SURE program offers research opportunities to Marshall undergrads

The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience program will provide research funding for 11 Marshall University undergraduate students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics this summer.
Marshall Chemistry Professor Michael Norton said 17 students applied to receive $4,000 in funding for summer research.
Applicants are expected to have a background in research with a faculty member, and a member of faculty will act as the researcher’s mentor for the duration of the program.
The program is a way for students to continue research projects with faculty members by receiving funding.
Norton said researchers of many different fields are encouraged to apply.
“We should have engineers applying,” Norton said. “Anyone from the college of science, psychology is a [National Science Foundation] subject area, and other NSF subjects related to STEM.”
Norton said the program is designed for students who plan to pursue graduate or doctoral degrees.
“[Applicants] should be students who plan to become Ph.Ds in the future,” Norton said. “We are hoping that some of those Ph.D students plan to remain in state.”
Research for the SURE program will be conducted from May 18 to July 31.
Participants are barred from enrolling in other courses or maintaining weekday employment during the program’s 10 weeks.
The students who did research last year performed studies in the fields of biology, chemistry, physical geography and geology. Topics ranged from the statistical modeling of hurricane frequency and severity to the effects of high fructose corn syrup on adult neural stem cells.
Brain drain–or the relocation of educated people from their original locations–is a concern for Norton. He said it is acceptable for a student to earn a Ph.D. outside of West Virginia, but he hopes he or she returns after  his or her degrees are completed.
Students are encouraged by faculty members to apply for the SURE program, but Norton said he would like to see students engaged in research decide to join the program on their own.
The SURE program is funded by the West Virginia Research Challenge fund. Funding is administered by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission Division of Science and Research. The program is also available at other state universities like West Virginia University.
Patrick Breeden can be contacted at [email protected].