Category Archives: Undergraduate Research

VAS 2018 Fall Undergraduate Research Meeting

2018 Fall Undergraduate Research Meeting 
Saturday, November 3, 2018  
Ferrum College  
9 am – ~5 pm

Deadline for electronic submission of 2018 Undergraduate Research Grant Applications is October 1, 2018.

The VAS Fall Undergraduate Research Meeting is a research grant proposal competition, which has been held annually since the Fall of 2001.  In order to participate in this meeting, undergraduate students, in conjunction with their faculty mentors, are required to:

(1)   Prepare and submit an Undergraduate Research Grant Application by the October 1 deadline.

(2)   Develop posters outlining the proposed research (following the criteria of the Fall Meeting Poster Guidelines) and present their posters at the Fall Undergraduate Research Meeting on November 3.

NOTE:  Both the Research Grant Applications and the Poster Presentations will be evaluated to determine the recipients of the research grants.

Nine Undergraduate Research Grant Awards of $750 each will be awarded to selected recipients at the end of this meeting.  The grant award recipients will also be awarded student membership in the Virginia Academy of Science for 2019 and will be expected to present the results of their research at the 2019 VAS Annual Meeting in May at Old Dominion University.

Please note that it is the intention of VAS to distribute the Undergraduate Research Grant Awards by institution, discipline, and faculty mentors.

Meeting Participation Procedures

  1. Each grant application must include one or more undergraduate students and one or more faculty mentors.
  • Student applicants must be undergraduates enrolled in 2- or 4-year colleges or universities in Virginia.

Student applicants do not need to be members of the Virginia Academy of Science.

o     Faculty mentors must be faculty members affiliated with 2- or 4-year colleges or universities in Virginia.

Faculty mentors must be members in good standing (i.e., paid dues for 2018) of the Virginia Academy of Science by the October 1 grant application submission deadline.  Current VAS membership status can be confirmed by contacting the VAS Associate Executive Officer at vasoffice@vacadsci.org.

If needed, the VAS Individual Membership Form is available on the VAS website via the link below.

http://vacadsci.org/vas-membership/join-and-become-a-member/individual-membership-form/

  1. The Undergraduate Research Grant Application should be downloaded from the VAS website and completed by the student applicant(s) in consultation with their faculty mentor(s).

The major component of the application is the Project Description whichmust be limited to no more than 3 single-spaced pages of text (10-12 point font) and must include all components listed below.

o   Project Summary (25-50 words) for inclusion in the Fall Meeting Program and possibly in Virginia Scientists and/or Virginia Journal of Science

o   Clear statement of Purpose or Objectives of research

o   Rationale of proposed approach

o   Clearly stated Research Plan with procedure(s) described in enough detail to allow assessment of research plan

A limited number of graphs, tables, and/or illustrations may be included if essential; these will not count in the 3 page limit.

o   Clear description of the Significance of the research to your specialty

o   Relevant Literature (3 to 5 key references only)

NOTE:  The Undergraduate Research Application for 2018 is now available on the VAS website (via Meetings > Fall Undergraduate Research Meeting > Fall Undergraduate Research Grant Application).

  1. Completed Undergraduate Research Grant Application must be emailed to Gary Isaacs(gdisaacs@liberty.edu)
  • The completed application (in MS Word docx or doc format) must be attached to a single email message
  • The following information must be included in the email subject line:  Last Name(s) of Student Applicant(s) – VAS UG Research Grant Application

The deadline for student applicants to submit the grant application is Monday, October 1, 2018 (by midnight).

  1. Student applicants must register for and attend the 2018 VAS Fall Undergraduate Research Meeting on Saturday November 3, 2018 at Ferrum College and present posters outlining their proposed research projects(following the criteria of the Fall Meeting Poster Guidelines).

If needed, driving directions to Ferrum College are available on the Ferrum College website via the link below.

http://www.ferrum.edu/about/campus-map-and-directions/

  1. Faculty mentors are strongly encouraged to accompany their students to the 2018 VAS Fall Undergraduate Research Meeting on Saturday November 3, 2018 at Ferrum College. 

If needed, driving directions to Ferrum College are available on the Ferrum College website via the link above.

