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Undergraduate Research

Palmetto Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE)

PURE is designed to support faculty mentored undergraduate research activities for students and faculty on our Palmetto College campuses.  

The PURE Program

  • The program is intended for projects involving one faculty mentor and one student mentee.  
  • The student and mentor do not need to be affiliated with the same Palmetto College campus.
  • Awardees receive a financial award for participation in the program (Mentor: $1,500; Mentee: $1,000).   
  • The application process varies by campus. Further details are outlined below. 

The Office of the Vice President for Research supports and encourages discovery in every discipline

 

Program Details

PURE is designed to support faculty mentored undergraduate research activities for students and faculty on our Palmetto College campuses. 

Timing on the distribution of funds vary by campus. Funds may be distributed in one stipend or divided and distributed at 2 or more points over the summer. See your campus-specific application or contact your Campus Program PI for details. 

Please note: PURE is intended to encourage and support as many different faculty and students engaged in research as possible. Preference may be given to faculty/students who have not been funded with a PURE grant previously. However, this does not preclude those who have been funded previously from applying or being awarded funding.  

Campus PI 

Dr. Angela Neal

Email: AMNEAL@mailbox.sc.edu

Phone: 803-313-7025

Office: Bradley 216

Dr. Bryan Love

Email: BryanLov@mailbox.sc.edu

Phone: 843-782-8675 or 803-812-7466

Dr. Sher Chhetri

Email: schhetri@mailbox.sc.edu  

Phone: 803.938.3856

Office: Schwartz Building, Room 136

Dr. Majdouline Aziz

Email: azizma@mailbox.sc.edu 

Phone: 864-424-8046

 

Eligibility

  • All Palmetto College campus students who are actively seeking an undergraduate degree are eligible for the PURE program.
  • All majors
  • Part-time and full-time status*
  • Must be engaging in research with a faculty mentor from a Palmetto College 2-year campus  
  • Preference is given to students in their first or second year, however students pursing a degree with the status “Palmetto Campus” are eligible for consideration, if the student is working with a mentor from one of the four Palmetto College campuses.
  • Preference may be given to students who have not been funded with a PURE grant previously. However, this does not preclude those who have been funded previously from applying or being awarded funding 

*Students with the status of “non-degree seeking” are NOT eligible 

FAQs

Students who have just received their associates degree from one of the four PC campuses and will be transferring to a 4-year UofSC campus (including Palmetto College 4-year degrees) are eligible to work with a Palmetto College mentor during the summer between the 2-year campus and 4-year UofSC campus. Students are not eligible if transferring outside of the UofSC system.

No, students can only receive PURE funding for one project per summer. Students can be funded for a second year on the same or a different project, although preference is given for students who have not been funded previously. 

Preference is given for students who have not been funded previously. However, students can receive PURE funding a maximum of two times. This can be for the same or a different project and with the same mentor or different faculty mentors.  

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PURE funding will not affect nor impact eligibility for any of the Magellan grants. Students who receive PURE awards are encouraged to pursue Magellan Scholar grants, Mini grants, and/or any Magellan awards for which they are eligible. 

Preference is given to students who have not been funded with a Magellan Scholar currently or previously for the same project or new, as the goal/aim of PURE is to support as many students as possible to engage in research. However, this would not preclude PURE funding. A student can be a Magellan Scholar (current or previous funding) and receive PURE funds.  
 
*Magellan Mini-grant recipients are fully eligible since the mini-grant is limited to materials/supplies funds.

 

Eligibility

Please contact your campus PI regarding mentor eligibility

FAQs

Yes, however, preference is given to support as many different faculty mentors engaged with our students in research as possible. PURE funding can be awarded to one mentor working with two students, for the same project or two different projects. The maximum amount of PURE funding per faculty is $3000 ($1500 per student mentored). Each student receives $1000.  
 
*Preference may also be given to faculty/students who have not been funded with a PURE grant previously. However, this does not preclude those who have been funded previously from applying or being awarded funding 

Two mentees. Each student would receive $1000 and the faculty $1500/student mentored, for the maximum of $3000/faculty mentor. Preference is given to support as many different faculty mentors engaged with our students in research as possible. 

