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Undergraduate Research


*See SURE award recipients and presentation lists below.

Click here to download the SURE 2018 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 SURE 2019 Call for Proposals (Word)

Due Tuesday, March 27, 2018.

» 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)

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)

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 2018 projects: 

Boris Rapoport, Physics and Astronomy, ’18 (Mentor: Amy Bartholomew, Physics & Astronomy) Observing a Correlation between Planetary Nebula Sizes and Chemical Compositions

Callie Barth-Dwyer, Organismal/Environmental Biology, ’19 and Kristyn Gessner, Biology, ’21 (Mentor: Dr. Kara Loeb Belinsky, Biology) Color Banding Birds to Track Individual Behavior Across a Suburban Campus

Winiffer Conce, Molecular/Cellular Biology, ’19 (Mentor: Lydia Bright, Biology)
Determination of infection susceptibility of Paramecium strains to Holospora bacteria

Eleanor Condelles, Sociology and Psychology, ’19 (Mentor: Karl Bryant, Sociology)
U.S. School Shootings in the Trump Era

Penelope Adler-Colvin, Geography, ’19 (Mentor: Huicheng Chien, Geography)
Mapping temperature change in New York State from 1950 to 2017

Puja Saha, Environmental Geochemical Science, ’19 (Mentor: Megan Ferguson, Chemistry)
Examining a bacterial predator’s mechanism of prey identification by quantifying interactions between cell monolayers

Johanna Levey, Physics and Astronomy, ’19 (Mentor: Catherine Herne, Physics and Astronomy)
Polarization measurements in a tightly focused optical trap

Alec Goldstein, Psychology, ’19 (Mentor: Elizabeth Hirshorn, Psychology)
Examining the relationship between visual word and face processing

Rory Schiafo, Biology, ’19 (Mentor: Eric Keeling, Biology)
Pitch pine tree age/fire history relationships and understory plant community responses following the 2016 wildfire at Sam’s Point Preserve, NY.

Jennifer Beahan, Mechanical Engineering, ’19 (Mentor: Heather Lai, Engineering)
Dynamic Behavior of Biologically Inspired 3D Printed Visco‐Elastic Heterogeneous Structures

Michelle Pirrone, Electrical Engineering, ’20 (Mentor: Spencer Mass, Biology)
Comparing the movements of locomotion in ambystomoid salamanders

Sasha Garcia, Geography, ’18 (Mentor: Lawrence McGlinn, Geography)
Remote Sensing of Coastal Erosion on Long Island, New York

Anna Woodworth, Anthropology, ’19 (Mentor: Kenneth Nystrom, Anthropology)
Reconstruction of Diet at the Iron Age site of Cvijina Gradina, Croatia

Conor O’Riordan, History and Mathematics (German), ’19 (Mentor: Dr. Vanessa Plumly, Languages, Literatures & Cultures)
“Historically Determined Value?: Shifting Perceptions of Monuments and Art in Twentieth-Century Germany”

Brenna O’Brien, Biology with Cell/Molecular Concentration, ’20 (Mentor: David C. Richardson, Biology)
Big fish in a little lake: How the Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) relative health and population size are changing in Lake Minnewaska

Franchesca Arecy, Spanish/Communication Disorders (Deaf Studies), ’19 (Mentor: Deyanira Rojas-Soso, Languages, Literatures & Cultures) Ideologies about race and bodies in Latinas’ discourses about hair and beauty

Cole Solis, Contract Major in Environmental Science Illustration, ’19 (Mentor: Thomas Sarrantonio, Art)
Retrospect of an Artist’s Roots: Plant to Paper to Poetry and Pigment

Troy Moody, Biochemistry, ’19 (Mentors: Pamela St. John, Chemistry, and Spencer Mass, Biology)
Correlating BPA absorption and the regeneration process in planaria

Liz Dragan, Art History, ’19 (Mentor: Reva Wolf, Art History)
Female Performance, Contemporary Culture, and the Occult: A Holy Trinity

Kieran Cavanagh, Mechanical Engineering & Mathematics, ’21 (Mentor: Rachmadian Wulandana, Engineering)
Computer Modeling of Vortex-Induced Instability of Flow Past Cylinders


SURE awards list thru 2017