University Research Council
December 7, 2005
Undergraduate Research Programs
Joe Grabowski, Associate Professor
in the Department of Chemistry, discussed undergraduate research programs at
of Pittsburgh. Research universities are cultivating undergraduate
researchers to a greater degree than they have in the past. Many universities have developed programs that
encourage faculty to mentor undergraduate students, sponsor undergraduate
students in research labs, and incorporate research components into
undergraduate degrees. Undergraduate
research at the University
is sponsored and highlighted (e.g., through research fairs) at the
departmental, school, and University levels.
The School of Arts and Sciences’
Office of Experiential Learning sponsors numerous programs that are related to undergraduate
research. The Office’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities
web page provides information on many programs, including:
- The First Experiences in Research Program, which offers
opportunities for second-semester freshmen to become involved in faculty
research projects in the social sciences, humanities, or natural sciences.
- The Research Experience for Undergraduates Program, which takes place
in the summer and gives students an opportunity to work in research labs
for an extended period, usually about 10 weeks.
- The Brackenridge
Undergraduate Research Fellowships, which support undergraduates in the
summer months so that they can complete independent research projects.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
A team of faculty members visited
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to discuss research collaboration
between PNNL and the University of Pittsburgh. The University team focused on PNNL expertise
in nanotechnology and homeland security, but PNNL also possesses expertise in
the biological, chemical, and environmental sciences.
Report from the
Office of Research
Allen DiPalma, Director of the
Office of Research, discussed Grants.gov. Grants.gov is an access point for more than
1000 grant programs offered by all federal grant-making agencies. Universities throughout the country are
concerned that Grants.gov may become the required proposal-submission platform
before the universities are prepared to use it.
Office of Research staff are developing
standardized procedures to enable faculty and staff to properly utilize the
Grants.gov system. A year-long training program geared towards users of the
site will be instituted early next year.
Other topics of discussion included:
- Multidisciplinary research
- Proposal-writing series
- Academic computing seminar
- GIS initiative