This summer, NDSU has welcomed undergraduate students from throughout the country to conduct research with faculty. The students are participants in various undergraduate research experiences conducted annually across NDSU.
The NDSU Research and Creative Activity Office has implemented its first summer undergraduate research program. Funded by the National Institutes of Health IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence, known as INBRE, the program is composed of 28 research opportunities in animal science; biological sciences; chemistry and biochemistry; civil, construction and environmental engineering; computer science; electrical engineering; industrial and manufacturing engineering; mechanical engineering; microbiological sciences; pharmaceutical sciences; and soil science.
Most of the 43 participants are not NDSU students, and the program is often their first experience at the university.
“My favorite aspect of the program is working with such a diverse group of students from across the United States and so many different majors,” said Ying Huang, NDSU associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, who serves as the RCA undergraduate research faculty fellow and is leading the program in coordination with the RCA Research Development team. “It is a great experience to be able to work with such an intelligent group of students and brilliant faculty mentors.”
In addition to the research conducted weekly by each student, the program features workshops, seminars and training covering topics such as library use, mental and emotional health, science communication, technical writing and applying to graduate school. Attendees also can learn about NDSU facilities, like the NDSU Core Labs and Electron Microscopy Center. At the end of the program, each participant will receive recognition for their work and participate in a poster session to discuss their research.
Undergraduate research experiences historically have a strong impact on a student’s choice of institution in their graduate studies, so Huang anticipates that returning researchers may become future NDSU graduate students. “My hope is that this program will run for a few years. Moving ahead, we will integrate the lessons from this year and improve the experiences for the students and faculty mentors,” she said.
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