Several deadlines to apply for undergraduate research opportunities, conferences, and funding are approaching. Virginia Tech students who are interested in taking part in research this spring or summer are encouraged to apply to various programs, some of which offer stipends and/or support to purchase research-related supplies. 

Faculty and staff may encourage promising students to apply to the programs and write letters of recommendation, as needed.

Undergraduate students who have already been involved in research or who will take part soon are encouraged to submit abstracts and applications for undergraduate research conferences. Some of the conferences will take place in Blacksburg, while others will be hosted across the region or country.

“Students in all disciplines will find programs and conferences that fit their research interests,” said Tomalei Vess, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. “My office can assist students and faculty to find the best places to apply.”

Here are several undergraduate research experience programs to which students may apply:

  • The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Creativity and Innovation Grants support undergraduates involved in student-driven projects at each of the ACC member campuses. The grants use proceeds from the ACC Football Championship Game as well as supplemental allocations by individual universities to enhance academic experiences of students. Virginia Tech is offering competitive financial awards of up to $2,000 to support undergraduate research projects or creative works within any of the university’s academic disciplines. Awards will fund projects in the spring or summer of 2013. The application deadline is Nov. 27, 2012.
  • The Fralin Life Science Institute Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) is a 10-week training program designed to give motivated Virginia Tech undergraduates the opportunity to engage in full-time research and related professional development activities that mirror graduate training. Participants receive a $4,000 stipend. Applications are due on Feb. 11, 2013.
  • The Scieneering Program, funded by a prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Grant, builds on Virginia Tech’s strengths in science and engineering by providing students an interdisciplinary learning experience. Participants pursue one of two available minors and complete at least one semester of research. Applications will open on Nov. 26, 2012 and close on March 8, 2013.
  • The National Science Foundation offers hundreds of full-time programs called Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU). Programs span a variety of disciplines in science, technology, engineering, math, and social sciences. Virginia Tech is home to 10 of these programs, two of which are focused in an international setting. Deadlines vary from program to program, but typically are early in the spring semester.
  • The Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers offers preparation for graduate school and research for humanities and social sciences students. Applications for summer 2013 opens in December 2012.

There are a handful of conferences undergraduate students may wish to apply to as well:

  • The 27th National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) takes place April 11-13, 2013, at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. The application deadline is Dec. 4, 2012.
  • Wake Forest University is hosting the eighth annual Atlantic Coast Conference Meeting of the Minds Conference on April 4-6, 2013 in Winston-Salem, N.C. This conference focuses on undergraduate research and creative scholarship at the 12 ACC member schools. Nearly 100 students from ACC schools come together to present their research and creative scholarship at this conference. Each college must nominate two student presenters by Feb. 11, 2013.
  • The Virginia Tech Undergraduate Research Conference will be held on April 19, 2013, and the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skeleton Conference Center. The deadline for applications and abstracts is March 15, 2013. Application and additional information will be posted on the Office of Undergraduate Research website. Students who participate in this conference are eligible to apply for conference travel funds from the Office of Undergraduate Research.
  • The Virginia Tech Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium will be held Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Program organizers or students who would like to participate in this conference should contact Tomalei Vess via email in the Office of Undergraduate Research.  Symposium deadlines and details will be released in the spring 2013.

For more information about undergraduate research at Virginia Tech, including a calendar of events and resources to get involved in and enhance research opportunities, visit the Office of Undergraduate Research website.