University of Dubuque Receives National Science Foundation Grant

The University of Dubuque has received a $748,450 grant from the National Science Foundation to support building a sense of belonging for students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through research, networking, and community engagement.

Funded through the foundation’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) program, the six-year grant supports the creation of the Connecting Research, Experiences, and Application to Engagement (CREATE) program at UD. CREATE will provide a unique opportunity for Department of Natural and Applied Sciences students majoring in biology, chemistry, or environmental science that demonstrate a financial need and academic talent to participate in an integrative program.

CREATE aims to cultivate and embrace a unique combination of research, vocational skill development, and intentional interactions within the community to help produce highly-skilled, qualified, and positive members of the STEM workforce.

CREATE is designed to provide scholarships for 24 students, building four cohorts of six students over the six years of support. Scholars will be selected during their first academic year and will be financially supported with a yearly award of $6,500 throughout the three remaining years of their undergraduate education. Scholars will carry out team-based, student-driven research projects under the mentorship of faculty members to build their skills and confidence in the area of STEM.

This summer, the first cohort of scholars will begin work on projects dealing with the overarching themes of water quality, vertebrate ecology, and prairie restoration. Next summer, those scholars will continue their research as well as become mentors to the next cohort of students.

Scholars will also participate in the planning and execution of a service-learning project. Ellen Carr, MBA, director of the Office of Vocation, Career Services, and Community Engagement, will help scholars prepare for professional life after college.

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