Advanced Undergraduate Research Awards AURA
Issued: February 3, 2012
Student Applications DUE: Noon, March 2, 2012
Award Notification Date: March 21, 2012
   Award Acceptance Letters DUE Noon: March 30, 2012
Undergraduate Research Start Date: May 16, 2012

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TO: Faculty in the Sciences, Engineering, and Mathematics
FROM: Mark R. Hoffmann, Ph.D., Co-Project Director, ND EPSCoR, UND Office

RE: Advanced Undergraduate Research Awards (AURA)

The North Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ND EPSCoR) is pleased to announce the 2012 Advanced Undergraduate Research Awards (AURA) program. AURA provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to participate in faculty-mentored research projects at the University of North Dakota. The goal of AURA is to encourage undergraduate students to consider a research career in Science, Engineering, or Mathematics.

AURA participants can earn $12.50/hour up to a maximum of $5,000 for 10 weeks of full-time research activities during the time period of May 16 - August 10, 2012. During the 2012 fall semester, AURA students may continue to earn $12.50/hour. Students may work up to 10 hours/week for 12 weeks (up to a maximum earning of $1,500) of continuing research during the time period of August 21 – November 30, 2012.

Student Eligibility and Limits:
An applicant must be an undergraduate student enrolled at the University of North Dakota. Furthermore, an applicant must be a U.S. citizen or possess a work permit at the university where the mentor conducts the research. Students must have completed their sophomore year by May 16, 2012 but will NOT graduate prior to May 2014. Students with a previous AURA award are NOT eligible. Students may not be enrolled in regular or correspondence courses and conduct AURA research during the summer months concurrently. However, to maintain student status at the university, they may be eligible to enroll in a summer independent study course for their research and receive academic credit. The independent study course relating to their summer research must be approved by the faculty mentor. Participants must present a poster on their research at the ND EPSCoR State Conference (held in the fall). It is also expected that AURA students will apply for at least one nationally competitive undergraduate scholarship, such as the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program.

Check List (in the following order, submit (stapled) original + 5 copies):
1. Completed application form available at
2. Essay (three-page limit (single-line spaced, one-sided pages), font size no smaller than 11 point)

Essay Guidelines:
• Briefly discuss your plans, including those after you graduate from UND. Specifically address why you wish to participate in the AURA program and why you chose the research topic that you did.
• Describe your plans and strategy to apply for national merit research scholarships.
• Describe your most noteworthy scholarly achievements.
3. Transcript: Unofficial copy of the student’s transcript
4. Resume
5. Two Letters of Recommendation from faculty familiar with your academic accomplishments must be submitted directly to the UND ND EPSCoR office at the postal or email address listed below; letters must be received prior to Noon, Friday, March 2, 2012.

ND EPSCoR highly recommends that applicants contact and discuss their research interest(s) with the professor(s) who have volunteered to serve as mentors. The complete list of research topics, abstracts and faculty mentors are posted at

Submit to:
UND ND EPSCoR, Twamley Hall Room 415, 264 Centennial Drive Stop 7093, Grand Forks, ND 58202

Award is contingent upon continued funding from the NSF and the North Dakota State Legislature. Please direct questions to Mark Hoffmann, 701-777-2492 or