EXCEL in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

The opportunity to connect students, faculty, and disciplines

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Student Terms

As many of you know EXCEL was funded by a $1.8M National Science Foundation (NSF) Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Talent Expansion Program (STEP) grant and this effort has been institutionalized. Our Team was awarded a $1.8M Step 2B NSF award in 2011 to continue our STEM initiatives (COMPASS). We have combined the EXCEL and COMPASS URE programs into one effort to enhance the experience. One of the main objectives of this project is the offering of a one semester second year undergraduate research experience (URE) to you the students.

The goal of this URE is for you to see and experience research first-hand and feel what it is like to generate and/or discover knowledge. The EXCEL/COMPASS program provides you (EXCEL/COMPASS student) with a stipend as an incentive to participate in research. The expectation is that you would spend approximately 10 hours a week working with a research mentor to gain experience. You will be mentored by a graduate student or faculty member and see/learn about the research process. As a student you will have an opportunity to work hard and help/observe/conduct research. It is expected that after this one semester (Spring) URE, you will be better prepared to apply for Junior level paid URE's such as RAMP or McNair which gives you a good opportunity to secure a well paid research position. We believe this will be a win-win for both faculty and students.

As a participant in this program there are several expectations. First and foremost you must keep your academic performance high. Most faculty researchers will not allow you to continue working on their project if your GPA drops below a 3.0. Second, be punctual. When you set up a time to meet make sure you arrive 5 minutes early. Third, be prepared and accept responsibility. If you have been asked to do background reading or asked to carryout a task- do everything in your power to complete that assignment. Lastly, have fun! This URE is all about gaining experience in research.

William T. Self, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences
EXCEL URE Coordinator
Student Expectations:
  • Identify potential faculty mentors and initiate contact.
  • Be punctual, responsible and inquisitive.
  • Work ~ 10 hrs per week during Spring.
  • Write a two-page summary of your experience.


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