College of Science and Engineering open research grants for students

For the first time in two years, university undergrads within the College of Science and Engineering have an opportunity to receive up to $1,500 for research.

After a two-year hiatus, the Science and Engineering Research Center (SERC) will be awarding approximately 30 research grants to students engaged in research with university faculty, Magnus Rittby, associate dean of the College of Science and Engineering (CSE), said.

Rittby said SERC began in 2005 and was funded through a Vision in Action grant. Vision in Action, a university strategic planning initiative, enabled the CSE Dean's office to implement its proposal for the creation and funding of SERC. 

Rittby said SERC funded over 180 undergraduate research projects from 2006-2010. However, 2010 marked the end of the grant period, putting SERC on hold indefinitely.

Phil Hartman, dean of the College of Science and Engineering, said he has seen a substantial increase in the number of undergraduates that wanted to participate in research over the past two years. Because research is costly, Hartman said he was worried that these numbers would decrease without a source of funding available.

“Any sort of research, particularly in our college, is usually a fairly expensive endeavor," Hartman said. "Frankly, I was fearful that we would reverse that trend if we didn’t have a source of funding for at least this next year and hopefully years to follow.”

Hartman said in 2011, representatives from SGA wanted to revive undergraduate research funding in the CSE and approached his office. SERC is currently being funded through the College of Science and Engineering’s budget.

Grants are available to juniors and seniors within the CSE for the academic year, and applications are due Oct. 1, Hartman said. Grant recipients are also required to present a poster describing their research at the College of Science and Engineering Student Research Symposium, which will be take place in April.

To apply or find out more information regarding the SERC undergraduate research grant opportunity, visit