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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Undergraduate Research Center Funds 65 Projects with Fall Grants

More than $64,000 in grants were provided.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office Announcement, 11-26-2013

Mankato, Minn. -- Minnesota State University, Mankato's Undergraduate Research Center (URC) announced today that it had awarded fall grants for 65 projects that included 101 undergraduate students and 47 faculty mentors.

URC grants fund projects that are conducted by undergraduate students and make an original intellectual or creative contribution to a particular discipline. Awards are available to provide financial support for students and purchase necessary supplies.

Marilyn Hart, director of undergraduate research said: “The grant application process is an essential component of supporting undergraduate scholarly activity, providing students the opportunity to thoroughly consider their proposed project and providing necessary funding. The URC hopes that these experiences will inspire students and create scholars.”

There are three types of grants available. Included are the Minnesota State Foundation grant ($1,000 student stipend and $1,000 for supplies), NorthStar STEM Alliance award ($1,000 student stipend and $300 for supplies), and Undergraduate Research Center grants ($500 student stipend and $500 for supplies).

The grant process requires students to submit a three-page proposal that describes the significance of their project, the method, a budget, bibliography and anticipated outcomes. The complex variety of the projects reflects the rich diversity of academic programs at Minnesota State Mankato.

Tyler Schrandt, a fourth-year art major, will be creating origami forms on an exceptionally large scale using modular origami. For his project, individually folded pieces of paper will be assembled to create a single geometric object without adhesive. Schrandt's project is being completed with the mentorship of faculty members Mika Laidlaw and Elizabeth Miller in the Department of Art.

Andrew Pfeffer and Thu Ngyuen, first-year civil engineering students, are investigating 20 anti-icing chemicals on different types of pavements with various amounts of precipitation. The results of this project will be shared with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to aid preparation for storm management. Faculty member Stephen Druschel, Department of Civil Engineering, mentors these students.

In discussing the impact of undergraduate funding for research and creative projects, faculty member Kevin Filter, Department of Psychology, said: “URC grants allow students to conduct research with the rigor required to make a significant impact in the field. These grants also look great on resumes and open doors to more research opportunities for students that plan to pursue graduate studies.”

The URC offers two rounds of funding to support undergraduate scholarly activity on campus.

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