Introduction

The Advancement of Undergraduate Research in the Sciences (AURS) fund was established to support undergraduate research in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Central Arkansas. We believe that engaging undergraduates in fundamental research prepares them for graduate or professional school as well as enhancing their undergraduate education. Not only do our undergraduates perform original research with a faculty mentor they also present that research at local, regional and national professional meetings and are coauthors on publications about their research. Our undergraduates have gone on to be successful in their careers upon graduation due in part to these experiences with our faculty. 

To continue to foster the culture of undergraduate research with faculty mentors in the Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science and Mathematics departments at the University of Central Arkansas the following awards have been developed:
  • $100 for best departmental thesis award ($10,100 Endowed Level)
  • $2500 research stipend for a semester ($60,600 Endowed Level)
  • $3500 research stipend for a summer ($131,300 Endowed Level)
  • $8500 research stipend for a year ($303,000 Endowed Level)
The best departmental thesis award was developed to encourage excellence in scientific writing, completing undergraduate research projects, and the publication of completed scientific research. The research stipends encourage students to devote time and effort to a sustained research program with a faculty member. Personally, we have witnessed the benefit undergraduates obtain from working with a faculty member on an original research project. Their confidence in their abilities are increased, their understanding of fundamental science and mathematics is increased and they are able to parlay those experiences into enhanced internships and support at the graduate or professional school level. 

However, the opportunity to disburse these awards to undergraduates each academic year depends on the funding level of the endowment. The AURS fund is an endowment managed by the University of Central Arkansas Foundation, Inc. Further information about the AURS endowment and how to help are available by clicking the links to the right. If you are a faculty member who has worked with undergraduates, or a family member of an undergraduate who has benefited from undergraduate research, or even an undergraduate whose experiences doing undergraduate research at UCA has benefited you then I encourage you to help support current and future students in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. 

Sincerely,

Micah Abrams & William V. Slaton
AURS fund co-founders