  1.  ALL 2018 Fall Undergraduate Research Meeting attendees(i.e., student applicants, faculty mentors, judges, guests) must register for the meeting ($15 registration fee). 

      NOTE:  Registration information will be available on the VAS website at a later date.

      The deadline for registering for the 2018 VAS Fall Undergraduate Research Meeting is Friday October 12, 2018.

VCU Bug Lab Internship

Like Bugs?

Want lab experience?

The “VCU Bug Lab” is looking for a few new research
interns (unpaid) to assist with insect rearing and field
collecting this summer and fall. Applicants must be
reliable and cooperative, and available at least 8-10 hrs a
week, especially on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

For more information stop by the Bug Lab (033 LSB; enter
through 029 LSB) or contact Dr. Karen Kester:
kmkester@vcu.edu

Plant Disease Ecology Field Assistants

The Mitchell lab at UNC-CH is seeking two full-time field assistants to help conduct research in plant disease ecology in the summer and fall of 2018. Assistants will work on a grant-funded project examining the role of the plant microbiome in pathogen transmission. Most work will be done in the field, but the position will also include work in the lab. Work will include collecting data and plant samples in the field, processing plant samples for lab assays, and culturing fungal pathogens from infected plant material.

Required Qualifications:
a) A valid driver’s license and personal mode of transportation to an off-campus field site
b) Willingness and ability to work early mornings and outdoors in summer heat, inclement weather, and around insects.
c) Ability to work well independently and with a team, pay attention to detail, and maintain exceptional communication skills

Preferred Qualifications:
a) Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
b) Experience conducting field research in ecology
c) Experience with biological laboratory procedures such as pipetting and culturing

Special Physical and Mental Requirements (ADA considerations):
Capacity and willingness to conduct outdoor field work during the daytime hours of summer. Field work will involve long periods of time spent positioning to observe vegetation and will be performed in all weather conditions that do not pose a danger to persons.

Hourly rate: $12.20/hr – Housing not provided.

Start Date: First assistant hired May 14th, second assistant hired June 14th.

Job Duration: 5 – 6 months.

To apply for this position, please visit http://unc.peopleadmin.com/postings/137278 and be prepared to provide a one-page cover letter, a resume, and contact information for two people who can serve as references.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.

Summer 2018 Research Technician

Seeking temporary research technician to assist with field survey and status assessment of the aquatic macrophyte Nuphar sagittifolia in eastern North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia from May 21-Early August 2018. Position will be approximately 20 hours/week, $10/hr, based at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. Duties will be split between field and office work. The goals of the project are 1) To clarify the taxonomic identity of Nuphar populations 2)To assess population genetics of N. sagittifolia populations 3) To document the location, size and status of N. sagittifolia populations to inform conservation decisions.

Responsibilities:
Bridge and kayak surveys for N. sagittifolia populations range-wide,
Collect photographs, leaf tissue for DNA extraction, and voucher
specimens, Data management (photographs, GPS points, field data)
Morphology measurements

Qualifications:
Required: At least two college-level courses in related field (botany,
ecology, forestry, plant systematics, natural resources etc.)
Preferred: Strong interest in botany and conservation biology
Comfort with kayaking (kayak can be provided)
Proficiency in data entry and management
Ability to work independently after training
Ability to accommodate a flexible schedule
Applicants must have a vehicle for surveys (gas costs reimbursed)

Start Date: May 21, 2018
Approximate End Date: Early August 2018. Hours per week may vary due to field conditions or project needs. Position is funded for approximately 11 weeks at 20 hours per week.
Hourly Wage: $10

To Apply:
Submit application, including resume and cover letter, at:
https://jobs.ncsu.edu/postings/98635. Review of applications will begin April 3; position will remain posted until filled.

Contact Katherine Culatta: keculatt@ncsu.edu with questions

Coastal Climate Change in Patagonia: New SFS Program

SFS is excited to announce the launch of a new program in Patagonia for Fall 2019!

