Category Archives: Undergraduate Research

8 x $10,000 Research Fellowships available for summer and year-long research

The VCU IMSD program has 8 x $10,000 Research fellowships available for summer 2019 and academic year 2019-20
We are still accepting applications through April 15th, 2019  
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 7-8 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. We accept students from all STEM Majors (BIOL, BNFO, BME, CHEM, CLSE, HPEX, MATH,  PHYS, PSYC, SCI)
More details about what the program has to offer can be found on the attached flyer.
We are still accepting applications through April 15th, 2019
Prospective students can apply online here:
If you have any further questions about the program please contact me
Assistant Professor 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!

Spit 4 Science Research Assistants Needed: Fall 2019

SEEKING RESEARCH ASSISTANTS FOR FALL 2019!

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
  • 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=XXCT7AEH3M

Applications due by Wednesday, March 27 at 5:00 PM.

Summer undergraduate research: Ecology of James River Rock Pools

The Vonesh lab is recruiting 2-3 undergraduate collaborators to participate in a summer research program focused on the ecology of riverine rock pools. Effort: 20 – 30 hrs per week; Duration: 15 weeks, May 13 – August 19; Living allowance: $300 per wk; $4500 total; Possible travel support for 2019 Ecological Society of America Meetings in Louisville, KY – Aug 12-16.

Rock pools are an ideal system for exploring the ecological processes that shape patterns of biodiversity across space and time. Current projects include understanding how predator-prey interactions determine the abundance of native and invasive mosquito larvae, how flooding disturbance shapes patterns of biodiversity, and how environmental gradients shape ecosystem productivity.

Rockpool interns will be paired with graduate student mentors and will be encouraged to develop related individual research projects and can consider enrolling in an independent study. Interns will receive training in macroinvertebrate identification and field exampling, experimental design, data management and curation, basic GIS, and mapping habitats using imagery captured from drones. Most field work will be conducted on the “dry rocks” on the Southside of Belle Island. Some work may involve using watercraft to access rock pools inaccessible by foot. While interns will be expected to support fieldwork, those with interests in more computational or spatial analysis approaches are also encouraged to apply. This is an excellent opportunity for students interested in careers in ecology, conservation, or natural resource management.

Interns will need to complete the required safety, animal handling, and ethics training. Responsibilities will likely include 1. Conducting surveys of biodiversity of rock pools, 2. Identification, sorting, and counting of aquatic invertebrate samples, 3. Helping identify and add new rock pools to our database and maps, 4. Measuring aquatic organisms using basic image analysis software, 5. assisting in the setup and takedown of large experiments conducted in artificial rock pools, 6. Monitoring rock pool temperature and oxygen, 7. Assisting in outreach education about rock pools, 8. Maintaining lab equipment in proper calibration.

Interested in applying? Fill out the Google Form found
here: https://goo.gl/forms/0xJuRm4YgSvnbQ922

For questions, contact James Vonesh, Ph.D. at
jrvonesh@vcu.edu

2019 Summer Scholars @ Rice

This summer, the Rice Center will host a series of one-week, one-credit short courses (LFSC591 and 491) that will emphasize field skills/experiences in several disciplines. Each class will meet at Rice over 5 consecutive days and will include instructor-directed, as well as independent, lectures, activities and assignments; enrollments will be capped at 12.
  • LFSC 591  Intro to Environmental Consulting (CRN 38792)   JUN 24-28
  • LFSC 591  Intro to Fish Biology Field Methods (CRN 38794)   JUL 22-26
  • LFSC 591  Intro to Plants of the James River Basin (CRN 38793)   JUL 1-5
  • LFSC 591  Intro to Conservation Filmmaking (CRN 38306)    JUL 15-19
  • LFSC 491  Intro to Archeology Field Methods (CRN 38795)   JUL 8-12
The Rice Rivers Center will offer a limited number of competitive 2019 Summer Scholarships to support Undergraduate Research through VCU’s UROP Office. Application information can be found at  http://wp.vcu.edu/vcuurop/2019/02/07/2019riceriversfellowships/. Application deadline is April 12th.
The Rice Rivers Center will again partner with Environmental Studies and Biology to offer a limited number of competitive Graduate Research Scholarships and Fellowships.
Finally, the annual Student Research Symposium @ Rice will be held on Friday, May 10th.