Yes, if this award is used for summer salary, it is included in the summer salary cap for faculty members. It is the faculty member’s responsibility to know if they are eligible for additional summer pay before applying. Campuses may provide the option for mentors to use the mentor-award funds for materials/supplies, professional development, and/or conference/research travel

This varies by campus and each campus selects the mentor-mentee teams annually. Preference may be given to projects, faculty, and/or students that have not yet been funded by the program. Some campuses may limit a project to be funded only twice (same student or different students) or may permit a long-term, on-going project to be funded multiple summers with different students (the same student may be funded for a maximum of two years on the same project)

Yes, co-mentorship can be valuable in the student research experience. Faculty mentors would split the stipend, if mentoring one student. Each mentor receives $750 and student receives $1000; or if two students and two mentors: each student receives $1000 and each mentor receives $1500. 

 

To apply, please complete the campus appropriate application by the campus-specific deadline. The application consists of identifying the mentor and student; and providing a short description of the proposed project. 

Because campuses are encouraged to limit mentor-mentee pairings for the greatest impact across campus, the Lancaster Program is intended for research dyads, or projects involving one faculty mentor and one student mentee.  

To apply, please complete the program’s provided Lancaster Campus application by announced deadline, consisting of identifying the research dyad and giving a short description of the proposed project. 


Any undergraduate student that is actively seeking a degree (rather than holding “non-degree seeking status) is eligible for the PURE program. 


Because the Office of the Vice President for Research supports and encourages discovery in every discipline, projects of any discipline will be considered for funding. 


There is a campus cap of $12,500/summer. This allotted amount is intended to fund up to 5 mentor-mentee dyads each summer, with the faculty mentor receiving $1,500 and the student mentee receiving $1,000 for their work on a research project together. These funds will be ideally distributed at two points during the summer – once near the beginning of the summer, and once near the end. This award is included in the summary salary cap for faculty members – it is the faculty member’s responsibility to know if they are eligible for additional summer pay before applying. 

Both mentors and mentees within the program will only be approved for one project in the summer. 
While the program is intended for research dyads, if an approved project includes two mentors, the mentors will split the $1,500 award, each receiving $750, and the mentee will receive $1,000. 

Unique Circumstances: 
Should a project be of a larger scope, two students may be permitted to be funded on a single project. However, given there is a cap to the funds available, and a prime goal of the program is to diversify projects and maximize the impact, projects with one mentee and one mentor will be prioritized. If, by the provided deadline, there are not enough dyads to utilize the allotted funds for the summer, only then will a project with two mentees be considered for funding. A maximum of two mentees may be funded on any individual project. 


While the program is intended for research dyads, if an approved project includes two mentees, the mentor will receive $1,500 per mentee, and the mentees will each receive $1,000. 


Students may be permitted to be funded as mentees for a different project the following summer; however, preference will be given to students who have not yet been funded by this program. If, by the provided deadline, there are not enough previously unfunded student applicants to utilize the allotted funds for the summer, only then will a student be considered for funding additional. A maximum of two summers may be funded for any individual student. 


Projects may be permitted to be funded for a second summer; however, preference will be given to projects that have not yet been funded by the program. If, by the provided deadline, there are not enough new projects to utilize the allotted funds for the summer, only then will a project’s second summer be considered for funding. A maximum of two summers may be funded for any individual project. 
Mentees who do not meet the program’s expectations (as described in the General Information section) will not be eligible for additional funding. 


Any project requesting funding under the Unique Circumstances described above are required to submit their proposals by the same deadline as any other proposed projects. However, should there be additional funds remaining after the deadline, the following is the order in which those unique projects will be considered:  


A second mentee is funded on a single project. 


A mentee is funded for a second summer on a different project. 
A project is funded for a second summer. 


Additional mentees (beyond two) or funding a student or project beyond two summers will not be permitted. 

Please contact your campus PI for additional details

Please contact your campus PI for additional details

Please contact your campus PI for additional details

 

Award dates and hour requirements vary by campus and project needs. Typically, summer projects are expected to take place over 8-10 weeks of research. The mentor and mentee will establish the project-appropriate hours per week, total weeks, and start and end dates.

