU) for Undergraduates located at a wide variety of locations across the country.  You can browse by research area or by location at the NSF site.

Biology majors!  There is an abundance of national summer research opportunities listed on the Biology Advising Blog.

If you have questions about applying for any of the programs listed above, please contact Herb Hill at hhill@vcu.edu

 

16th Annual Darwin Day is Tuesday February 3rd!

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VCU Graduate Organization of Biology Students, Graduate Student Association, and the Department of Biology presents the 16th Annual Darwin Day. This university sponsored event is held around Darwin’s birthday, and is a celebration of his life and contributions to modern science. This year it is our great honor to present Evolutionary Ecologist Robert Ricklefs, PhD who will be speaking on “Darwin’s Wedge Metaphor and the Development of Community Ecology”. The event is open to scientists, students, and the public. It will be held in Commonwealth Ballroom B, at 11:00 AM – refreshments provided.

For more information on Dr. Robert Ricklefs check out his website:http://www.umsl.edu/~ricklefsr/

Call for Submissions: Auctus, the Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship at VCU!

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Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity is student-run and peer-reviewed. Auctus accepts submissions from VCU undergraduates in all disciplines. The journal welcomes submissions of research articles, technical papers, expository articles and works of creative scholarship including visual art, music, creative writing, film and multi-media projects.

Who Can Submit?

Undergraduate students enrolled at Virginia Commonwealth University may submit toAuctus. Graduates may submit research up to two years after graduation as long as the research was conducted as an undergraduate while attending VCU.

What Can I Submit?

Auctus accepts submissions from all disciplines. The editors of Auctus encourage submissions of both original work as well as reprints, if permitted by the original publisher. In the case of reprints, please provide us with the original publication information so that we may provide appropriate credit.

Multiple submissions are welcome, but only one submission per author will be published each semester. Simultaneous submissions with other publications are also accepted. Accepted authors grant the journal one-time electronic serial publishing rights. Authors retain all copyright.

Auctus evaluates research using VCU’s definition of undergraduate research.If you are unsure whether your submission fulfills these guidelines, please contact auctus@vcu.edu.

Guidelines for Humanities, Social Sciences, and STEM Submissions:

  • Research that engages local, regional or international communities is encouraged within all three topic disciplines.
  • Humanities topics include (but are not limited to) history, linguistics, languages, literature, philosophy, ethics, logic, mass communications and religion.
  • Social science topics include (but are not limited to) anthropology, archaeology, cultural and ethnic studies, economics, education, gender/sexuality, geography, political science, policy, business, psychology and sociology.
  • STEM topics include (but are not limited to) astronomy, earth sciences, chemistry, physics, computer sciences, mathematics, technology, engineering, environmental science and health care.

Guidelines for Creative Submissions:

  • Works that engage local, regional, or international communities are encouraged.
  • Works that combine media or genres are encouraged.
  • A single submission may contain one piece or a series of pieces that are interconnected.
  • Creative submissions should be accompanied by an artist statement.
  • Visual and performing arts include (but are not limited to) music compositions, dance performance documentations, fashion design, sculpture, photography, paintings, prints, illustrations, crafts, graphic arts, film and kinetic imagery.
  • Literary arts include (but are not limited to) literary fiction, non-fiction and poetry that experiments with the form and function of the genre or, in other ways, investigates the creative process.

Visit Auctus and submit your work at http://www.auctus.vcu.edu/

Undergraduate researchers present research findings on a national stage

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Friday, Jan. 16, 2015

In early November 2014, at a prestigious national research conference, Virginia Commonwealth University junior Michael Kiflezghi presented his research into the molecular biology of aging. Kiflezghi’s appearance is just one of the latest in a string of accolades earned by VCU students taking part in a pair of programs that support aspiring scientists from underrepresented groups.

“My primary research interest is the molecular biology of how we age. What’s going on at the cellular and molecular level that leads to aging? More specifically, I’m interested in the effect of dietary control like caloric restriction on aging and the gut microbiome’s role,” said Kiflezghi, who presented his paper, “Microfluidic Devices for the Study of Dietary Influences on Life History Traits in Caenorhabditis elegans,” at the Gerontological Society of America’s 67th Annual Scientific Meeting in Washington, D.C.

