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Partnership boosts undergraduate research

A partnership between the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) and the Faculty of Arts and Science is providing the financial support to promote and expand undergraduate research.

The partnership has resulted in the creation of the Arts and Science Undergraduate Research Fund (ASURF) with the aim of fostering a community of undergraduate scholars and promoting greater investment towards undergraduate research.

[ASURF]
The Arts and Science Undergraduate Society and Faculty of Arts and Science are partnering to provide financial support to promote and expand undergraduate research. (SUpplied Photo)

Each year for the next three years ASUS will contribute approximately $30,000 toward the fund through an opt-out student fee of $3.75, while the faculty will contribute $10,000 annually.

Undergraduate research is important because it provides an opportunity to expand the depth and breadth of the student experience, explains ASUS President Darrean Baga, adding that the fund will help improve the process for students and strengthen another pillar of the undergraduate experience.

“Undergraduate research allows students to apply the theories and concepts they have learned in the classroom in the real world, where the processes and results can be messy, unexpected, and complicated. As such, undergraduate research provides students with tangible skills outside of the classroom while at the same time part of the experiential learning process,” he says. “Moreover, undergraduate research is a great gateway for students to think about graduate school and how to further their education.”

Queen’s offers opportunities for undergraduate research through such programs as the Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowships (USSRF) and the new fund will help build upon the increasing interest.

“The momentum that is building for undergraduate research is amazing,” Vicki Remenda, Associate Dean (Academic). “We are happy to have collaborated with ASUS to begin to highlight the research that is going on at the undergraduate level here at Queen’s.”

The Faculty of Arts and Science and ASUS have also partnered to launch the Undergraduate Research Hub, a website featuring the work of undergraduate researchers, where it can be viewed by peers, potential supervisors, and graduate school admissions committees.

“The undergraduate research website is a very valuable tool for professors in the Faculty of Arts and Science to aid in graduate student recruitment,” says Sharon Regan, Acting Associate Dean (Graduate Students and Research). “The new features highlighting undergraduate researchers will only make this a more powerful and useful outlet for our faculty and students.”

Anyone interested in having their research, or that of their student, included in the Undergraduate Research Hub can contact ASUS.