S F S New Program: PatagoniaThe SFS Center for Climate Studies will be based in the iconic Patagonia region of southern Chile and will offer a Coastal Climate Change in Patagonia program during the fall and spring semesters. SFS students will take field excursions to some of the world’s most massive glaciers, visit the renowned Torres del Paine National Park, explore the rich biodiversity of the Straight of Magellan and fjords, glimpse the gaucho and baqueano way of life, as well as visit neighboring Argentina. There is no shortage of stunning landscapes and environmental challenges to examine in this one of a kind region.

This program will follow the SFS model offering 4 core courses plus the Directed Research course, totaling 18 credit hours.

  • Language, Culture, and Society of Chile (2 credits)
  • Patagonian Ecology (4 credits)
  • Earth Systems and Climate Science (4 credits)
  • Political and Social Dimensions of Conservation (4 credits)
  • Directed Research (4 credits)

SFS will begin accepting applications for this program this coming fall. More information about this new program will be added to the SFS website this summer. Stay tuned!

Patagonia. A stage for true wiled.  Soaring pinnacles clash with rivers of ice, and life persists here in the face of challenging seasonal extremes.  Our research will focus on fragile exo-systems susceptible to climate change, on species found nowhere else on the planet, and on people with a will to live at the end of the world.

REU: Mechanisms of Evolution

The REU Site: Mechanisms of Evolution is accepting applications.

This NSF supported program provides students with an opportunity to perform independent research under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Participants receive a $5,750 stipend ($575 per week), travel subsidy and complimentary housing in a UNLV dormitory.

The program dates are May 30 to Aug 3, 2018.

Please direct your undergraduate associates to the list of mentors and the on-line application at  https://www.unlv.edu/lifesciences/moereu/

The application deadline is Saturday April 7, 2018.

A complete application includes a one-page career essay, transcripts and one letter of recommendation.

Interested students may moereu@unlv.edu for additional information.

 

Summer Field Assistant at Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory

Field assistant for summer 2018

Overview: Two research groups at Duke University are seeking a shared research assistant for fieldwork in plant and insect ecology and evolution. This is a unique experience for students enthusiastic about plant ecology to gain experience working on two different projects in one summer! The projects are non-overlapping in time; there is opportunity for leisure time between project dates, or if the technician desires to stay at the field station for the duration of the summer, start dates for project 2 are flexible.

Location: Our research is conducted at and around the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, located in southwestern Colorado
(www.rmbl.org). We will provide all transportation to and from the
field station and from the station to research sites.

Dates:  June 18-June 29 (project 1) and July 16-August 10 (project 2; somewhat flexible) 2018

For a PDF version of the project descriptions, please visit:
http://bit.ly/RMBLfield18

Project 1 Summary: The time of the year when a plant begins to grow, produces flowers, and loses its leaves is important for successful reproduction, survival, and potentially future growth. Plants rely on environmental cues, such as temperature and the amount of sunlight, to time these life cycle events. Therefore, the time when a plant begins to flower can be very sensitive to climate change. For example, snow has been melting earlier in the season in sub alpine regions than the recent past as a result of warming temperatures. Since the time of flowering for some plants occurs
shortly after snow melt, they track these warm temperatures and emerge or flower earlier in the season. Interestingly, not all plants respond similarly to the same environmental signals; some flowering species do not flower any earlier. As each plant species responds differently to earlier snow melt, species that didn’t flower together in the past have the potential to overlap now. If plant species grow and flower at the same time, they could compete for resources (water, nutrients, soil). Our research examines the link between climate change, the timing of life cycle events in plants, and how they compete for resources. We propose to manipulate flowering phenology of plants in resource competition experiment. We will
observe how competition for soil and light resources between two
co-flowering species changes under early snow melt conditions. The results from this research have the potential to help us predict how climate change may affect species interactions in the future. For more information, visit:
http://rebeccadalt.weebly.com/research-projects.html

Project 2 Summary: In the Mitchell-Olds lab at Duke University
(https://sites.duke.edu/tmolab/), we study plant evolution, ecology, and genetics. We are broadly interested in understanding how the diverse traits present in natural plant populations have arisen via natural selection, and what the consequences of trait variation are for ecological interactions. Much of our research is centered around understanding how chemical anti-herbivore defenses have evolved in the wildflower species Boechera stricta. We have ongoing experiments monitoring how interacting selective pressures of herbivore consumption and drought stress influence the
evolution of defensive chemicals, and for discovering the genetic basis of plant chemistry as well as other complex traits (e.g. flowering time, mutualistic plant-insect associations, plant architecture, fitness). Our technician would help with data collection and experimental maintenance on both of these projects (see “Expectations” below).

