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Undergraduate Research


*See SURE award recipients and presentation lists below.

Click here to download the SURE 2017 Abstract Book

In an effort to encourage and support the involvement of undergraduate students in a research experience, the Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities program encourages faculty mentors to participate in the SUNY New Paltz Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE). The focus of this research program is to encourage student participation in faculty-mentored research, scholarship, or creative activities that generate new knowledge or works. The application and related information can be found below in the call for proposals. Previous proposals and criteria for evaluation are available at the bottom of this page.

Faculty mentors will direct and provide guidance to participating students as they work on a particular aspect of the faculty’s research program. The Safety Supplemental Stipend has been established to recognize the significant time commitment of faculty mentors to issues of student safety that is required for some projects (see the call for proposals). As a goal of this program is to encourage ongoing faculty-student collaboration, graduating seniors are given low priority in the funding decision. Students will receive funding to work full time on the project over the eight-week summer period. Early in the subsequent fall semester, all SURE students are required to present the results of their work. The date and format of the presentations will be determined. Student participants are also encouraged to present their work at appropriate regional and national meetings.

SURE students will meet with their faculty mentors regularly during the award period to discuss the progress and problems that may evolve during the course of the research engagement. This interaction will allow students the opportunity to gain experience in communicating their plans and questions involved with their project. Additionally, students will attend workshops on writing and presentation of research results.

SURE students commit to:

  • 8 weeks of work (300 hours) on the project
  • provide assessment information 
  • attend orientation on common exam day

» Download the 2018 SURE call for proposals (Word)

Due Tuesday, March 27, 2018. The next SURE proposals will be due in mid-to-late March.

Special opportunity for first-year students

The RSCA program provides a funding opportunity for first-year undergraduate researchers. The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program supports an undergraduate and faculty mentor in the pursuit of a research or creative project. Due to the level of experience generally required for such a project, SURE funds are typically awarded to more advanced students. To provide first year students with research experience opportunities, we will offer a supplementary SURE award. This award will support a rising sophomore who will work with a faculty mentor and upper-class SURE student. This second SURE student will receive funding for 300 hours of work, and the mentor a supplementary stipend of $300. The supplementary award is not a stand alone award; it must be associated with a funded SURE project.

Supplemental SURE proposals will be submitted with a SURE proposal. If the SURE proposal is funded, the supplemental proposal will be considered. The supplemental proposal format is described below.   It is expected that supplemental project will be a project that parallels or is a sub-project of the SURE project. The project should expose the student to work that is appropriate for the discipline and should contribute to the intellectual development of the student.

» Download the SURE supplemental application (Word)
» SURE proposal evaluation sheet (Word)
» Download a laboratory science example proposal (Word)
» Download a social science example proposal (Word)
» Download another social science example proposal (Word)
» Download a Humanities example proposal from 2017(pdf)

Students who have participated in the SURE and AYURE programs will be invited to apply for the Undergraduate Research Experience Travel Award (URETA). This award supports attendance at a professional conference to present the faculty-mentored research results. Attendance at professional conference will continue the research experience by enabling the student to participate in the professional environment of sharing knowledge and creative projects. See the Conference Travel Funds page to find the URETA application and information.

Congratulations to all Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) award recipients!

See the list below for student names, mentors and titles to the SURE 2017 projects: 

Emily Correia, Environmental Studies, ’18 (Mentor: Alex Bartholomew, Geology)
Astrochronology and Faunal Investigation of the Lower Devonian (Emsian) Esopus and Schoharie Formations in the Hudson Valley

Sarah Robinson, Biology, ’19 (Mentor: Kara Belinsky, Biology)
Color Banding Birds to Track Individual Behavior Across a Suburban Campus

Carmina Chloe Taduran, Biology, ’18, and Katherine Dobosh, Biology, ‘19 (Mentor: Lydia Bright, Biology)
Understanding Protein Evolution through Comparative Localization of Membrane Trafficking Proteins in Paramecium cells

Haley Springston, Geology, ‘18 (Mentors: Shafiul Chowdhury, Geology)
Development of a Conceptual Model to Evaluate the Potential for an On-Campus Groundwater Supply Wellfield to Fulfill the Water Needs of SUNY New Paltz

Nicholas Gonda, EGS, ’17 (Mentor: Megan Ferguson, Chemistry)
Examining the Potential for Disinfection Byproduct Formation in Wallkill River Water

Emily Steward, Mechanical Engineering, ’19 (Mentor: Michael Gayk, Art/Metal)
“And by Sea”

Lucas Tracy, Physics, ’19 (Mentor: Catherine Herne, Physics and Astronomy)
Determining Elliptical Polarization of Light from Rotation of Calcite Crystals

Dan Hulseapple, History, ’18 (Mentor: Keely Heuer)
Art and Empire:  Akkadian Kings and their Influence on Political Visual Culture

Ada Bellantoni, Geography, ’18 (Mentor: Scott LeVine)
Quantitative Content Analysis of Urban Transportation Planning Studies

Gregory Krupp, Geography, ’19 (Mentor: Lawrence McGlinn, Geography)
Historical Maps of New Paltz:  Georeferencing and Uncertainty

Carina Kohn, English/Creative Writing, ’18 (Mentor: Cyrus Mulready, English)
The Next Keeper of the belt: Objects, Family, and the Russian Diaspora

Andrea Bialosuknia, English, ’18 (Mentor: Thomas Olsen, English)
A Study of Power, Politics, and Personal Identity in Shakespeare’s History Plays

Elizabeth Chase, English; Jewish Studies, German, ’17 (Mentor: Vanessa Plumly)
Woman as Ideological Bridge: Assessing Continuities in Weimar and Nazi German Cinema

Heather Wander, Biology, ’19 (Mentor: David Richardson, Biology)
Zooplankton Diversity and Density as Mediators of Trophic Cascades and Food Web Shifts in Lake Minnewaska, NY

Meagan Stone, Geography, ’18 (Mentor: Melissa Yang Rock, Geography)
Blue Light Phones and Campus Security: Assessing Visibility, Accessibility and Knowledge of Blue Light Phones Using a Mixed-Method Research Approach

Mary Dellas, Public Relations, ’18 (Mentor: Rachel Somerstein, Digital Media & Journal)
Strangers in a Strange Land: News Photographs of Syrian Refugees in U.S., Canadian, and Lebanese Newspapers

Esther Chan, Biochemistry, ’18 (Mentor: Pamela St. John, Chemistry)
Optimizing BPA detection Using HPLC and Studying its Effects Using AFM

Megan Gangewere, Mechanical Engineering, ’18 (Mentor: Rachmadian Wulandana, Engineering)
Tesla Turbines with Removable Rotor Discs and Nozzels


SURE awards list thru 2017