In cooperation with the School for the Environment, the Coastal Research in Environmental Science and Technology (CREST) Program, and the Honors College at UMass Boston, the Coasts and Communities Program supports a limited number of undergraduate students in IGERT research. The idea is to give undergraduates quality research experience and offer IGERT fellows opportunities for mentoring. While supervising an undergraduate student entails considerable work, the primary objectives are to help Fellows with their research and give them the opportunity to mentor.
All IGERT Fellows will participate in mentor training workshops. Undergraduate students associated with the Coasts and Communities Program are required take a research course while being mentored by an IGERT Fellow.
Undergraduates, except REU students, must enroll in an independent study or honors research. Their time will include participation in an Environmental Sciences Seminar as well as professional development workshops and seminars.
Undergraduate students will be involved in research and have a component of the work that they can “own.” This requires that fellows develop, in collaboration with their undergraduate research student, a research plan that allows the undergraduate researcher to complete a project that contributes in a meaningful way to the fellow’s research. Undergraduate students must have professional interest in the project and some educational background of relevance.
A final poster product is required. It can be co-authored with the fellow, but the fellow must be listed as first author. The poster will be presented at the annual Coasts and Communities research conference (academic year students) or summer REU research symposium (summer students).
Recruitment will be by advertisement and through NSF-REU. Fellows select their undergraduate research student.
Faculty should be involved in the development of the undergraduate students’ research plan.
Undergraduate research activity should be organized so that data collected contribute to the fellows’ research.
The term of the undergraduate research is an academic year or, for CREST-REU students, 10 weeks in the summer. Academic year student research may be extended if funds are available.
Undergraduate Research Mentoring Application
If Fellows want to be involved in this program, they are required to write a description of how and why they will engage the undergraduate student in their research activities. Applicants will submit this statement to the IGERT program manager. The intention is that the research project is related to the Coasts and Communities theme and to dissertation research. A fun way to do this would be to explicitly involve the undergraduate in a collaborative effort. Occasionally, Fellow mentors will be required to participate in class sessions and/or workshops associated with the mentoring experience or to meet with IGERT co-directors to discuss the effectiveness of the experience.
There is a call for application for undergraduate researchers for the following academic year each spring. CREST-REU students are recruited and selected in mid-spring preceding the summer of research.