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CoSE ASPIRE Undergraduate Research Program - INFO FOR MENTORS

CoSE Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program


Aspiring Sophomores Participating in Research Experiences

The dean of the College of Science and Engineering is pleased to announce the new undergraduate research program ASPIRE. A growing body of evidence indicates providing students early access to undergraduate research will create a welcoming learning environment, sense of cohesion, and hands-on engagement that will lead to increased retention of STEM majors. In spring 2020, CoSE piloted an undergraduate research program to explore the effect of early research participation on retention in STEM. Twenty-five CoSE freshmen participated, most from groups underrepresented in STEM. Despite the pilot being cut short when research laboratories were closed in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we did find the freshman retention rate (number entering in fall 2019 that enrolled in fall 2020) of participants was 88% as compared to 76.8% for the university and 76% in CoSE at large.

Given the promising results from the 2020 pilot, CoSE has established the ASPIRE program to provide undergraduate sophomore students the opportunity to conduct mentored research with faculty in the college. The ASPIRE program is in collaboration with the university’s IDEA Center. The first cohort of ASPIRE fellows will begin their research experience in fall 2022.

The ASPIRE program will be advertised to CoSE students this spring. Second semester freshmen with a minimum GPA of 2.0 will be eligible to apply. The ASPIRE semester-long fellowship will begin in fall 2022 when the students return as sophomores. We anticipate selecting 15 participants from the applicant pool. Preference will be given to students underrepresented in their STEM discipline (major).

Undergraduates selected as ASPIRE fellows will be employed by the college during the fall 2022 semester for five hours per week at $15 per hour.  Fellows will spend four hours per week working with their faculty research mentor and one hour participating in a supplemental cohort experience with a near-peer.

All research active CoSE faculty are eligible to apply to serve as a mentor in the program. CoSE faculty participating as research mentors in ASPIRE will receive $1,000 deposited to their IDC account. An event will be held to match each ASPIRE fellow with a CoSE faculty research mentor.

If you are a CoSE assistant professor, associate professor, full professor or research active nontenure line faculty interested in mentoring undergraduates in the ASPIRE program, please complete the application form.