Applications for Signature Experience Grants open until Oct. 31

Applications for Signature Experience Grants open Oct. 1

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will accept applications for the university’s Signature Experience Program until Oct. 31 to encourage and support students in the development of high-impact research or creative projects mentored by a faculty member through the 2019-20 academic year.

Applications must be submitted by midnight Oct. 31. The first round of grant applications will be reviewed beginning Oct. 15, so early applications are encouraged.

The Signature Experience Grant program was created in 2017 to provide students up to $1,000 to fund a signature experience, such as a research project, creative activity, or community project to enrich students’ academic experience at UA Little Rock.

Past projects have ranged across disciplines and included a review of tenant-landlord laws in Arkansas, a study of coral reef disease in the Bahamas, an analysis of gold nanoparticles for growing neural cells, an examination of cross-dressing on Shakespeare’s stage, and the entrepreneurial design and development of a transparent fishing box.

“This year, there will be several important changes aimed at formalizing the Signature Experience Program to support high-level research and creative work, as well as retention and recruitment initiatives,” said Dr. Jeremy Ecke, director of the Signature Experience Program. “As the Signature Experience Program matures, we hope to offer more research and creative support to students through workshops, speakers, and luncheons that will build a culture of collaboration between faculty and students at various levels of their academic careers.” 

This year, a subset of awards will be set aside for freshmen, sophomores, and students who transferred to UA Little Rock during the 2019-20 academic year.

“The grant gives new UA Little Rock students the opportunity to develop a research project with a mentor and gain a better understanding of a given discipline and its methodologies,” Ecke said. “If new students work with a mentor and conduct research early on in their college careers, they are more likely to stay in school. They are far more likely to be engaged as an active member of the academic community and to identify with their majors.” 

For the first time, UA Little Rock will also offer a set amount of grants for graduate students. 

“This funding will prioritize graduate students whose research projects are unlikely to move forward without a source of funding,” Ecke said. “These grants open up more research opportunities for our graduate students and give them the chance to conduct more competitive research projects in areas that are not as highly grant funded.”

To be eligible for application, students must have a minimum 2.5 grade point average and a UA Little Rock faculty member to mentor their project. They also must present their project during the 2020 Student Research and Creative Works Showcase in April 2020.

Applications can be filled out at this link. Examples of abstracts, budgets, biographies, and past Research Expo programs are also available on the Signature Experience website.  

For more information, contact Dr. Jeremy Ecke at jsecke@ualr.edu or 501-569-3475.

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