Dec. 15, 2010

NSF Grant to Enhance Undergraduate Research

Chem lab

More than 850 Geneseo students are involved in undergraduate research projects each year.

GENESEO, N.Y. - SUNY Geneseo will benefit from a grant the National Science Foundation has awarded the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC). The highly competitive grant, administered by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), will fund a major conference in North Carolina next June for Geneseo and other COPLAC institutions to share best practices in undergraduate research, strengthen their programs and build capacity for future collaborations.

"Undergraduate research is a hallmark of the Geneseo experience and we are delighted to learn of this opportunity through COPLAC," said Carol Long, Geneseo provost. "Sharing best practices in research will strengthen programs on all COPLAC campuses and we look forward to participating and benefiting from the exchange."

The grant also supports a follow-up meeting in 2012, when a team leader from each campus will return to assess progress and report on new initiatives. Kurt Fletcher, professor and chair of Geneseo's physics department, will serve as the college's team leader for the initiative.

"This grant is enabling 23 of the 26 COPLAC campuses to take their undergraduate research programs to the next level," said William Spellman, director of COPLAC. "Within our consortium there are campuses with thriving undergraduate research programs as well as those that are just beginning. With the direction of the CUR facilitators and mentoring between COPLAC campuses, we hope to advance each campus's program."

More than 850 Geneseo students per year are involved in undergraduate research projects. About 130 present their findings at academic conferences or serve as co-authors of papers accepted for publication.

COPLAC hosts an electronic undergraduate research journal, Metamorphosis, on its website and sponsors regional undergraduate research conferences at member institutions each academic year.

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