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May 2023
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AcademicsSummer Program for Undergraduate Research

Scientific research matters

MVNU's Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) exists to allow MVNU students the opportunity to conduct faculty-mentored scientific research. This is important because undergraduate research is a high-impact practice that not only contributes to learning but also student retention, graduation rates, and acceptance into graduate and professional programs.

SPUR requires students to complete 8 weeks of faculty-mentored research, submit a summary report, present a poster during MVNU's Homecoming activities, and present orally during MVNU's spring symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creative Works (sURC).

In its inaugural year, six faculty members in biology, chemistry, computer science, physics and engineering conducted research with 12 students.

Projects included investigations of:

  • A design of a sensor for assessing human brain motion during concussive events
  • Freshwater aquatic insects
  • Factors affecting membrane permeability
  • Degradation and corrosion processes of zirconia
  • Automatic generation of reaction networks on metal nanoparticles
  • Improvements in computer-based identification of obstructed images
Students presented their research and findings at Homecoming and during the spring symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creative Works. Some students even presented their work at professional conferences in their fields!
Our students are excited to participate in SPUR. In fact, this year we had over twice as many applications as 2022! 

Would you be willing to sponsor a student researcher this summer?

Our students are excited to participate in SPUR. Unfortunately, we are not able to support all the students due to limited resources. Our goal is to expand SPUR to serve the growing student interest and need. This is where we could use your help. We would love to partner with you in providing summer research experiences to more MVNU science and engineering students. With your financial support, this could become a reality. Our costs include:

  • About $2,000 for each student researcher to cover their stipend and their on-campus housing.

  • Research materials and equipment for each laboratory group averages about $4,000.

Your contributions to this program will directly impact the student experience at MVNU and further equip them for graduate programs in their chosen fields. Further development of SPUR will provide greater opportunities for student learning and create a bridge between faculty members' scholarly engagement and the teaching mission of the university.

SPUR has prepared me the most for what I believe grad school will ask of me: Independent work, self-motivation, communication, patience, and higher conceptual thinking.

2022 student researcher