Rice Rivers Center Summer Research Fellowship Program

We are pleased to recommend the Rice Rivers Center Summer Research Fellowship Program, which is in collaboration with the Department of Biology. The application and funding process are nearly identical to the UROP Fellowship, but with a focus on relevant research, innovative instruction, and community engagement in areas including conservation biology, ecological restoration, water resources, and applications of environmental technology. The RRC Summer Scholars Program complements the UROP mission by supporting student research in these broad disciplines. Research located at the Center and environs (Charles City County; James River) is encouraged but not required. For more information on the Center, please visit www.ricerivers.vcu.edu. The full program description and application instructions can be found here:  Rice Rivers Center Summer Fellowship. The deadline for this program is April 12, 2019.

CSBC/PSON Summer Undergraduate Research Program

The National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Systems Biology Consortium & Physical Science Oncology Network’s Summer Research Program application deadline is less than a month away. Undergrads interested in conducting systems biology & physical oncology research at one of our NCI funded research centers this summer can apply here:https://ncifrederick.cancer.gov/SummerProgram/ 

Information Sessions: Applying for Summer Undergraduate Research Programs at VCU

Greetings colleagues, below is the full schedule of information sessions for spring semester.  Feel free to share widely with students and faculty.  You are also welcome to share our blog post with further details here: http://wp.vcu.edu/vcuurop/2019/01/23/infosessionsspring19/
We will post a separate schedule of Research Poster Design Workshops soon!  Many thanks as always,
Herb

1/24/2019 Thu 3:00 PM-4:00 PM MPC | Harris Hall 2129  (All Summer Programs)

1/31/2019 Thu 3:30 PM-4:30 PM MPC | Temple Building 1160  (Applying for Funding for Community-Engaged Research)

2/5/2019 Tue 3:30 PM-4:30 PM MPC | Temple Building 1160 (All Summer Programs)

2/7/2019 Thu 3:30 PM-4:30 PM MPC | Temple Building 1160 (All Summer Programs)

2/11/2019 Mon 4:00 PM-5:00 PM MPC | Hibbs Hall 264 (All Summer Programs)

2/14/2019 Thu 3:30 PM-4:30 PM MPC | Temple Building 1160 (Applying for Funding for Community-Engaged Research)

2/18/2019 Mon 4:00 PM-5:00 PM MPC | Hibbs Hall 264 (All Summer Programs)

2/26/2019 Tue 3:30 PM-4:30 PM MPC | Temple Building 1160 (Applying for Funding for Community-Engaged Research)

2/28/2019 Thu 3:30 PM-4:30 PM MPC | Temple Building 1160 (All Summer Programs)

The Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP) Application is open for the 2019-2020 academic yea

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP) offers competitive academic scholarships for up to $20,000 per academic year to students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to careers biomedical, behavioral, and social science health-related research.  Scholarships are awarded for 1 year, and can be renewed for up to 4 years.  Please visit our website at: https://www.training.nih.gov/programs/ugsp for additional information.

UGSP offers:

Scholarship support

Paid research training at the NIH during the summer and after graduation

Eligibility requirements:

U.S.A. citizen or U.S.A. permanent resident

Enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a full-time student at an accredited 4-year undergraduate institution located in the United States of America

Undergraduate University Grade Point Average of 3.3 or higher on a 4.0-point scale or within the top 5 percent of your class

Having ‘Exceptional Financial Need’ as certified by your undergraduate institution financial aid office (UGSP’s Exceptional Financial Need Form (EFN) can be found on the OITE/UGSP website)

