An award has been made to the University of New Orleans (UNO) and Southern University New Orleans (SUNO) to establish an Undergraduate Research and Mentoring (URM) program. The program will provide two-year research experiences in biology to four cohorts of scholars, starting in the fall of 2010 and continuing through summer 2013. Each cohort consists of four students (three from UNO and one from SUNO) who will be trained in research in biological sciences. URM scholars will be able to select from a wide range of research projects including conservation genetics, ecology, phylogenetic systematics, physiological and evolutionary ecology, molecular physiology, molecular biology, microbiology, and biochemistry. URM scholars will participate in individual research experiences, a stepwise educational program, and tiered mentoring. The major goals of the project are (1) to provide a diversity of opportunities for research in biology, (2) to offer a range of different faculty role models that can be matched to meet student needs and interests, (3) to provide a structured program beginning with general training in research methods, followed by hands-on research ultimately culminating in the presentation of research results, and (4) to provided a tiered mentoring process. URM students will conduct independent research mentored by faculty, and will participate in enhancement activities such as seminars, a foundational course in Basic Research Tools, and weekly lab meetings. Students will be mentored in communication skills development and will present their research results in a departmental research symposium, and will be encouraged to present at national or regional scientific meetings. Participants will be selected based individual applications, interviews, and successful completion of one semester of freshman biology. A formative evaluation to monitor the effectiveness of project implementation, and a summative evaluation to assess the quality and impact of the project in reaching its program goals will be conducted. More information is available by linking through by contacting Wendy Schluchter ( or Carla Penz (

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Sally E. O'Connor
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Southern University New Orleans
New Orleans
United States
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