Since 2010, the School of Undergraduate Studies’ Summer Exploration Grant has given UGS students the opportunity to explore their research interests during their summer breaks. Grants can be requested in any amount up to $2,000, and have helped UGS students travel, conduct research in a lab, take unpaid internships, and more.
Learn about the 2018 recipients and consider applying for the 2019 Summer Exploration Grant.
Habitat for Humanity
Currently a civil engineering student, Evana Wang spent her summer as an intern for the Dallas area Habitat for Humanity, exploring the ways “engineering affects people through real life applications.”
“I talked with various professors and advisors across campus to find out what kind of activities would be most beneficial in understanding the major I would be pursuing,” Wang said. This led her to Habitat for Humanity, where she was able to make contacts with civil engineers and connect more deeply with physics via real-world experience.
“You shouldn’t limit yourself to research on campus,” Wang said. “I encourage you to look into non-profits; you’re able to meet people from diverse backgrounds who are genuinely interested in promoting the values of their organization.”
Micro-biology and Wasps
Ethan Cavazos’ summer exploration experience introduced him to laboratory research. He spent the summer working in a Freshman Research Initiative lab, where he grew bacteria from wasps. “While I’m not exactly a person who really likes bugs, I found that I was really interested in microbiology,” Cavazos said. His experience allowed him to connect with scientists researching in a related field. “It’s something I wouldn’t have experienced during the regular academic year.”
“The opportunity to study or immerse yourself in something you think you might like is incredibly invaluable,” says Cavazos. “I wasn’t entirely sure that I was going to like research, but I found that it’s something I’m pretty sure I want to do for the rest of my life.”
Creative Activity and the Drum Corps International
While many students choose to gain research experience with their Summer Exploration Grant, a number of students elect to engage in a creative activity. Kirk Baltzell spent his summer touring with the Carolina Crown, a prestigious competitive drum and bugle corps. Currently a theatre and dance major with a concentration in stage management, Baltzell worked closely with the Carolina Crown’s administrative team, gaining firsthand experience with fine arts administration. This allowed him to explore being a Broadway stage manager. When asked what advice he’d pass on to UGS students considering applying for the Summer Exploration Grant, Baltzell said: “just do it; there’s great value in committing yourself to something even if it’s not a perfect fit.”
Whether you’re looking to participate in an internship, research project, or creative activity, the Summer Exploration Grant can help you fully realize your vision. Applications are open now and the deadline to apply is March 6, 2019.