Advanced Undergraduate Research Awards (AURA

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The North Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ND EPSCoR) Advanced Undergraduate Research Awards (AURA) program is an important and successful means for increasing the number of young people interested in research. AURA activities give undergraduate students an opportunity to experience academic research and to learn about graduate school at a point during their studies when they need to make critical decisions about the future. It is expected that AURA students become contributing members of their research groups and be mentored into research careers.

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.

Eligibility, Award Amount and Limits

To be eligible, 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 who have had a previous AURA award are not eligible. The purpose of AURA is to increase the number of students interested in research careers, rather than extensively building the resume of selected individuals.

Applicants must have completed their sophomore year by May 16, 2013 and will not graduate prior to May 2015. This allows AURA students time to apply for national scholarships based on their research, and potentially enjoy the financial benefits of scholarly work during the final year of undergraduate studies.

The AURA commitment is for ten weeks of research during the summer months under the supervision of the University of North Dakota (UND) faculty. Some projects may require travel. Students cannot take summer classes and correspondence courses during the time they are enrolled in the AURA program. However, they may be eligible to enroll in a summer independent study course for their research and receive academic credit. The independent study course must be approved by the faculty mentor. Participants must present a poster on the research during a poster session hosted by ND EPSCoR. AURA participants can earn a salary of $12.50/hour up to a maximum of $5,000 for 10 weeks during the summer plus a maximum of $1,500 for 10 hours/week of continued research during the fall semester.

Selection Process

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application is completed on time. Incomplete applications may not be reviewed. A committee of faculty of Science and Engineering disciplines and representatives from the office of Research will review all completed applications. Review criteria include, but are not limited to student merit, a brief essay describing your interest in a particular project or projects, and two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your academic accomplishments. ND EPSCoR gives highest priority to undergraduates belonging to underrepresented groups in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics disciplines. Residents of North Dakota also receive priority. ND EPSCoR strongly encourages applicants to contact and discuss their interests in AURA research topics with research mentors before submitting an application. The total number of awards is dependent upon available funding. Up to eight (8) awards are expected to be made.

For more information

UND: Please direct your questions to Mark R. Hoffmann at 701.777.2492 or