Presidential Undergraduate Research Scholars

The Presidential Undergraduate Research Scholars program (PURS) program provides undergraduate students in the fields of chemistry, physics, earth sciences and mathematics with an opportunity to conduct research during the academic year under the guidance of a UO faculty mentor. The program emphasizes engaging students in research that are from populations underrepresented in these fields. The program was created through funding provided by Presidential Chair in Science and Professor of Chemistry, Geraldine Richmond (see announcement of Richmond’s appointment).

For more information about Professor Richmond visit her website.

Questions about the PURS program can be directed to urop@uoregon.edu.

Program Overview

The PURS program is a comprehensive academic year research experience that includes two components:

(1) Academic year research experience: Students will be partnered with a faculty mentor that aligns with their research interests and are expected to commit to 130 hours of research per term (390 hours total). There will be an opportunity for a select number of students to present at a professional conference during the academic year following their participation.

(2) Enrollment in a 1 credit PURS course: The course meets weekly throughout the academic year and will cover topics such as emerging science research, ethics, career preparation, research skills development, effective communication of research, applying for distinguished scholarships/fellowships, and grad school preparation.

Course Requirements

  • Attend at least 2 departmental/institute seminars per term and write a short summary of what was presented as part of the course requirements.
  • Complete a mid-term and final report each term.
  • At the end of each term students will give a presentation on the state of their research project

Stipend Details

Scholars receive a $5,000 research stipend during the academic year. The stipend will be paid out over the 3 terms during the academic year, with two payments per term.

IMPORTANT: If you are receiving federal financial aid, this award may affect your financial aid eligibility. Students who receive federal aid have a responsibility to report all awards earned to the UO Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships for more information.

Program Details & Eligibility

  • Must be a graduate from a high school within the state of Oregon.
  • Must be a full-time student at the University of Oregon at the time of application and during the academic year of the program.
  • Junior year academic status, exceptionally talented sophomores may be considered.
  • Major in chemistry, physics, geological sciences or mathematics.
  • Must have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • Priority will be given to students that are first generation, low-income, minority, and/or from an underrepresented population in the sciences are encouraged to apply.
  • Student should have intentions to apply for graduate school with high potential to be accepted.
  • Students that are highly recommended by their department, meet all of the requirements for the program, but are receiving academic credit for their research and therefore cannot also be paid for the research may be designated as Presidential Undergraduate Research Scholars.

2017-2018 Timeline

Application Available January 9, 2017
Application Deadline May 8, 2017
Application Review Period Early May
Finalists Notified for Interview Mid May
Interviews Mid-to-late May
Selections Made Late May
Program Begins Beginning of Fall term
UO Undergraduate Symposium TBA

Program Expectations

Upon notification of receipt of a PURS position, undergraduate students must sign an agreement outlining their commitment to:

  • Conduct 10 hours of research per week throughout the academic year;
  • enroll in the one credit PURS course for the fall, winter and spring term;
  • attend at least two departmental/institute seminars per term and write a short summary of what was presented as part of the PURS course;
  • present your research at the UO Undergraduate Symposium, sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Studies;
  • acknowledge the Presidential Undergraduate Research Scholars Program in any work resulting from research done during the program year;
  • notify the Presidential Undergraduate Research Scholars administration of any publications, conference presentations, or other awards or fellowships that result from your research project; and
  • notify the Presidential Undergraduate Research Scholars administration immediately of other support or any conflicts with the restrictions and conditions of this research program.

How To Apply

  1. Download the PURS Application Guidelines Document:
    • Read this document carefully before completing the online application.
    • Ensure that you can meet the conditions outlined in the document.
    • OPTIONAL: Schedule a meeting with UROP (urop@uoregon.edu) to discuss your application and ask questions you have about the program.
  2. Complete PURS Online Application:
  3. Unofficial Transcripts:
  4. Letters of Recommendation:
    • Letter writer requirements:
      • You are required to have 2 letters of recommendation.
      • Letter writers may be any Tenure Track Faculty, Career Non-tenure Track Faculty, or Postdoctoral Fellow.
      • Letter writers should be knowledgeable of your research and/or academic background.
    • Instructions:
    • Request that your letter writers complete the Letter of Recommendation Worksheet.
    • Instruct the faculty members to return the completed form and letter of recommendation to urop@uoregon.edu
    • Under the federal law titled the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and according to the University of Oregon Student Record Policy, registered students are given the right to inspect their records, including letters of recommendation and teacher recommendations. If the student wants to waive their right of access to this recommendation, they may do so by completing a waiver form.

Questions?

Program Leadership and Staff

Geraldine Richmond, Professor of Chemistry and Presidential Chair in Science

Michael Haley, Richard M. and Patricia H. Noyes Professor of Chemistry

Priscilla Lewis, COACh Coordinator

Bri Gordon, Graduate Research Associate in Richmond Lab

Andrew Carpenter, Graduate Research Associate in Richmond Lab

Jeanne Basom, Administrative Program Assistant in Materials Science Institute

Karl Reasoner, UROP Program Manager