The Undergraduate Research Center at Minnesota State University, Mankato supports mentored research as well as scholarly and creative activities for all undergraduate students.
The center promotes research as an opportunity to engage students in a community of scholars to enhance their academic experience and readiness to succeed in the future. It works with students from all majors and backgrounds as the center takes immense pride in honoring the young researchers for their work.
Patrick Tebbe is the director of the Undergraduate Research Center and a professor in Mechanical and Civil Engineering at MSU. Tebbe discussed the work and contributions URC makes toward student success.
“URC gives out grants for students typically over the fall semester, which include URC grants as well as university funds which come in as donations and funds from alumni and other donors,” Tebbe said.
Each fall semester URC gives out 20 Foundation Grants and 10 URC Grants. Students are asked to submit an application with the research proposal and all proposals are evaluated anonymously by a review committee of multiple reviewers.
The URC presents opportunities for both teachers and students at MSU through student projects. There are various screening processes to decide which project may get funded.
“The proposals are judged based on the research and how well it is prepared, how the structure is, what kind of background research has been done and what goal it serves. Student research needs to go through a faculty member they will be working with and then needs to be passed on to URC. Grades are not considered at all as the work is mostly valued here at URC based on the research,” said Tebbe.
The grants are evaluated and given out solely based on proposals. URC gives away $500 for each grant and foundation grants giveaway $1,000 for stipend and $1,000 for supplies.
Max Keller, a graduate assistant who has been working for URC for three years now, shared what type of students apply for the program.
“Most of the applications we receive are usually from College of Science Engineering and Technology (CSET) and College of Social and Behavioral Science particularly Psychology, but we are expecting to see a larger number of applications from other departments as well,” Keller said.
Keller mentioned how the research projects are selected.
“The most important part about selecting a research proposal is usually if the material is able to be understood by the evaluator,” Keller said.
The process for the selection of projects to be reviewed goes through a basic screening process by the graduate assistants. This involves them looking for detailed information and the necessary pieces for the project.
The Undergraduate Research Symposium will be held April 12, 2022. More information can be found on the URC website or by reaching out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Write to Radit Mahmud at Radit.Mahmud@mnsu.edu