CURE Awards

research
About the Awards
 

CURE offers a variety of competitive grants to support undergraduate research endeavors. Applicants are eligible for the awards regardless of immigration status and FAFSA eligibility status.

The conference travel award assists students to present their research findings  at a conference or professional meeting. Fellowships are also available to support students to conduct summer research under the mentorship of a University of Oregon faculty mentor. CURE has also created a small grants fund to assist eligible students with research-related expenses, so they may continue their research work.

Learn about awards

CURE RESOURCES

See prior recipients 

Celebrating the Award Recipients

2023 First Year Research Experience Award (FYRE)
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Alexander Aghaei
“Two Birds with One Stone: Curbing Militarism, Fixing Climate Change”
MAJOR: Political Science & Data Science
MENTOR: Associate Professor Jane Cramer
Story Arney
Story Arney
“Evaluating U.S. Bilateral Aid to Jordan”
MAJOR: Political Science
MENTOR: Associate Professor Jane Cramer
Kelly Barber
Kelly Barber
“AAVE and its' Negative Stigmas”
MAJOR: Psychology
MENTOR: Assistant Professor Rachel Weissler
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Sara Biniam
“Bacterial Chemotaxis on C.elegans for Value-Based Decision Making”
MAJOR: Biology
MENTOR: Postdoctoral Research Associate Serge Faumont
Valerie Dagley
Valerie Dagley
“Development of a Web Based Data Visualization System”
MAJOR: Computer Science
MENTOR: Professor Hank Childs
Kimo Emary
Kimo Emary
“The History and Impact of Native Music Through the Years”
MAJOR: Exploring
MENTOR: Professor Mitchell Block
Olivia Estes
Olivia Estes
“Behavioral and Pathological Sex Differences in Alzheimer’s Model Mice”
MAJOR:  Psychology
MENTOR: Professor Michael Wehr
Mariam Fischer
Mariam Fischer
“Coalitionary and Non-Coalitionary Interventions in Captive Bonobos”
MAJOR: Anthropology
MENTOR: Professor Frances White
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Molly Katz
“Cyberbullying in Adolescents and Teenagers"​​
MAJOR: Family and Human Services
MENTOR: Associate Professor Jennifer Doty
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Seira Kitagawa
“Communicating Struggles and Support for Foreign Workers in Japan”
MAJOR: Global Studies
MENTOR: Instructor Catalina de Onis
Louisa Krantz
Louisa Krantz
“Determining the Underlying Cognitive Mechanisms behind Acquired Equivalence”
MAJOR: Neuroscience
MENTOR: Associate Professor Dasa Zeithamova
Haley Mae Lohf
Haley Mae Lohf
“Exploration Back into the future; Neural Interfaces and Accelerated Aging”
MAJOR: Neuroscience and Computer Science
MENTOR: Assistant Professor Felix Deku
Charlotte Olds
Charlotte Olds
“Hippocampal Repulsion and Context-Based Memory Organization”
MAJOR: Neuroscience and Psychology
MENTOR: Professor Brice Kuhl
Tharusha Seagoe
Tharusha Seagoe
“Role of LHb Tac1 neurons in RPE responses to conditioned reward-predictive stimuli”
MAJOR: Human Physiology
MENTOR: Assistant Professor Emily Sylwestrak
Jake Shim
Jake Shim
“North Korea under Kim Jong Un (2012-present)”
MAJOR: Political Science and Economics
MENTOR: Professor Tuong Vu
Mason Vaughn Brown
Mason Vaughn Brown
“Effects of acute and prolonged disuse on skeletal muscle structure and function”
MAJOR: Biology
MENTOR: Assistant Professor Damien Callahan
2023 Summer undergraduate research fellowship (surf)
Bailey Barrett
Bailey Barrett
“Understanding How Microbes Pick Their Partners”
MAJOR: Biology
MENTOR: Philip H. Knight Chair Professor Karen Guillemin
Corinthia "Cory" Brown
Corinthia "Cory" Brown
“Analyzing Ligand Specificity to Recreate Evolutionary Phylogenetic Tree for TLR4; Creating a Drop-in Cassette”
MAJOR: Biology
MENTOR: Associate Professor Mike Harms
Eliza Lawrence
Eliza Lawrence
“Mapping Landslides in SE Alaska using Planet Imagery”
MAJOR: Earth Science and Spatial Data Science
MENTOR: Professor Josh Roering
Kyla Schmitt
Kyla Schmitt
“Exploring the impact of estuarine conditions on native eelgrass in the Coos Estuary”
MAJOR: Environmental Science
MENTOR: Associate Professor Dave Sutherland
Harman Singh
Harman Singh
“The Importance of Highly Granular Calorimetry in Reconstructing Jets with Electromagnetic Energy at Linear Colliders”
MAJOR: Physics
MENTOR: Knight Professor of Natural Science James Brau
Lucy Wesson
Lucy Wesson
“Weaving Peace: How Women’s Fibers-Based Cooperatives Contribute to Empowerment and Development in Post-Genocide Rwanda”
MAJOR:  Global Studies
MENTOR:  Adjunct Instructor Will Johnson
2023 Faculty research mentor awardees
Nicolas Addington
Nicolas Addington
Nicolas Addington is deeply committed to the department’s new undergraduate summer research program for UO math majors, which is currently funded by an NSF RTG Grant, “Combinatorics, geometry, representation theory, and topology.” Several current and former student recommenders recognized Professor Addington for his innovative pedagogy and developmental mentorship that inspired them to pursue major and career pathways they had not previously considered. One recommender reflected on how their experience in Professor Addington’s “hands-on math lab during my very first term on campus took an experiential approach to learning that allowed us to play around with combining math and code in a self-directed manner. I still remember putting in way more hours than I needed to a Python program that drew fractals just because I thought the assignment was so cool. Later, Dr. Addington stopped me in the hall at Fenton to tell me that he really admired the work I put into his class. As a very new freshman, the encouragement really stuck with me.” This recommender also shared that approximately two years later “during the peak of the of the COVID-19 pandemic I was looking to get my feet wet in the world of math research and I contacted Nick to see if he still remembered me from that very first math class I had taken with him. He replied saying he remembered me well and went on to go above and beyond working with me on a summer research project in the field of algebraic geometry full of highlights in my academic career which included proving a theorem together with Nick on a blackboard and sending code snippets back and forth with the researcher who discovered the topic we were working on.” Another thesis advisee shared, “I am incredibly grateful for the massive time investment he has made. With his guidance, I have been able to explore fascinating mathematical topics that would be completely inaccessible otherwise.”
