The University Honors Program never ceases to grow and inspire. The Student Undergraduate Research Fund is simply one instance of this program’s perpetual growth and inspiration.
According to the University Honors Program website, “The S.U.R.F. Grant is a fund created by grants from university and non-university entities to support faculty advised independent undergraduate research by Texas State students.” This is a grant that makes possible sophisticated and interesting research for undergraduates here at Texas State.
The ability for undergraduate students in the Honors Program to write a thesis is an extremely beneficial opportunity for not only the individuals, but for the university as a whole. The S.U.R.F. Grant offers support for students who wish to do in-depth research that requires funding.
A few examples of such research may be a student of biology wishing to do some experimentation on cadavers or a student of social psychology who requires funds to conduct a sophisticated survey. The S.U.R.F. grant lends further legitimacy to these undergraduate projects and gives these students and Texas State by extension a little more prestige.
Writing an undergraduate thesis is extremely beneficial to students, for the primary reason that undergraduate research looks great to graduate schools. The Honors Program recently had a discussion with Joseph Brown, Graduate Diversity Recruiting officer from Stanford University.
Brown discussed some of the most important elements to a strong grad school application and one of them was research experience. Receiving funding through a S.U.R.F. Grant could potentially yield a student a competitive edge when applying to those choosy graduate programs.
Another benefit to conducting undergraduate research and receiving funds is the possibility of getting one’s research published. Having research work published generates a multitude of opportunities that exceed the monetary. Any employer is likely to be intrigued by a potential employee who has interesting research published.
Over all, conducting research is a dose of real world experience that is invaluable to any student regardless of what their post graduation plans may be. The S.U.R.F. Grant is an opportunity for students to further the legitimacy and sophistication of their research.
Moreover, the application process to be considered for the grant is an important experience in itself. This gives students the chance to formally propose an academic idea to an esteemed committee.
Having valuable and sophisticated research done at our institution – especially by undergraduates – lends Texas State a level of prestige and enables us to be competitive with universities around the country.
Writing a thesis or conducting an independent study is not something exclusive to any one group of students or even to the Honors Program. Any student of any discipline who has an exciting academic idea can benefit from the S.U.R.F. Grant and conducting undergraduate research. Being passionate about your field of study is what higher level education is all about. Be passionate: apply for a S.U.R.F. Grant.
— Annie Schultz is an English junior