Enhancing Undergraduate Research Pathways

Increase undergraduate research participation while serving the needs of graduate students

There has been an increased desire at Auburn University to increase undergraduate research participation, as evidenced by the identification of this goal as one of the five priorities in the University’s Strategic Plan (Priority 3:  Enhance Research, Scholarship, and Creative Work).  This initiative, launched in Fall 2016, uses a student-driven, replicable, low-cost mechanism to achieve this goal.  Current members of an existing Mechanical Engineering honor society, Pi Tau Sigma, helped host an information session in September 2016.  At this session, professors and their graduate students made poster presentations to summarize their research and provide a reference frame by indicating connections to specific classes in the curriculum.  The presentation  provided information about undergraduate research opportunities within the department. Through a competitive process, with both student and faculty input, six students were selected to receive undergraduate research stipends.  Students will typically use these experiences as a springboard to graduate study.  Although the fellowships are directed towards undergraduate students, it was heartening to see the graduate students benefiting from this process as well.  The event was held in the main foyer of Wiggins Hall as shown below.

Last Updated: May 02, 2017