A new initiative from the Yale College Dean’s Office that kicks off this week will consolidate and expand opportunities for undergraduates to do science and engineering research.
As part of Yale’s ongoing effort to enhance science education, molecular, cellular and developmental biology professor William Segraves has been working part-time for the Yale College Dean’s Office to streamline student access to research opportunities. The cornerstone of the new initiative is a Yale Science and Engineering Research Web site which is a comprehensive source of information on undergraduate research. In addition, the dean’s office has created two new fellowships to fund research projects, and Yale Science and Engineering Research will hold biannual workshops on research opportunities, the first of which is Tuesday.
“Since research is such a decentralized activity, few of us have known the full scope of these opportunities at Yale, and students may not know of the possibilities available to them,” Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead said. “Professor Segraves’s work has made the riches of Yale’s research opportunities fully visible, and the new fellowships will extend these opportunities further yet.”
The new Web site, located at http://www.yale.edu/yser, includes answers to frequently asked questions about research — such as when to begin and conduct research — as well as links to interdisciplinary and departmental research programs and information about funding research.
“In one place, we can direct [interested students] to all these places,” Segraves said. “This is the first time things have been tied together.”
The Web site lists information about many individual fellowship prizes, two of which are new.
The Yale College Dean’s Research Fellowship provides between $2,400 and $3,000 for up to 10 weeks of summer research with a Yale University faculty member. The Yale Science and Engineering Research Presentation Travel Prize provides up to $750 in reimbursement of travel expenses for students who wish to present their research findings at professional meetings or conferences.
Students trying to decide what type of research they would like to do can search links to departmental pages, but Segraves said he is working with various departments to create pages that specifically address research. Segraves creates such a Web page for his department.
Whitney Bowe ’01, who has worked in several laboratories studying the influence of gravity on gene expression in the nervous system, said the Yale Science and Engineering Research Web site will be a great aid to students interested in doing research.
“By going to that Web site [it] gives you a lot more insight than I had when I was a freshman,” Bowe said.
Segraves is very optimistic about the future of undergraduate science research.
“I think Yale has an opportunity that is really unique. It is a top-notch research university also with a strong commitment to undergraduate education,” Segraves said.
The first Yale Science and Engineering Research workshop is Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. in Linsly-Chittenden Hall 101. At the workshop, faculty from several departments will discuss various research opportunities, and students will describe their recent projects.