By the end of the summer, each project is expected to submit via email to the campus PI: 

  • 1-3 pictures of the mentor and mentee working together. 
  • A brief report (400-500 words) giving a description/overview of the project, and what was accomplished over the summer. 
  • A brief statement, from both the mentor and mentee (individually), sharing the impact or value of the experience. 
  • Following the completion of the funded summer, mentees are expected to present their projects at Discover UofSC. If a project is not yet completed, because Discover UofSC welcomes and encourages the presentation of “in process” projects, the mentee will still be expected to present the project at Discover UofSC the following spring. The Discover UofSC presenter confirmation email should be forwarded to the campus PI following conference acceptance. 

Please contact your campus PI for additional details

Please contact your campus PI for additional details

Please contact your campus PI for additional details

 

 

Awardees

 

Cynthia Curtis, 2022

Mentor: Professor Christopher Judge, Business, Behavioral Sciences, Criminal Justice, Education and Library Science

Project: The Sleeping Woman Speaks: Memory and Voice of the Women of the Guazapa Volcano, El Salvador

Andrew Ferebee, 2022

Mentor: Dr. Bettie Obi Johnson, Math, Science, Nursing, and Public Health

Project: Puzzles as Learning Tools for Chemistry

Abigail Klazinga, 2022

Mentor: Dr. Fernanda Marques Burke, Math, Science, Nursing, and Public Health

Project: A Study of the Relationship of Fatty Acid Structure and Soap Properties

Rio Ayu Shadow, 2022

Mentor: Dr. Angela Neal, Psychology

Project: Raising Global Awareness Among Students at USC Lancaster

Ashlyn Addison, 2021

Mentor: Dr. Suzanne Penuel, Humanities

Project: Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in South Carolina Firefighters 

Alexis Tasker, 2021

Mentor: Dr. Shemsi Alhaddad, Math, Science, Nursing and Public Health

Project: Visualizing Data with Embroidery

Jacob Horn, 2021

Mentor: Dr. Bryan Lindmark, Engineering & Mathematics 

Project: Alternative Representations of LDV Data: Using 3D Printing to Construct a Physical Model of a Target Response

Catherine (Katie) Hyman, 2021

Mentor: Dr. Sarah Miller, History 

Project: An Evaluation of the Political and Historical Importance of Pon Pon Chapel of Ease Prior to the South Carolina 1868 Constitution

Sydney Jones, 2021

Mentor: Dr. Bryan Lai, Mathematics

Project: A Study of Tic-Tac-Toe Game Variations

Ally Rose Robertson, 2021

Mentor: Dr. Justin Mogilski, Psychology

Project: Comperson as a Form of Mate Retention

Zachery Wilson, 2021

Mentor: Dr. Eran Kilpatrick, Biology 

Project: Herbarium Specimen Processing and Digitization in the USC Salkehatchie Herbarium

Celine Anstey & Ngaru Ngom, 2021

Mentor: ???

Project: Studying the Uptake of Lead by Mustard Seedlings

Student: Kara Samuels, 2021

Mentor: Dr. Pearl Fernandes, Science, Mathematics and Engineering

Project: Sickle Cell Anemia

Madisen Brewington & Kaitlynn Horton, 2021

Mentor: Dr. Emily Schafer, Psychology 

Project: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Mental Health in College Students on Two‐Year Campuses.

Caden Jackson, 2021

Mentors: Dr. Steven Lownes, World Languages & Dr. Maggie Aziz. Sociology

Project: Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: The Carolina Core Compared to other State Flagship Universities’ Multicultural Curricular Interventions and Programs. 

Blaine Newton, 2021

Mentor: Dr. Lee Morris, Dept??

Project: Analyzing Hair and Fibers from a Commercial Tsantsa (Shrunken Head).

Student: Travis Wendel, 2021

Mentor: Dr. Lee Morris, Dept?? 

Project: Survey of Crayfish Species in Union County, SC: Emphasis on Documenting the Spread of Invasive Crayfish Species (Procambarus clarkii).

 


Testimonials

Mentors & Students: We want to hear from you! Send any pictures, words of wisdom, etc to OUR@mailbox.sc.edu 




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