The Student Undergraduate Research Fund program is in its second year of providing money through grants to undergraduate research. The program provides funds for student research projects in various fields of study and creates a means through which students can gain experience in writing research proposals.
The program awards up to $1,000 of research funding to undergraduate students based on competitive applications. Undergraduates may apply for funding by Oct. 23 by submitting their research grant proposals online.
Heather Galloway, dean of the Honors College, said the college has received a wide variety of research applications for funding from science and engineering to fine arts students. Any enrolled undergraduate is eligible to apply.
The program is sponsored by the Mind Science Foundation, the Honors Thesis Fund, Freeman Ranch Research Fund, Tri-M Foundation and AVP General Research Fund. Additional funds come from the College of Science, College of Health Professions and College of Education.
“It’s a bunch of different small sources that we’ve put together,” Galloway said. “But students can just make one application.”
Galloway said it is common in the academic world to have to write grant proposals, as well as in the non-profit sector, government jobs and fine arts careers. It is a good learning experience for students to attempt to write a grant proposal, present ideas clearly and follow specific
Program adviser John Hood and grant writer Zachary Christman gave a presentation entitled “Write to Win: Introduction to Grant Writing” Sept. 21 at a workshop held for interested students. Christman explained the general process of grant writing and Hood explained specific requirements during the presentation.
Christman talked to applicants in detail about the different sections of grant proposals and imparted knowledge referring back to his personal experience in grant writing.
Christman, a Texas State alumnus, said after graduation he worked with a grant writer and is now a development specialist creating online training modules. He was on the program reviewing panel last year, and said the spectrum of interests and skills of student applicants was “fascinating.”
Hood was his thesis mentor and asked him to do a presentation on grant writing this year.
Application review panels are comprised of two students and two faculty members, with an additional faculty member usually acting as the chair of the panel. Each panel is anticipated to review between 12 and 16 grant applications using a standardized rubric, according to the handout provided at the presentation.
“This is how the university grows, with both alumni and students working together,” Christman said. “If anything, strengthening those connections is the way to make sure Texas State continues to be the rising star of Texas.”
Megan Edge, communication disorders senior, said a friend applied for and was granted funding last year, which made her want to apply. Edge’s research will observe the level of knowledge pediatricians have in diagnosing developmental disabilities.
Hood said the most important thing to realize is a successful research project is one of the most important aspects of getting into graduate schools or a research-oriented job.
“We want every kind of research possible so that our students are not, as they are now, attending an emerging research institution,” Hood said. “Our goal is to become a bonafide research intuition, which is a designation that the university, the president and the provost are taking very seriously.”