José Cortez
José Cortez
José Cortez serves on the Faculty Advisory Committee for the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) in the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation. He is also an affiliated faculty member with the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (CLLAS), Digital Humanities, Disability Studies, and Latinx Studies. Student nominators discussed the bridge from Professor Cortez’ dynamic classroom learning environment to working with him on undergraduate research projects. A former undergraduate mentee of Professor Cortez and current UO graduate student wrote in their nomination, “Small classes can be intimidating. Entering a class for the first time, you never know what you’re going to get--how will you measure up? How hard will you be required to work? What will the professor be like? And so on. In my almost five years here at the University of Oregon, one professor has taken these first-day anxieties and made them into dynamic, informative, empathetic, challenging, and deeply thought-provoking classrooms like no other. This would be Professor José Cortez. I have taken five of Dr. Cortez’s classes, and each time this classroom transformation occurred. Before, during, and after the height of the pandemic, I might add. The closest academic bonds I have had with peers all trace back to Dr. Cortez’s classes. This is due to the combination of non-negotiable respect, openness to being wrong, and willingness to debate that Dr. Cortez institutes and maintains. After having taken three of his classes, Dr. Cortez reached out to me to ask if I would work as a research assistant for his forthcoming book on borders and border patrol. During the fourteen months that I worked for Dr. Cortez, I learned invaluable skills that I have used in every class and job I have had since. Most notably, I learned how to look at a series of historical events and conduct research in a way that enables an understanding of what narratives were and are being told about the subject.”
Maria Fernanda Escallón
Maria Fernanda Escallón
Maria Fernanda Escallón’s current research traces how the declaration of cultural practices of Afro-Latino communities as “intangible cultural heritage of humanity” may further marginalize already vulnerable community members and leave structural racial inequities intact. Professor Escallón was a 2021–22 Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics Resident Scholar. Students recommenders cited Professor Escallón’s dedication to her mentees’ holistic success and wellbeing. One of Professor Escallón’s mentees testified that “she has been instrumental in my success as an undergraduate researcher and aspiring anthropologist. In serving as my faculty mentor for several undergraduate research projects, she has supported my academic and personal endeavors along every stage of my short undergraduate tenure at the University of Oregon, allowing me to develop considerable research experience and helping me win several grants and awards to support my ongoing work. Beyond her academic, professional, and logistical support, she has also proved herself to be a caring and considerate person whose interest in my success and wellbeing extends far beyond the purview of academia. Thanks to Professor Escallón’s outstanding mentorship I was able to actualize my dream of conducting serious ethnographic research as an undergraduate anthropologist. Where others said my goals were too ambitious, Professor Escallón encouraged me to shoot for the stars. So I did—and it worked. Shortly before my return to Eugene after three months abroad in the field, Professor Escallón wrote to me: ‘It’s been an absolute pleasure reading your work this summer seeing you grow into an ethnographer.’ While the experience was transformative indeed, I could not have done it without her expert mentorship. My future academic and professional career as an anthropologist was built on the foundation of skills, knowledge, and professional and personal ethics that she helped lay down.”
Laura Jeanty
Laura Jeanty
Laura Jeanty is a member of the Institute for Fundamental Science specializing in experimental particle physics. Professor Jeanty’s group works on the ATLAS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider and she has been a member of ATLAS since 2006. Her student recommenders acknowledged her confidence-building and inspiring mentorship. One mentee conveyed, “As a first-year physics student, I was initially extremely intimidated by high energy physics and believed that making contributions or working on research in the field as an undergraduate student would be nearly impossible. However, since joining Dr. Jeanty’s research group, I have felt a constant sense of support and guidance throughout my research journey. Dr. Jeanty’s support and encouragement has helped me to overcome feelings of self-doubt and her mentorship has been particularly meaningful to me as a female undergraduate student in physics, a field that has been historically male-dominated. She has provided a supportive environment where I feel comfortable asking questions and sharing ideas. From the first meeting, she ensured that I would be included in team meetings and discussions, and listened to my interests to develop projects that aligned with my research goals and aspirations. In addition to ensuring my inclusion in her research group meetings, she also connected me to the larger UO ATLAS Collaboration meetings, providing opportunities to learn about the projects and research being undertaken by other groups and graduate students. Dr. Jeanty has also helped me identify and apply to summer research programs, working closely to review and provide feedback on research proposals and write letter of recommendation. I have been able to receive a distinguished summer research award, which would have been impossible without her guidance and mentorship.”

