UTA launches new programs to promote undergraduate research, student success

Monday, Jan 30, 2017 • Media Contact : Louisa Kellie

The University of Texas at Arlington has developed a new program that allows students to use their federal work-study hours to work as undergraduate research assistants, developing valuable skills that will enhance their education and workforce readiness.

“Students who have typically used their federal work-study for administrative roles now have the option to be hired by faculty mentors for research positions that give them hands-on experience in the field that interests them,” said Duane Dimos, UTA vice president for research.

“This new Undergraduate Research Assistant Program will provide students with an invaluable research experience that will set them up for future success in academia or the workforce, while paying them to do so,” he added.

UTA’s Office of Research also is launching a second program that will fund students during a semester while they assume apprenticeship with a faculty mentor’s research group and take on an intensive research role.

“This second program, called the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, will permit students to engage in each phase of research activity, enhancing students’ competitiveness for national prestigious scholarships and helping them refine their academic and career goals,” said Mimi Philobos, assistant vice president for research.

A third program the office also is strongly promoting is the Summer Research Academy of the UT System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, a National Science Foundation-funded program, that aims to increase the number of under-represented minority and female students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by supporting faculty-mentored research experiences.  

“This 10-week program provides a $4,000 stipend that permits students to participate in faculty-mentored research experiences during the summer that qualify them to apply for generous LSAMP Fellowships to pursue their graduate degrees,” said Alisa Johnson, director of educational research.  Students may participate in the LSAMP SRA at UTA or at a host institution within the UT System.  UTA students selected to participate at one of the host institutions will also receive free on campus housing and funds to travel to the host institution.

Deadlines to apply for the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program and the LSAMP Summer Program are Feb. 15. Undergraduate research assistant positions are posted on the University’s SNAP Job website.

“Students who participate in these programs will have strong financial incentives, as their pay or stipend offers them a real alternative to typical student jobs in the service sector while preparing them for their career,” Dimos added. “They also will build the strong relationships with faculty that will provide them with the advisory services and the recommendations they would need as they go forward in their careers.”

See http://www.uta.edu/research/vpr/research-opportunities/undergraduate/Programs/index.php for more information on the three programs.

The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie Research-1 “highest research activity” institution. With a projected global enrollment of close to 57,000 in AY 2016-17, UTA is one of the largest institutions in the state of Texas. Guided by its Strategic Plan Bold Solutions | Global Impact, UTA fosters interdisciplinary research and education within four broad themes: health and the human condition, sustainable urban communities, global environmental impact, and data-driven discovery. UTA was recently cited by U.S. News & World Report as having the second lowest average student debt among U.S. universities. U.S. News & World Report also ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times’ 2017 Best for Vets list.