“In laymen’s terms, I was developing microenvironments made of a special breathable plastic and glass that would allow for very in-depth studies on the nematode C. elegans — think microscopic worm,” said Kiflezghi, who is pursuing a dual degree in information systems at the School of Businessand bioinformatics in VCU Life Sciences.

Kiflezghi is among a group of VCU students participating in National Institutes of Health-funded undergraduate research training programs at VCU that support students who are historically underrepresented in the biomedical sciences.

The research training programs, which are part of the VCU Center on Health Disparities, are theInitiative for Maximizing Student Diversity Scholars Program and Minority Access to Research Careers.

As part of the IMSD program, participants have the opportunity to work with faculty mentors who are leaders in the fields of neuroscience, cancer biology, metabolic diseases, allergy and immunology, microbial pathogenesis, drug addiction or abuse, molecular genetics and more. The scholars, who are admitted as early as the end of their freshman year, also enroll in a series of courses and workshops on biomedical science, preparing for the Graduate Record Examination and career development.

The MARC program specifically targets academically talented VCU juniors and seniors from underrepresented groups who are interested in biomedical research careers. Each participant is paired with a faculty mentor, works in research laboratories and attends courses and workshops that prepare them for research careers.

Both programs provide the scholars with the chance to conduct research and present their findings at local, regional and national research meetings.

This fall, Kiflezghi was one of three scholars who presented their work at national research conferences.

“It’s very rare for undergrads to present their work at national discipline-specific meetings,” said Sarah Golding, Ph.D., an instructor in the Department of Biology in the College of Humanities and Sciences, and associate director of undergraduate research training for the Center on Health Disparities. “I’ve been involved in this research training program for four years now. This is the first time we’ve had three. Last year, two people presented. And the year before that, there was one person. It’s been a snowballing effect.”

Brittany Martinez, a senior biomedical engineering student in the School of Engineering, presented her research at the national Annual Meeting of the American Biomedical Engineering Society in San Antonio, Texas, in October.

“It was the most humbling experience in my research career,” she said. “I absorbed so much knowledge, and I came back and created new experiments to try just based on what I heard at the conference. I truly got the experience of a lifetime.”

The best part of the conference, Martinez said, was when a third-year Ph.D. student from Clemson University told her that her poster was the highlight of the conference.

“She told me that I had made an impact on her view of her own experiments that she would go back and try to incorporate my reasoning into her design,” she said. “I had never been given such a compliment about my science before. I knew I was there to learn from other researchers, but I never thought someone would learn something from mine.”

Read the rest of this story at the VCU News site: https://news.vcu.edu/article/Undergraduate_researchers_present_research_findings_on_a_national

Call for Abstracts: VCU Poster Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creativity!

Organized by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and part of VCU Student Research Week, the annual Undergraduate Poster Symposium is a wonderful opportunity for students to present their research endeavors to their academic peers, members of the VCU faculty, community members, and friends and family.  All undergrads from every discipline are encouraged to present and attend.  Presentations may be for completed research projects, completed papers, or research in progress.

Projects involving creative work such as prose or poetry, performances, and artwork will be considered for acceptance if they are part of a scholarly project undertaken by the student.  We are currently accepting poster abstracts up until the deadline of March 18th, 2015.  All abstracts should be submitted to http://go.vcu.edu/uroppostersubmit

After students are notified of their acceptance, we will accept electronic file submission of their posters until the deadline of April 5th.   Note: We hold poster workshops Jan. – Mar. and we are now able to print research posters free of cost to our students!

Abstracts should include: Name/Major of student, Name/Dept. of Faculty Mentor, Title of research Project, Brief description of research project.  All inquiries to hhill@vcu.edu

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Undergraduate Research Positions with the Virginia Institute of Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics

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Description of the research:

The goal of this study is to learn more about genetic and environmental factors that could influence the likelihood of someone developing an anxiety/mood disorder.  To help accomplish this, we are inviting parents and their twins, ages 9 to 13 years old, to participate in this study.

