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New Funding Earmarked for Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research

Author: Arts and Letters

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Notre Dame undergraduates interested in independent, interdisciplinary research have until March 16 to apply for up to $4,500 in grant funding made possible by a new cross-college collaboration. The new program, dubbed the College of Arts and Letters and College of Science Joint Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (AL/SCI-UROP), was announced in late February.

The joint research endeavor is an extension of the existing Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), which is administered by the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA) in the College of Arts and Letters. The new partnership between the two colleges will provide additional funding to undergraduates from either college whose research crosses the traditional boundaries between the sciences and the liberal arts.

Project Parameters

All undergraduate students in the College of Science or the College of Arts and Letters are eligible to apply for AL/SCI-UROP funding. Students may either independently design their projects or propose a project related to some aspect of their supervising faculty member’s research. Those receiving funding will work with at least one advisor or mentor who is not from their primary college. Students may also receive funding for participating in collaborative projects involving professors from both colleges.

ISLA and the Dean’s Office in the College of Science will collaborate to award the first wave of funding, which will go to projects that will take place during summer 2010. Applicants should learn whether they are approved for funding by early April.

Asking the Great Questions

“By engaging with scholarship across college and disciplinary boundaries, students and faculty contribute to the kind of creative research at the forefront of Notre Dame’s current trajectory,” says Agustin Fuentes, director of ISLA. “We hope that this small grant opportunity encourages enhanced dialogue and action augmenting our scholarly impact and experiences for undergraduate students.”

John McGreevy, I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, says the new funding venture also reflects one of his major goals: cross-college collaboration.

“Such an approach allows students and scholars from various disciplines across the University to explore together the great questions by drawing on a variety of perspectives,” McGreevy says. “The result is research that is built on the collective expertise of our finest thinkers and that creates a broader, more nuanced understanding of the world in which we live.”