Issued: February 15, 2007
Due: Noon, Monday, March 19, 2007
Award Notification Date: April 24, 2007

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TO: Faculty in the Sciences, Engineering, and Mathematics
FROM: Gary E. Johnson, Co-Project Director, ND EPSCoR, UND Office David R. Givers, Co-Project Director, ND EPSCoR, NDSU Office

The ND EPSCoR AURA program provides undergraduate students with opportunities to experience academic research at a point in their college careers when they need to make important decisions about their future. It is expected that the AURA students will:

become contributing members in their research groups,
be mentored to pursue careers in science, engineering, or mathematics research;
learn about research and graduate school opportunities in North Dakota,
be mentored to submit applications for nationally competititve scholarships like the Goldwater award.

Faculty Eligibility:
Must be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member at one of the two ND research-intensive universities. Individual PIs or multiple PIs working together in a research group can apply. Limit of two students per multi-investigator group and one per single investigator.

Student Eligibility:
Junior class standing as of May 16, 2007, at a North Dakota university – must have completed the sophomore year, and will NOT graduate prior to May 2009. Students with a previous AURA award are NOT eligible. The purpose of AURA is to increase the number of students interested in research careers, rather than extending the resume of selected individuals. PIs are encouraged to identify funding opportunities for previous students through other sources.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria:
1. Description of how the student will enhance the PI’s research program and contribute to the submittal of competitive research proposals.
2. Description of how the student will be mentored, including a well-defined plan for applying for competitive national research scholarships and fostering the student’s interest in a research career.

Application and Review Process:
• PIs submit applications.
• ND EPSCoR posts research abstracts on our web page and issues a Call for Student Applications.
• Faculty of SEM disciplines and the campus Co-Project Director review PI proposals and student applications.

Check List (submit in the following order):
1. Cover page. Available at
2. Executive Summary: a) project title, b) abstract describing the research problem, and c) description of student research role. Maximum of 250 words for project and 150 words for student research role.
3. Two-page proposal: describing (1) the research activities and the student participation and duties in the research, and (2) mentoring plan including expected outcomes of the mentoring experience. The research and the mentoring plans should each be approximately one-page in length.
4. PI Current and Pending Support form (NSF format).

Submit both:
Paper Version: Original plus eight (8) copies (staple all copies). One-inch margins, font size 10 point or larger, delivered to the campus ND EPSCoR office, AND
Electronic Abstract: AURA project description electronic form on line at

Number of expected awards: Up to eight (8) at each research-intensive university.
Amount of student award: $5,000 for ten (10) weeks during the time period May 16 – August 10, 2007 plus $1,400 for ten (10) hours/week during the fall semester (August 20 – December 7, 2007). An additional $1,000 will be made available for faculty research supplies and student research-related travel support. The award also pays the fringe benefits.

Award is contingent upon continued funding from the NSF and the North Dakota State Legislature.

NDSU: Please direct questions to David R. Givers at 701-231-7516 or

UND: Please direct questions to Gary E. Johnson at 701-777-2492 or