Promoting undergraduate research is an important goal at the Shenango campus. The central aim of this program is to support student research by encouraging faculty members to design undergraduate research projects. Most proposals are envisioned as extensions of a faculty member's Research or Professional Development Grant (RDG or PDG) work, but separate student projects also may be proposed by the faculty member. Students receiving an undergraduate research stipend must be supervised and evaluated by the faculty member who submits the proposal.
The Director of Academic Affairs (DAA) invites proposals from faculty members for undergraduate student research projects. Any expenses expected as a consequence of using a student in a research project, such as materials or student attendance at a conference, should be included in an RDG or PDG proposal. Funds for the student stipends are awarded in addition to any funds received in a RDG or a PDG. Funds are obtained as a match from the Shenango Campus, University College, and the Dean for Undergraduate Research Education.
All full-time Shenango faculty members are invited to submit a proposal for an undergraduate student research stipend. Students receiving the awards must be full-time Penn State students in good standing.
Proposals for undergraduate research stipends should:
1) Be bona fide student research projects that lead to a product, e.g., a paper, poster, or conference presentation.
These should be manageable and challenging student projects that, with supervision, can be completed by a student and result in a product. Stipend recipients should not be used simply as a source of student labor where a student is not challenged academically. For example, stipends will not be awarded solely for duties such as collecting or tabulating data, filing papers, or other routine tasks.
2) Be worthy of academic credit.
Faculty are urged to arrange undergraduate research credit for the students completing the projects. This provides not only an incentive for the student, but also rewards those who invest their time and perform well on these projects.
Faculty members should complete the one-page on-line "Application for Undergraduate Research Stipend.” The proposal may be submitted as part of a RDG or PDG proposal OR as a stand alone proposal. All proposals will be evaluated by a committee and recommendations provided for the DAA for the funding decisions. All proposals are due January 30 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the conclusion of the project, faculty members are expected to provide a brief report (one page maximum) of project activities to the DAA. This report may be submitted by email.
Project money should be expended by the end of the fiscal year (June 30). However, short-term extensions may be granted with the approval of the DAA. A request for an extension may be made by sending an email message to the DAA. A brief explanation of the reason for the extension must be provided.