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Research

Make the most of your Ag Sciences education and set yourself apart from other undergraduates by being involved in real-world science as an undergraduate researcher.

Become part of cutting-edge research and ask a faculty member for a part-time job in a research lab. Volunteer to serve as a research assistant for a faculty-led research project. Work side by side with faculty, graduate students, and other undergraduates in a lab or field experience.

Create cutting-edge research, develop a proposal for your own research project, earn academic credit for your work. You may also qualify for a competitive grant to support the expenses. Present your research through a "poster session" within the college and at University exhibitions.

College of Ag Sciences Undergraduate Research Awards

The Summer 2019 Proposal Form will be available soon.

The overall objectives of this process are to develop undergraduate student research projects and provide funding to help support this research. This is an educational opportunity for students and the research proposal is to be a student-generated effort. The student must be involved in all aspects of project design and proposal writing. The proposal must be written by the student.

Students and supervising faculty - Please note, that by signing the research proposal, you attest that the proposal as written is an original student developed work and does not contain in-whole or in-part sections of written material from previously submitted grants, reviews, or published material that would constitute plagiarism.

Funds for the Undergraduate Student Research program are supported by the College offices of Undergraduate and Graduate Education and the academic unit.

Criteria for Participation

  • Students must be enrolled in the College of Agricultural Sciences.
  • Supervising faculty must be in the College of Agricultural Sciences. (Exceptions may be granted to faculty at Commonwealth campuses that have strong working relationships with the College of Ag Sciences.)
  • The Undergraduate Research Proposal Form must be completed and submitted by the student. Proposals submitted by faculty advisers for any reason will not be accepted.
  • All three attachments of the proposal submission (including the Undergraduate Research Proposal Form with electronic signatures, Word document created by the student, and the Undergraduate Research Budget Form) must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline date via e-mail. Students will receive a confirmation of receipt via e-mail within 48 business hours of submission. If you do not receive a confirmation of receipt by 5:00 on the deadline date, please contact the College of Agricultural Sciences Office for Undergraduate Education.
  • The student may submit only one proposal per semester.
  • A maximum of two (2) proposals per faculty member will be funded.
  • The unit leader from the department in which the research will be conducted must agree to contribute $250.  
  • The student and supervising faculty member jointly develop the research for credit proposal (course numbers 296 or 496). The student must be registered for Independent Studies (296 or 496 or 494H, the corresponding Honors course) before funds can be transferred if proposal is approved.
  • The student must receive a grade for the work.
  • All research is expected to be conducted within the semester for which the funding is awarded. The College of Agricultural Sciences Office for Undergraduate Education must be notified of any special circumstances as soon as possible. Failure to complete the research within the time frame allotted may result in a loss of funds.
  • The student and faculty adviser shall preserve academic integrity during the research process.
  • The student and faculty adviser must prepare a "poster session" exhibit for the Gamma Sigma Delta Undergraduate Research Exposition or the Penn State Research Expo.

Request for Funds

You must present an itemized budget of $2,000 or less, including the unit contribution, using the Undergraduate Research Budget Form provided.

NOTE: The primary use of funds will be to provide for student wages. Please refer to Human Resources for the appropriate wage rate. It is the responsibility of the student and the host department/faculty supervisor to work with the College of Ag Sciences HR Office to establish wage employment for the student, set wage rates, and initiate payment.

A maximum of $500 can be budgeted for supplies and travel. Travel expenses will be considered for actual data collection only. Failure to complete the above requirements may result in approved funding for undergraduate research being withdrawn.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle.  This principle will be held to a high standard and any arising issues will be dealt with accordingly.

Selection and Notification

A panel of representatives from the Office for Undergraduate Education and the Office for Research and Graduate Education will review the proposals using the following rubric:
College of Ag Sciences Undergraduate Research Proposal Rubric

Proposal Forms

Please download and save the proposal form in order to utilize the electronic signature tool.