Undergraduates: Proposals sought for STARS Program

December 10, 2012 | Research, UToday
By Cathy Zimmer

The Office of Undergraduate Research is accepting proposals for the Student Achievement in Research and Scholarship (STARS) Program.

The STARS Program is designed to prepare high-achieving, low-income, potential first-generation undergraduates and students from under-represented groups interested in research for the next level in their educational continuum through graduate education and professional careers.

STARS recipients receive stipends of $500 per semester or $1,000 for the full academic year.

Proposals for spring semester are due Friday, Jan. 25.

“The STARS Program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct scholarly research with a faculty mentor by receiving paid research assistantships,” said Dr. Tom Kvale, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. “The research experience will better prepare students for the next stage in their professional careers.

“While the immediate focus of the program is to encourage and help undergraduate students successfully enroll and participate in graduate school, the long-term goal of the program is to enlarge the pool of those wishing to become college faculty members and trained professionals.”

Interested students need to identify a faculty mentor under whom they will conduct a research project. The work may be in any field of research represented at UT. The student, with guidance from the faculty mentor, must submit a research proposal to the Office of Undergraduate Research as part of the application process.

STARS is open to all undergraduate students who are Pell Grant-eligible at all levels, but higher preference will be given to sophomores and juniors. Candidates must demonstrate that they are goal-oriented, highly motivated and high-achieving. Students need to have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale to be eligible for the program.

“Participating students are required to complete a scholarly research project, submit a research report, and present their research at a student research conference or a professional conference,” Kvale said. “If at all possible during their senior year, they are encouraged to serve as mentors to younger students to help them become involved in research and other scholarly activities.”

The STARS Program was created in 1991. More than a decade ago, the Ohio Board of Regents’ Advisory Committee on Graduate Study recognized the critical need for increasing the state’s pool of prepared faculty. Thus, financial support for STARS students originally was provided to participating campuses through the Ohio Board of Regents’ state appropriation. However, when the state terminated funding for STARS in 2009, The University of Toledo decided to continue the program with its own funding, according to Kvale.

For more information on the program, contact the Office of Undergraduate Research at 419.530.2983 or undergradresearch@utoledo.edu. Visit them online here.

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