Published: March 18, 2014

Undergraduate research takes spotlight at annual forum

Contact(s): Stepheni Schlinker Office of Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education office: (517) 884-8011 schlink2@msu.edu

More than 600 Michigan State University undergraduate students will showcase their research at the 2014 MSU Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum – the university’s premier showcase for undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity – from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 4 at the MSU Union.

This year’s forum features 637 presenters from 14 colleges and 475 programs. The event is free and open to the public.

“While research is at the core of graduate education, many are unaware that thousands of undergraduate students are making significant contributions to the MSU research agenda,” said Douglas Estry, associate provost for undergraduate education and dean of undergraduate studies. “Engaging in faculty research is a powerful learning tool and a hallmark of an MSU undergraduate experience.”

In fact, the Anderson Economic Group recently released a report ranking Michigan’s university research corridor– which comprises MSU, University of Michigan and Wayne State University – second in the Innovation Power Ranking when compared to seven other major university research clusters in six states.

The report further showed the URC contributed $16.6 billion in state economic activity in fiscal year 2012 and activity attributable to the URC boosted state tax revenue by $449 million that same year. Additionally, the URC was responsible in 2012 for more than 66,000 direct and indirect jobs statewide, with the impact being felt in regions ranging from the Upper Peninsula to Michigan’s southern border with Indiana and Ohio.

The annual UURAF, co-sponsored by the Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and the Honors College, provides MSU undergraduate students with an opportunity to showcase their scholarship and creative activity with faculty, peers and external audiences. Students can choose how they present their work, in the form of a poster, oral presentation or performance, from a wide variety of categories, ranging from agriculture and animal science to business to humanities and performing arts.

“After putting months of hard work into a project, it is incredibly validating to share my research and receive recognition for it,” said Susie Sonnenschein, 2013 UURAF Grand Prize winner and double major in psychology and neuroscience in the MSU Honors College. “UURAF was an excellent experience to prepare for graduate school.”

Monetary prizes are awarded to recognize exemplary achievement. One first-place award of $100 will be given in each section. First-place award recipients are eligible to submit their work for the grand-prize awards. Two grand prizes of $500 will be awarded to one program from the science and engineering categories and one program from the humanities, social sciences and communication arts and sciences categories.

More information about the 2014 forum can be found here

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In Washington Monthly’s 2014 National Universities Rankings, MSU ranked 29th, putting it in the top 11 percent of the 277 higher education institutions analyzed by the publication.
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