Applying Scientific Knowledge (ASK) Program Information for Faculty

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ASK Program Faculty Overview

The ASK Program is a College of Science and Mathematics initiative to help immerse undergraduates into scientific research early in their degree programs, allowing them to start applying their coursework in a practical setting and getting them excited about the fields of science they are studying in their classes.

Students will earn course credit toward their degrees, and be able to contribute to the larger projects within the research laboratories on campus within the College of Science and Mathematics. 

By removing perceived barriers and helping promote undergraduate research early in their degree program, the ASK Program’s goal is to both 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 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.

Incentives for Faculty

  1. 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.
  2. Student projects can feed into larger, ongoing research projects within the laboratory, and student-generated data can contribute toward grant applications and publications.
  3. Faculty will have access to highly-motivated students who may wish to continue with research once they conclude with the ASK Program.
  4. ASK Program faculty help our CoSM students to be excited about science, transitioning them from students into scientists.
  5. 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.  

How ASK Works

The ASK Program provides a unique experience to students in that it allows students to have direct contact with research faculty within the College of Science and Mathematics early in their academic career that is otherwise impossible during their regular coursework. 

This design allows students to gain not just basic content knowledge of a topic, but in-depth, cutting-edge knowledge and experience on a specific topic of interest to them, and increased contact with COSM faculty members outside of the classroom setting.

 Students are recruited during their first year of courses, and begin the ASK Program when they enter their COSM major, generally during their second fall term.

Figure explanation: Lecture courses provide only basic information to students with limited interaction between students and professors.  Laboratory courses provide increased interaction between students and graduate teaching assistants (GRA/GTA) but stud

Term 1 (Fall): SM2100, team-taught, research-focused course to prepare for your research experience (all faculty are welcome to be involved with this course to have early contact with ASK Program students)

Term 2 (Spring): research project in small teams guided by COSM research faculty (students expected to spend approximately 10 hr/week on their project), faculty may request up to $250/term in funding toward their ASK Program project (View examples of ASK Program projects.)         

Summer term: optional for ASK Program students, may take the time to seek other opportunities on and off campus, may apply for ASK Program NSF-SSTEM Summer Fellowship opportunities which provide stipend support for the student over summer term as well additional funding toward their research project, may also continue their research projects by signing up for course credit over summer term

Term 3 (Fall): finish research project with your team (students expected to spend approximately 10 hr/week on their project) and explore further research opportunities on or off campus, including departmental research, departmental honors programs, or internships.

This experience allows CoSM faculty to build relationships with CoSM students, build enthusiasm within them for science, help to ultimately retain them long term within their CoSM major, and aid them succeeding in their education and career goals. 

Student placement in laboratories: In most undergraduate research situations, students contact professors whose research interests them, without knowing if that professor can accommodate them, or what project is available.  Through the ASK Program, the ASK Program committee does the footwork for our program participants, seeking out professors who not only have room for students in their laboratories, but having them submit 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 both 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, then students will sign up for independent research credits and begin working with the PI in spring term.

ASK Program Progression
Course Description Term
SM2100: Interdisciplinary Scientific Inquiry Learn to execute, analyze and communicate science in an active learning course Fall 
Team Research Course Semester 1 Course-based team research experience led by Wright State science and math faculty Spring
Optional Summer Research Optional summer research experience with volunteer and fellowship options Summer
Team Research Course Semester 2 Continuation of spring course-based research experience Fall

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 succeeding in their education and career goals. 

You may submit more than one project proposal if you wish. *Faculty may submit projects headed by a single faculty member, or by teams of faculty from single or multiple CoSM departments. The ASK program then matches students to projects based on both faculty and student preferences.  Faculty mentors will meet with their matched students during fall term before beginning their research project in spring (see :Student Placement in Laboratories" above).