Description of Duties:

The research assistant would have a great deal of involvement in the day to day details of running a research study. Responsibilities may include the following:

  • Extensive participant interaction (administering an IQ test, collecting DNA samples, presenting behavioral and computer tasks)
  • Working with psychophysiological software and equipment (BIOPAC and E-Prime)
  • Early data monitoring/quality control

If the student matches well with this project, there is potential for publishing opportunities for posters and papers.

Required hours/week: 10 hours/week

Eligibility requirements:

  • GPA of 3.0 or higher required

  • Candidates must demonstrate an ability to learn quickly, work diligently, and interact in a professional and personable manner

The application can be found by visiting this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1itaXAnzIkgNX4X1Nkcclite8JktpXQE-oOCl_9c9DzU/pub.

If interested, please complete this form and email it as an attachment to the study coordinator at dcarney@vcu.edu.

 

2015 Summer Fellowships for Undergraduate Research at VCU!

It is time again to announce our funded fellowship opportunities for undergraduates interested in conducting research during the summer of 2015!  In addition to the UROP Fellowship and our fellowships funded by the Center for Clinical and Translational Research, the Division of Community Engagement, the Global Education Office, we are very pleased to offer a new fellowship funded by the Division for Inclusive Excellence!  As always, many thanks to these units for their support!  Below you will find a brief description for each fellowship opportunity with a link to the full description.  Deadline for proposals is March 1st, 2015.  Feel free to direct any questions to Herb Hill at hhill@vcu.edu

geoGlobal Education Undergraduate Research Fellowships

The Global Education Office will fund three unique undergraduate fellowship awards for research projects, mentored by VCU faculty. Research proposals should show evidence of significant engagement with a culture originating from outside of the US that is different from the applicant’s native culture. Successful proposals should exhibit how the project will increase the student researcher’s knowledge, skills and experience to demonstrate successfully functioning across a variety of borders, such as national, linguistic, cultural, religious, and/or others. Each fellowship award includes $1500 in funding for the student and $500 for the faculty mentor.  For details and to apply visit: http://research.vcu.edu/ugresources/geo_fellowship.htm

cctrUndergraduate Fellowships for Clinical and Translational Research

The VCU Center for Clinical and Translational Research will fund one undergraduate research fellowship award for a clinical translational research project focused on human health and mentored by a VCU faculty member. A clinical translational research project is one that aims to translate scientific discoveries into improved human health and wellness. Successful proposals must discuss how the project will increase the student researcher’s knowledge, skills and experience while simultaneously attempting to advance human health through clinical research. Each fellowship award includes $1500 in funding for the student and $500 for the faculty mentor.  For details and to apply visit: http://research.vcu.edu/ugresources/cctr_urop_fellowship.htm

DCEUndergraduate Fellowships for Community Engaged and Translational Research

The Division of Community Engagement and the Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR) will fund three undergraduate community-engaged research fellowship awards for research projects mentored by VCU faculty and carried out in collaboration with a community partner. Proposals for this fellowship should include a community-engaged research project that creates and disseminates knowledge or creative expression with the goal of contributing to the discipline and strengthening the well-being of the community. At least one of these fellowships will be awarded to a project that focuses on the advancement of human health.  Each fellowship award includes $1500 in funding for the student and $500 for the faculty mentor.  For details and to apply visit: http://research.vcu.edu/ugresources/ce_cctr_fellowship.htm

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Undergraduate Research Fellowship for Inclusive Excellence

The VCU Division for Inclusive Excellence will fund one undergraduate research fellowship award for a faculty-mentored research project focused on “diversity” as it relates to ideas, cultures, backgrounds and experiences. Successful proposals must discuss how the project will increase the student researcher’s knowledge, skills and experience related to the social, economic, political and historical significance of particular differences. This project may investigate diversity through the lens of gender, race/ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, disabilities and/or international issues. Each fellowship award includes $1500 in funding for the student and $500 for the faculty mentor.  For details and to apply : http://research.vcu.edu/ugresources/ie_fellowship.htm

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VCU Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Summer Fellowships

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) will fund a limited number of undergraduate student fellowship awards for projects mentored by VCU faculty. Successful student applicants will receive a cash stipend of $1,500 and $500 for the faculty mentor.  Applicants must submit an online application no later than March 1st, 2014 for review.  For details and to apply visit: http://research.vcu.edu/ugresources/fellowship-instructions.htm