Expectations: The field assistant will be asked to aid in data collection, entry, and analysis for both projects. This includes assisting in demographic data collection on perennial plants, assessing phenology of plants in pre-existing plots (project 1) and measuring plant survival, growth, flowering, reproduction, and herbivore damage, as well as taking environmental measurements such as soil moisture (project 2). Fieldwork can be strenuous and often involves long days in the sun and hiking. Applicants with previous experience doing fieldwork are encouraged to apply, but no prior experience is required and we will happily train first-timers with a strong interest in ecology.

In addition to helping with fieldwork five days per week, the technician will be expected to be an active participant in the research community, which includes attending weekly seminars at RMBL, attending in a weekly lab meeting, and participating in discussions about scientific articles and ongoing research projects in the lab.

Compensation: This is an unpaid position, although housing and travel expenses will be provided. Transportation from RMBL to all field sites will be provided (car or hiking).  The technician will be required to pay for their own food expenses, but all other costs (housing and station fees) will be covered.

Application: Please send a short cover letter and resume to both Rebecca Dalton (rmd34@duke.edu) and Lauren Carley (lnc14@duke.edu) by March 20, 2018.

Spit for Science recruiting undergrad research assistants for Fall 2018

Spit4Science is now accepting applications for the Fall 2018 undergraduate research team. I wondered if you all might be willing to spread the word about this opportunity? I’m attaching our informational flyer that also contains a link to the application.

WHAT IS SPIT4SCIENCE?
VCU-wide research project
Goal: understand how genetic and environmental factors
come together to influence a variety of health-related outcomes
in the VCU undergraduate population
www.spit4science.vcu.edu

WHY BE INVOLVED?
Be involved in recruitment, marketing, data collection and
analysis, and other research activities
Work in teams to develop research questions and analyze
Spit for Science data
Meet different faculty involved in the project

CLASS DETAILS
Application only
Three credits
A-F grading system
Students from all class levels and majors are
encouraged to apply

Questions? Please contact
adkinsae@vcu.edu.

Apply via https://redcap.vcu.edu/surveys/?s=F8NWWPA9W7 

Applications due by Monday, March 26 at 5:00 PM.

S4Sflyer_Fall18

VCU Post Baccalaurette Research Education Program (PREP)

The VCU Post-Baccalaureate Research Training Program (PREP) is a one-year biomedical research training program for recent college graduates from underrepresented groups considering graduate-level training in the biomedical sciences.  The program provides scholars with a year-long paid mentored research experience and the opportunity to develop technical and critical-thinking skills.  PREP scholars have the opportunity to take graduate-level courses and a GRE preparation course, as well as receive formal advice on the selection of graduate programs, preparation of graduate school applications, and preparation for graduate school interviews.

Eligible applicants must have graduated prior to program start on July 1. Students must be interested in pursuing a PhD .  Applicants must have graduated within 3 years of program start. Applicants must be US Citizens, permanent residents or non-citizen nationals with proof of citizenship status.

We Offer:

  • Mentored Research Experience
  • Formal advice on graduate applications
  • Salary of $27,000
  • Opportunity to present at National Scientific Conference

Application opens November 15, 2017-March 15, 2018

Apply online at: https://artes.som.vcu.edu

For more information contact:
Virginia Commonwealth University
Center On Health Disparities
P.O. Box 980501
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0501
cohdtraining@vcuhealth.org

PREP flyer_2017-2018

2018 Call for Applications for VCU IMSD undergraduate research training program

Calling future Scientists!
Are you passionate about science, ready to immerse yourself in research, looking for a community of like-minded peers, craving career development opportunities and interested in pursuing graduate education?
The Center on Health Disparities is excited to request applications for:
The VCU Initiative to Maximize Student Development (IMSD) undergraduate research training program.
We are looking to recruit 10 eager young biomedical or behavioral researchers from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the biomedical sciences who are excited to engage in a research intensive curriculum and a long term biomedical or behavioral research experience.
More details about what the program has to offer can be found below.
The deadline for applications is: March 16th 2018
EXTENDED MARCH 30th 2018
Prospective students can apply online here:
If you have any further questions about the program please contact myself
Dr. Sarah Golding, Director of the VCU Undergraduate IMSD program
For questions regarding the application process please contact.
Ms Khiana Meade
IMSD Program Coordinator
We look forward to reviewing your applications!

