Undergraduate Research Gets Funding Boost

“Being part of a research group as an undergraduate laid the foundation for me becoming a better scientist and prepared me to walk into Goddard because I'd been in this environment before.” – Julia Barsi ’97, ’00, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center



The Undergraduate Research Program in RIT’s College of Science has been given a major opportunity to permanently fund student research work. The College was recently awarded a challenge grant by the Fred L. Emerson Foundation to establish the Emerson Endowed Fellowship Program for Undergraduate Research in the College of Science.

The foundation’s grant of $250,000 will be awarded if RIT is able to secure an additional $750,000 in commitments to the fund by October 1, 2015. When fully funded, this permanent, stable and growing source of funding will help the College to:

  • Double the number of science students selected for full-time summer research
  • Draw more students to scientific fields and better prepare them for the rigor and challenges of advanced scientific study and a career devoted to research and discovery.

Undergraduate Research is a unique program in higher education. RIT’s College of Science was one of the first universities in the nation to expose undergraduates to real research where students work side by side with faculty mentors. Many RIT undergraduate researchers publish and present their work in scholarly channels, and all are required to present their outcomes at the annual RIT Undergraduate Research Symposium.

The undergraduate research experience is vital to preparing students for careers that are research-driven. Whether research scientists, educators, or industry-based scientists, College of Science graduates who have participated in the Undergraduate Research Program find themselves better prepared for their work environments and for graduate school research. In short, they are better scientists.

The College of Science has approximately one year to meet the terms of the challenge grant, and currently gifts of more than $110,000 have been secured. To support the Undergraduate Research Program and help to successfully meet the Emerson Foundation’s challenge grant, please contact Mark Gaul, Sr. Director of Development, at mrgdar@rit.edu. Or you make a gift online now.

Watch the video »

Download the brochure »