First Year Research Experience (FYRE) Award

CURE launched FYRE in 2020 to provide first-year undergraduate students (including transfers students in their first year at the UO) the developmental opportunity to explore and engage in research and creative work. This fellowship annually funds students who are in their first year at UO. This year, recipients will receive $5000 and their research faculty mentor will receive $1000. FYRE recipients are expected to perform full-time summer research for 8 weeks minimum under the mentorship of a UO faculty member. CURE invites students from all schools, colleges, majors, and minors to apply for FYRE, including the humanities, arts, social sciences, and sciences. The application due date is April 30, 2024.

The applicant is asked to have a faculty mentor identified and a research proposal at the time of application. CURE invites students seeking to connect with a prospective faculty mentor to meet with our team (visit open hours or by appointment) so that we can work with them to provide guidance, resources, and support.

 

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) funds up to five students annually of any class standing to conduct full-time summer research for 8 weeks minimum under the supervision of a UO faculty member. This year, SURF recipients receive a $5000 stipend and faculty mentors a $1,000 stipend. CURE invites students from all schools, colleges, majors, and minors to apply for SURF, including the humanities, arts, social sciences, and sciences. The application due date is April 30, 2024.

The applicant is asked to have a faculty mentor identified and a research proposal at the time of application. CURE invites students seeking to connect with a prospective faculty mentor to meet with our team (visit open hours or by appointment) so that we can work with them to provide guidance, resources, and support.

 

Conference Presentation and Travel Awards

The purpose of this award is to support undergraduate students in their academic and professional development by attending and/or presenting at academic and professional conferences and symposia. Conference participation represents an integral element of the scholarly process, as well as graduate school and career exploration--from practicing how to communicate your work to networking with peers, faculty, professionals, and experts in your academic disciplines and career fields. The award is available to students in any of the University of Oregon’s eight undergraduate schools and colleges. CURE defines research and creative work expansively to encompass the social sciences, humanities, sciences, creative and performance arts, as well as the professional schools. Ten travel awards will be granted per year, with three awards designated for National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) presenters in the spring. Applications are considered on a rolling basis. Award funds may not be reserved pending conference acceptance to present.  Applications are considered on first-come-first-serve basis, and may not be guaranteed. NOTE: Please plan to apply at least  6 weeks prior to your conference date.

 

Undergraduate Research Small Grant

The Undergraduate Research Small Grant program, through CURE, offers funding for research related expenses, such as materials, supplies, minor equipment, and processing fees, as well as travel costs to research sites, such as field locations or archives and special collections.  The funding is offered to undergraduate students engaging in research and creative work in any field of study. Funding for travel to academic conferences is offered through the CURE Conference Travel Award, and not through this form. Applications are considered on a rolling basis

 

Faculty Research Mentor Award

The Faculty Research Mentor Award recognizes up to four UO faculty members annually for their exceptional mentoring of undergraduate research, creative work, and experiential learning. The Faculty Research Mentor Award is open to all full-time and part-time research and instructional faculty employed by the University of Oregon, which includes tenure related and career faculty, emerit faculty, library faculty, and officers of research, including research assistants, research associates, and postdoctoral scholars. Nominations are solicited widely from current students, alumni, faculty, and staff. The recipients are recognized as part of the Undergraduate Research Symposium in late May.  The awards include a $2500 prize, framed certificate, and profiles published in the Symposium Program Book and on the Undergraduate Research and Distinguished Scholarships website. This year's nomination deadline is May 2, 2024.