KEY DATES FOR ADMISSION CONSIDERATION IN FALL 2019-2020 ACADEMIC YEAR

(Dates updated 1 December 2018)

  • January 2, 2019 – Application Opened
  • March 15, 2019 – Application Deadline
  • March 2019 – Letter of Recommendation Deadline
  • May 11, 2019 – EFN Form with Tax Information Deadline
  • Mid-June 2019 – Invitations to Phone Interview Distributed
  • July 2019 – Phone Interviews for Admission
  • Late-July 2019 – Selection of Scholars

Shark and Marine Research Institute and Volunteer Programme

We have an exciting opportunity available for students or post-graduates who are looking to gain some hands on experience in the field of marine biology (and particularly elasmobranch research) by volunteering with our organisation in Gansbaai, South Africa – the great white shark capital of the world.

Kindly take a few minutes to read the below information regarding our educational volunteer research programme.

Volunteering with us is an opportunity for early-career scientists to be involved in groundbreaking marine research. Volunteers assist us with data collection and will gain valuable skills on board our vessels and in the field. Volunteer duties and responsibilities will involve the following:

  • Learn about the Great White Shark and other shark species and, in turn, educate clients onboard our cage diving vessel about these incredible creatures, with the aim of shifting negative perceptions and enlightening the public about their beauty and the critical role they play in maintaining the health of our oceans.
  • Collect data aboard our cage diving vessel and research vessel pertaining to Great White Sharks, which contributes towards our white shark dorsal fin identification study and growth rate study, and is analyzed to enhance our understanding of the populations of these enigmatic creatures.
  • Join catch and release surveys on our research vessel and learn how to ethically catch, tag, measure, sample and release the smaller sharks along our coastline, many of which are data deficient. (Please note: we do not tag Great Whites at this stage.)
  • Learn how to deploy baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVs) and how to analyze the videos collected
  • Participate in beach cleanups and community education initiatives.

During the 2016 National Workshop on the Implementation of a Shark Biodiversity Management Plan in South Africa, it was underlined that fundamental baseline data are critically required to develop effective management and conservation initiatives for sharks. We work with in conjunction with the University of Stellenbosch, the Oceanographic Research Institute and the Department of Environmental Affairs in South Africa. Our various research projects aim to close some of these gaps in the data to help with the development of effective management plans, especially for our great white sharks, which unfortunately could be heading towards extinction.

We are currently recruiting volunteers for 2019 & 2020!

Positions are available for a period of one to three months; longer stays are subject to additional visa requirements.

To learn more please click on the link below:

https://www.sharkcagedive.com/research/volunteer-overview/

Alternatively, please email volunteer@sharkcagedive.com or info@sharkcagedive.com.

Research Experiences for Undergraduates available for summer 2019!

Join the researchers of the VCR-LTER for summer 2019. NSF-funded opportunities are now available. Applications due February 1st 2019.

Project opportunities include:

Coastal Forests Migration (Gedan, PI) 
Coastal forests are retreating as sea level rises and being replaced by marshes. We are establishing a new long-term disturbance experiment at the forest-marsh boundary to test feedbacks that govern this transition and to inform ongoing modeling of ecosystem state change. We will girdle trees in transitioning areas and areas subject to future state change to test the hypothesis that the cessation of tree regeneration due to salt stress is a key change in ecological processes during the course of ecosystem transition; only when pine regeneration ceases and adult trees die or are experimentally killed, light availability will be sufficient for marsh grass and salt-tolerant shrubs (Baccharis halimifolia and Iva frutescens) to colonize and complete the transition. The student researcher will assist with the set-up, instrumentation, and initial data collection in experimental plots in transitioning coastal forest, and will have the opportunity to develop an independent research project that complements the main experiment. By collaborating with several PIs involved in the experiment (Gedan, Kirwan, Fagherazzi, Johnson), the student will gain exposure to and skills in plant community ecology, insect ecology, geomorphology, and hydrology during the summer. Student will be supervised by Keryn Gedan. Must be able to stay until mid-August, when the last round of plant community data will be collected.

