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By removing perceived barriers and helping promote undergraduate research early in their degree program, the ASK Program’s goals are to help retain students within science majors, garner enthusiasm for science and their majors, and help transition them into additional undergraduate research experiences once they complete the program.
The ASK program is an initiative to immerse undergraduates into scientific research early in their degree programs by allowing them to start applying their coursework in a practical setting. Students will earn course credit toward their degrees while contributing to larger projects within the research laboratories on campus.
The program will help students gain vital critical thinking skills and perseverance, learn more about the general topics they have been taught in class, as well as have the opportunity to delve into a specific field of interest to them.
This program will also help them to build their CV or applications to professional programs, helping them get to the next step toward accomplishing their career goals.
- Get funding! ASK program NSF SSTEM student scholarships will provide up to $250 per term (spring and fall) in funding toward an ASK student project. Scholarship recipients may apply for competitive summer fellowship opportunities, providing stipend support for the student as well as additional funding toward the project supply needs.
- Student projects can feed into larger, ongoing research projects within the laboratory, and student-generated data can contribute toward grant applications and publications.
- Faculty will have access to highly-motivated students who may wish to continue with research once they conclude with the ASK program.
- ASK program faculty help our CoSM students to be excited about science, transitioning them from students into scientists.
- Faculty will be provided with mentoring training, broken into several small sessions during late fall and spring term at the beginning of each program cycle.
Faculty may submit projects headed by a single faculty member, or by teams of faculty from single or multiple CoSM departments.
You may submit more than one project proposal. The ASK program then matches students to projects based on faculty and student preferences. Faculty mentors will meet with their matched students during Fall Semester before beginning their research project in the spring.
Student placement in laboratories: The ASK program committee does the footwork for our program participants, seeking out professors who have room for students in their laboratories with a submission of a brief project proposal. Students review the project proposals and do additional background searches on the laboratories, then identifying the projects in which they are most interested. The ASK program committee then works to match the students to the professors based on the student's interests and professors requests for student background as well as the number of students they can accommodate (the ASK program supports team-based research projects should a laboratory be able to accommodate more than one student).
Once students are matched with professors, the students set up a meeting to ensure a good match on both sides. Adjustments can be made should either side not feel it's a good fit. If both parties wish to move forward, students will sign up for independent research credits and begin working with the PI in the spring term.
At the conclusion of their ASK program experience, students will be guided into other research opportunities both on and off-campus. This may include independent research opportunities within departments of the College of Science and Mathematics, departmental honors programs, or internship opportunities off-campus with local businesses or the Air Force Research Laboratories. This experience allows CoSM faculty to build relationships with our students, build enthusiasm within them for science, help to ultimately retain them long term within their COSM major, and aid them in succeeding in their education and career goals.