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Undergraduate Research Opportunities

There are ample ways in which College of Arts and Sciences students can engage in research and receive a stipend for their participation. Undergraduate research is just one way students can satisfy the Engaged Learning requirement.

Research opportunities that are sponsored by the College include:

Building Bridges: Undergraduate Summer Research Experience (USRE)

This program immerses undergraduate students early in their academic careers (the summer following either the freshman or sophomore years) in a 4-week high-impact, faculty-mentored research experience. Student applicants will be matched with faculty mentors, selecting from faculty across the the basic sciences, humanities, and social sciences. Projects for the 2024 program can be found here. Each recipient is awarded $2,500 and is eligible to receive up to $1,000 in project support. Applications are submitted through LUROP (March 1 deadline).

2024 Program Details

  • Students interested in engaging in research and who are pursuing a major in the College of Arts and Sciences, have an overall GPA ≥ 3.0, and have completed < 60 credit hours at Loyola are eligible to apply.
  • The program will be held May 20 - June 14, 2024 and students are expected to devote 30 hours/week (Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM CST). Students engaged in bench science research, must be available for training all-day May 16 & 17, 2024.
  • Housing is not provided for recipients of this award. Recipients are responsible for securing their own housing.
  • As part of the application process, students are required to rank their top three faculty project choices. Please use the project code assigned to the projects, e.g., BSci1, Hum2, SSci3, when listing the projects. Applicants are not required to contact the faculty prior to submission and do not have to select a project within their major/minor.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I apply? Go to www.luc.edu/lurop to apply using the online application.
  • When are applications due? March 1
  • Who is eligible to apply? Students interested must be pursuing a major in the College of Arts and Sciences, have an overall GPA ≥ 3.0, and have completed (as in done, not in progress) < 60 credit hours at Loyola.
  • Do transfer credits count towards my 60 credit hours? No; they weren't done at Loyola.
  • Is housing provided? No. On campus options and pricing can be found at https://www.luc.edu/reslife/currentstudents/summerhousing/. Note, USRE runs for Summer Session Early; there is specific pricing for this 4-week period.
  • Who should write my letter of recommendation? Ask a faculty member who can speak to your aptitude and/or research potential. This can include a former/current course instructor. If you have prior interactions with the faculty mentor for a project of interest, you can ask them. If you don't that is not a problem. Be certain to ask your letter writer before you submit your application. This letter is a very important part of your application.
  • Can the project/mentor be outside my major/minor? Yes! Students are welcome to apply for and select projects that pique their interests.
  • Where can I find the research projects? A list of projects for the 2024 program can be found here.
  • Do I have to come up with my own research project? No. You can only select from the list of research projects offered for the 2024 program.
  • Can I also be enrolled in a class or have a job during the 4-week program? As a recipient of this fellowship, you must be able to commit 30 hours per week, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 AM - 5 PM.
  • How will payments be made? Students will receive 2 payments.
  • Still have questions? Email CAS-USRE@luc.edu
  • Have problems with your application through the LUROP site? Email lurop@luc.edu

Past Recipient Experiences

In the summer of 2022, Sophomore Zoha Hassan partnered with Neil Klingensmith, an assistant professor of computer science, to build a prototype of a robotic recycling sorter that separates domestic recycling into proper categories. The pair utilized image processing software that distinguished between objects commonly found in domestic recycling—bottles, cans, paper, etc. Further developing this type of technology would help offset labor costs and assure proper recycling processes.

Explore more past student experiences with USRE here.

Mulcahy Scholars Program

Over the academic year, students work with faculty members on projects. The program accepts applications from students in CAS majoring in the natural sciences. Each recipient of a Mulcahy Scholarship receives a stipend of $1,000, and is eligible to receive up to $1,000 in project support. Applications are submitted through LUROP (March 1 deadline).

Program Details

Application Process, Due 1 March

  • The Mulcahy Scholarship applications should be submitted as consists of a single PDF that includes all of the following:
    • project title
    • project description (2 pages, single-spaced, 12 pt. font, including figures and tables within limit). In the project description, students should describe the nature of the proposed project, clearly stating: (1) the general purpose and specific objectives, (2) the student's proposed work, (3) the expected results or products of the work, (4) the significance of the proposed project, and (5) the roles of the student and faculty mentor in the proposed project.
    • literature cited
    • budget and justification of expenses (one page)
  • a letter of support (one page maximum) from the faculty mentor must be submitted separately. If the faculty mentor is supporting multiple applications, please rank them.

 

Other Information and Requirements

  • Students may submit proposals in any area of the natural sciences (including disciplines outside their major) as long as they have the support of a full-time Loyola faculty mentor with expertise in that general area.
  • Projects can be an original work by the student or based on a faculty member's current research.
  • Current or past recipients of the Mulcahy Scholarship are welcome to reapply as long as they meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Mulcahy recipients are required to:
    • (1) attend a poster presentation skills workshop, and
    • (2) present the results of their work at the annual Undergraduate Research & Engagement Symposium held in the spring semester. Awardees must attend the entire symposium event and submit a copy of their poster or presentation.

Past Recipient Experiences

Jacqueline Spates, Bioinformatics '23

Jacqueline Spates, Bioinformatics '23

"The Mulcahy Research Fellowship has allowed me to gain valuable hands-on experience alongside my studies of Bioinformatics. Not only did I become familiar with wet lab protocols and techniques, but I also advanced my computational and technical skills with bioinformatic tools and softwares. Being a Mulcahy Scholar was essential for conducting my research on the polyomavirus BK and its prevalence in the urinary tract and helped prepare me to present my current findings at Loyola’s St. Alberts Day on the Health Sciences Campus in Maywood, IL."

Noah Zuniga, Biology '23

Noah Zuniga

"Being a Mulcahy Scholar has allowed me to investigate and dive deep into bacteria and its connection and impact with my career goal of practicing medicine. In an age following a global pandemic, now more than ever, I think it is important for those in the medical field to understand bacterial interactions within under researched areas of the body. I enjoy being a Mulcahy Scholar because it allows me to take steps in contributing as much as I can, to both the forefronts of Microbiology and Medicine. It has also given me the opportunity to work alongside wonderful and brilliant individuals that have helped shape my experience thus far in intertwining my academic and career orientated ambitions!"

Additional undergraduate research fellowships are available through CAS departments and the university. For a complete listing of these other fellowship programs, please refer to the LUROP website.

There are ample ways in which College of Arts and Sciences students can engage in research and receive a stipend for their participation. Undergraduate research is just one way students can satisfy the Engaged Learning requirement.

Research opportunities that are sponsored by the College include:

Building Bridges: Undergraduate Summer Research Experience (USRE)

This program immerses undergraduate students early in their academic careers (the summer following either the freshman or sophomore years) in a 4-week high-impact, faculty-mentored research experience. Student applicants will be matched with faculty mentors, selecting from faculty across the the basic sciences, humanities, and social sciences. Projects for the 2024 program can be found here. Each recipient is awarded $2,500 and is eligible to receive up to $1,000 in project support. Applications are submitted through LUROP (March 1 deadline).

Mulcahy Scholars Program

Over the academic year, students work with faculty members on projects. The program accepts applications from students in CAS majoring in the natural sciences. Each recipient of a Mulcahy Scholarship receives a stipend of $1,000, and is eligible to receive up to $1,000 in project support. Applications are submitted through LUROP (March 1 deadline).

Additional undergraduate research fellowships are available through CAS departments and the university. For a complete listing of these other fellowship programs, please refer to the LUROP website.