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Undergraduate Research and Creative Projects Call for Proposals

The College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) has a long history of immersing students in transformational learning experiences in our research programs, as well as our classrooms. In alignment with the second goal of the university’s 2008-2013 strategic plan (i.e. ‘Provide a premier education and transformative experience that prepares students to excel in a global society’) the Office of Academic Programs and the Agricultural Research Center will continue efforts to support undergraduate research experiences in CAHNRS programs. Last year, we supported 21 undergraduate projects, which were highlighted at an outstanding poster session prior to the CAHNRS Awards Banquet. This year, we are dedicating $50,000 to the competitive CAHNRS Undergraduate Research and Creative Projects program for the 2011-12 academic year.

Our intention is to support undergraduate research efforts for students involved in projects in programs in every department in the college. To that end, three strategies for supporting undergraduate research/creative projects were developed:

  1. Each CAHNRS department and program will receive guaranteed support for the two best undergraduate research or creative projects submitted by students associated with their department or program. If students from a department or program submit only one project proposal, the resources dedicated to support the second project will be redirected to the competitive proposal fund. Students do not have to be located on the Pullman campus to participate. Travel funds to attend the poster fair must be included in the proposal if needed.
  2. Ten or more additional undergraduate research or creative projects will be funded based on ranking results of a competitive proposal review process so that a maximum of 40 projects will be selected.
  3. No more than two proposals per mentor will be funded to better distribute resources among researchers within departments/programs.

We highly encourage all students pursuing a major or minor in any academic program in CAHNRS to submit a proposal for consideration.

Guidelines for project consideration:

  1. The intention of this program is to enable students to conduct creative and/or research projects that complement traditional classroom activities, and support them in translating what is learned in the classroom to reality. Although all students are encouraged to apply, this program is especially well suited for juniors and seniors who intend to pursue graduate studies. By working with a faculty advisor on a research/creative project, students will gain invaluable experience that will support their professional development.
  2. Students must be pursuing a major or minor in a CAHNRS program and must identify a CAHNRS faculty member to serve as an advisor for the project. The faculty advisor is expected to be involved in planning, monitoring progress, and supervising the project.
  3. The funding request maximum is $1,250 per proposal. Proposals with budget requests that exceed $1,250 will not be considered. Projects for which matching funds are available will receive priority consideration. Supplemental funding sources (i.e. extramural research grants or gift accounts) should be identified in the budget section of the proposal. A single proposal that involves contributions from multiple students is acceptable.
  4. Students are encouraged to enroll in a special problems course (495, 499, etc.) with the appropriate number of credits required to acknowledge time contributions to the project as determined by the student and their faculty advisor. Please note that if the student’s credit hour load exceeds 18 per semester, the student will incur additional credit fees. We discourage students from exceeding the 18-credit load limit per semester.
  5. Students who receive funding will be expected to develop a project poster for the CAHNRS Undergraduate Research & Creative Projects Poster Fair on April 14, 2012 in the Vogel Plant Biosciences Building. Please acknowledge CAHNRS and the ARC on this poster, as well as other on other posters or products generated from this work.

Awards will be given to the top two posters in the following categories:

  • Applied Agricultural & Natural Resource Sciences
  • Basic Agricultural & Natural Resource Sciences
  • Design Disciplines
  • Human Sciences

Posters and presenters will be judged using the attached rubric.

Presentation of awards will be held in Vogel PBS directly following the Poster Fair.

An 8-foot table will be provided for each display.

Students/mentors are responsible for making arrangements to obtain any other necessary supplies (i.e. poster display boards, tripods).

Proposals should be no more than three pages in length, including the budget and must be submitted in an electronic format to Alanna Ellis (acellis@wsu.edu) by September 16, 2011 to be eligible for funding consideration. The cover form is not included in the page count.

The proposal should contain each of the following sections in the order listed:

  1. Cover Form
    • Does not count in the 3-page limit;
    • See attachment or download from the Academic Programs website:
  2. Title and Personnel Involved
  3. Statement of Problem and Justification
  4. Objectives
  5. Procedure including a time-line
  6. Budget
    1. Expenditures should be itemized.
    2. Funding may be used for operations and/or wages; however, the total request cannot exceed $1,250.
    3. Matching funding should be included, with applicable budget number.
    4. The budget must be spent by June 30, 2012.

Due Date: September 16, 2011

Submit Electronic Copy To: Alanna Ellis, acellis@wsu.edu

Tentative Award Announcement Date: On or before October 1, 2011

Contact Alanna Ellis (509-335-9115, acellis@wsu.edu) if you have any questions.