Funding Requests for Summer Undergraduate Research Projects Due March 6


Undergraduate researchers, scholars and artists have until March 6 to apply for Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity (SUROP) grants to undertake projects with faculty mentors during the summer term.

Students whose projects are selected for funding receive a $2,000 tuition grant and up to $1,250 to cover project-related expenses. Faculty mentors receive a $1,000 honorarium.

“We recognize that research and creative scholarship take many forms, and we encourage students from all academic disciplines to apply for funding for this valuable academic experience,” said Jane Greer, Ph.D., Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor of English, who also directs the Undergraduate Research program.

SUROP projects funded in 2019 reflected the diversity of academic disciplines at UMKC. They included an examination of the meaning of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius’s Second Symphony, an analysis of reasons home health workers leave clients and study on the effects of temperature change on extreme precipitation events in Kansas City.

Alexander Bearden, a geology major, received a 2019 SUROP grant to conduct field work at Diamond Craters in Oregon. Working with Alison Graettinger, Ph.D., he used drones to capture high-resolution imagery which was then used to create a detailed digital elevation model to study the formation of volcanic craters called maars.

“Undergraduate research has made college much more rewarding and enjoyable,” Bearden said. “It allows students to apply skills and knowledge gained in the classroom to real-life problems and situations.”

“Undergraduate research also provides many opportunities to travel, network, expand your skill set and perhaps find a specialization,” Bearden added. He presented his research at the Geological Society of America national conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

Kyle Connolly, a music performance major, studied Sibelius’s symphony under the mentorship of David Thurmaier, Ph.D.

“In classes, often the biggest projects I get to do last no more than a month. Over the summer, I got to dive deeper into a specific topic than I ever have before,” Connolly said.

Faculty reviewers assembled by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship will review the SUROP grant applications, and the awards will be announced in April.

For more information about the SUROP grants and a link to the application, visit

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