Biodiversity of seagrass meadows (Castorani, PI)  
The VCR is home to the largest successful seagrass restoration in the world. This REU position will focus on understanding patterns of faunal biodiversity within these seagrass meadows, including study of fishes and benthic invertebrates through field collections, surveys, and new experiments. The successful candidate will join a group of interdisciplinary ecologists working across the barrier island–lagoon landscape, and work closely with Dr. Max Castorani (UVA) and his team of graduate students (https://castorani.evsc.virginia.edu). The ideal candidate should be strongly interested in perusing a career in ecology, hard working, detail orientated, and dedicated to his/her work. The student should also be comfortable working on boats, swimming in coastal waters, and handling small marine animals (fish, crabs).

Oyster-Marsh boundary dynamics (Reidenbach, PI)  
Work along an oyster reef- marsh transition zone examines oyster reef restoration and marsh sediment dynamic. At the oyster reefs, we are collecting and analyzing infauna and sediment cores and quantifying oyster density and/or recruitment on reefs at different elevations. We are also quantifying the exchange of sediment between adjacent Hog Island Bay and the marsh. The student will help with these initiatives and can also help deploy wave instruments used to measure wave energy dissipation across reefs.  We have an extensive data set from sensors deployed in a tidal creek, and the student will help collect and analyze suspended sediment samples and hydrodynamic data to complement our sensor data.

Shrub expansion on barrier islands (Zinnert, PI)  
Shrub expansion into grassland has been occurring across the Virginia barrier islands due to warmer winter temperatures. However, most studies have been conducted on adult shrubs, and we do not fully understand the role of seedlings and potential interactions with the grassland species into which shrubs invade. This project is part of a newly established long-term experiment following shrub growth from seedling to adult. The student will examine biotic interactions between grasses and shrubs in experimental plots where grasses have been clipped around shrubs seedlings compared to plots with grasses intact. The student will quantify nitrogen availability and shrub physiology from these plots. Additional measurements on functional traits of grasses growing near shrubs and away will also be made.

Seagrass productivity & resilience (Berg, PI) 
Opportunities are available to examine seagrass resilience via studies of productivity and biogeochemical cycling. Our current work focuses on seagrass metabolism in the largest restored meadow in the world. We are investigating the patterns and drivers of seagrass ecosystem metabolism, with particular focus on two known seagrass stressors: high temperatures and sulfide toxicity. There are opportunities here for a REU student to complement this research via work on pCO2 and photosynthesis, sediment sulfide, or epiphytes. The selected candidate will work closely with a graduate student on both field and lab work.

…Additional project opportunities on migratory and beach nesting birds coming soon!

To apply:

National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) positions are available with the Virginia Coast Reserve Long-Term Ecological Research (VCR-LTER) program for summer 2019. VCR-LTER researchers study patterns and mechanisms of ecosystem function, connectivity, and state changes in the coastal barrier system – from mainland marshes to intertidal and subtidal bay habitats and barrier islands. Potential REU projects range from sediment and plant dynamics to marine fauna responses to seagrass and oyster reef restoration. REUs also help collect data for ongoing long-term field projects. REUs spend the summer in a thriving research community; the VCR-LTER is based in the village of Oyster on Virginia’s Eastern Shore – one of the last coastal wildernesses on the east coast. The 10-week program begins the first week of June. REUs are provided a stipend plus on-site lodging and research support administered through the University of Virginia. More information about VCR-LTER research initiatives and potential advisers can be found in Research Highlights at www.vcrlter.virginia.edu. Specific project opportunities will be available in mid-January on the VCR LTER website (www.vcrlter.virginia.edu). Applicants are also encouraged to contact potential mentors directly. Applications are due February 1st and decisions will be made no later than March 1st. A resume and letter of interest should be sent to the Site Director, Cora Johnston, at coraj@virginia.edu. Please include “VCR REU Application” in the subject line.