First-Year Scholars Program

First-Year Scholars Program

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The Office of Undergraduate Research is pleased to announce funding for a First-Year Scholars Program. This program is designed to pair first-year students who are interested in research with faculty mentors who will guide them on research in their respective fields.

The goal of this program is to introduce first-year students to the undergraduate research experience. We encourage students to apply for projects they find interesting, regardless of whether the projects are in their majors.

The students will serve as apprentices and will be integrated into the research programs of the faculty mentors, learning from both the faculty mentor and peers. Research shows that early engagement in research is associated with positive outcomes, such as improved retention, progression, and graduation rates (Nagda et al., 1998; Schneider et al., 2015) and enrollment in graduate school (Hathaway et al., 2002). The Office of Undergraduate Research is pleased to support early involvement in undergraduate research.

    • First-Year Scholars receive $1,000 in the Fall and $1,000 in the Spring. They are expected to work on the research project for a minimum of 10 hours per week. 
    • Faculty Mentors receive a total of $2,000 in professional development funding related to the project. These funds can be used at any time during the academic year.
    • Faculty mentors have been selected for the 2019-2020 academic year - recruitment of faculty for this year is currently closed. 
    • Faculty interested in applying to become mentors for the 2020-2021 academic year should complete the form here no later than April 24, 2020 by 11:59 PM EDT.
    • Descriptions of current available projects can be found here.
    • Criteria:
      • Strong track record of mentoring undergraduate researchers
      • Productive research program (strong publication record, external funding, strong conference participation)
      • Representative of the full breadth of research activity at Kennesaw State University
    • Students must be in their first year of college at KSU with fewer than 30 transfer credits (not including AP credits)
    • The project will be presented at the Symposium of Student Scholars in April.
    • Project outlines will be submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Research.
    • Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) staff will meet with the faculty mentors regarding student selection.
    • OUR staff will provide workshops for the first-year scholars throughout the year.
    • OUR will coordinate with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness to track Retention, Progression, and Graduation (RPG) rates for participating students.
    • Faculty mentors and first-year scholars will be surveyed annually regarding impact on research productivity.
    • Hathaway, R. S., Nagda, B. A., & Gregerman, S. R. (2002). The relationship of undergraduate research participation to graduate and professional education pursuit: An empirical study. Journal of College Student Development, 43, 614-631.
    • Nagda, B. A., Gregerman, S. R., Jonides, J., von Hippel, W., & Lerner, J. S. (1998). Undergraduate student-faculty research partnerships affect student retention. The Review of Higher Education, 22, 55-72.
    • Schneider, K. R., Bickel, A., & Morrison-Shetlar, A. (2015). Planning and implementing a comprehensive student-centered research program for first-year STEM undergraduates. Journal of College Science Teaching, 44(3), 37-43.