The VCU Initiative for Maximizing Student Development undergraduate program (IMSD-ugrad) provides research training in the Biomedical and Behavioral sciences for individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in biomedical research.  IMSD is designed to prepare students to apply for PhD programs in the Biomedical or Behavioral Sciences. IMSD Scholars are typically admitted as rising sophomores or juniors and are involved in program activities through graduation. The program provides:

¨ Lab Skills “bootcamp”
¨ Up to 2 Full years of Mentored  Research!
      – 2 x 10 week (40 hr per week)  Summer Research Fellowships
      – 12 hr per week Semester Mentored Research
¨ Opportunity to travel to and present at a national scientific conference
¨ GRE preparation
¨ Career development counseling
¨ Community of like-minded peers
¨ Local and National Networking

 Program Specifics:
The VCU Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) research training program is hosted by the Center on Health Disparities (CoHD), VCU School of Medicine. IMSD is part of a federal initiative to increase the diversity of the future biomedical and behavioral workforce. Funding for this program comes from National Institute of General Medicine IMSD program www.nigms.nih.gov/Training/IMSD

Applications for 2018 are open now and close on March 16th 2018. Apply online: https://artes.som.vcu.edu

Successful applicants must have a strong desire to pursue a PhD in the Biomedical or Behavioral Sciences. Applicants must have at minimum 3 remaining semesters at VCU but are encouraged to apply as early as their freshman year. A GPA over 2.8 in major is preferred. Eligible applicants must be current full-time VCU undergraduate students, and must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or non-citizen nationals. Proof of citizenship status or resident status will be required. Applicants can be from any Science major (eg. BIOL, BNFO, BME, CHEM, CLSE, PSYCH).

Successful applications will be expected to participate in a 1 week “Molecular lab skills bootcamp” from May 14th-18th to prepare them for their laboratory experiences.  Students will receive help with securing a research mentor but are encouraged to start this process before being admitted (this will be seen as a positive!).

There are 4 key elements to our training program:
Intensive summer research program – IMSD scholars must dedicate 40 hours a week for 10 weeks (May 29th – Aug 3rd) in the summer to research. During the summer program scholars participate in an array of enrichment activities such as; seminars (on careers, research, graduate school), Discussions with professors, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows, and other research themed topics. Students must participate in the CoHD GRE preparation course.(offered in July). We provide a small amount of financial support for the IMSD summer research program. Scholars must arrange and pay for their own housing during this time. Scholars can participate in 2 consecutive summers of research via the IMSD program.

A llong-termmentored research experience – After the initial summer in a research lab, IMSD Scholars are expected to dedicate 10-12 hours of time to research during the semester in addition to their academic commitments.  We provide a small amount of financial support for this experience.

Research intensive curriculum – IMSD scholars will receive specialized advising to help  select research based

classes during your normal academic schedule to compliment the training we provide. We will help you select these within your specific discipline but strongly recommend BIOL392 Introduction to Research, and an honors thesis if possible.

Mentorship and Community – IMSD undergraduate is one of 4 research training programs in the CoHD family. We aim to act as mentors to your future, to help provide the additional support you need to make your dreams become reality. We hope to introduce you to a community of likeminded peers with whom you can form a network. We anticipate the friends and connections you make through IMSD and other CoHD research training programs will last a lifetime. In order to achieve this we require you to attend an array of enrichment activities offered via our research training colloquium (~3 hours a month). These meetings are typically 3-5 pm of Friday afternoons; we request that you schedule your classes/work around this time to maximize your ability to participate. Scholars are required to attend 75% of IMSD events.

We look forward to receiving your applications! Please email cohdtraining@vcuhealth.org with any questions.

IMSD Undergrad FLYER 2018 FINAL