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The Honors College

Oak View Hall, Room 210
509 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4452
(location map)
(248) 370-4450
Fax: (248) 370-4479

The Honors College

Oak View Hall, Room 210
509 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4452
(location map)
(248) 370-4450
Fax: (248) 370-4479

beige graphic design with white triangle outlines, some filled in with color

Michigan Center for Undergraduate Research

The Michigan Center for Undergraduate Research (MCUR) supports and advances strong undergraduate research by nurturing innovative ideas, projects and collaborations. Housed in the Honors College, MCUR provides for undergraduate researchers across Oakland University by offering information and training, by promoting ingenuity and aspiration, and by helping develop projects and project funding plans.

Scholarship Opportunities

Aaron, release the E stop. Ten volts, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty.

So we are the fuser group, Star in a Jar, as a part of the Honors College thesis project.

Here specifically we are building a Hirsch Farnsworth fuser. It is a inertial electrostatic containment device. It uses a powerful electrical field to both create and contain a ball of plasma.

So one of the main goals of this project was to be able to make a, another clean renewable source of energy with virtually no radioactive waste. The positive side of fusion versus fission is that fusion doesn’t create as many radioactive byproducts as fission. Fission by, by it’s own nature uses heavier elements which start out radioactive and after the reaction they’re still radioactive because they’re not stable isotopes of the, of their own elements.

Seventy, eighty, ninety, one hundred, one hundred and ten, one hundred and twenty. You can see that the purple glow is produced by the plasma inside the inner grid. The glow becomes brighter as more voltage is applied.

When you get down to it though, this is basically just a fancy neon sign. It operates on this, pretty much the same principle. We have a high voltage which creates an electrical field in a gas that creates a plasma. Why you see purple here is because the purple wavelength is a part of air’s spectral emissions, that being mostly nitrogen with a little bit of oxygen and a few other trace elements. What are we, are we still getting to what four or five hundred?

Five hundred. This is what our issue is though.

What is? Do we need a higher stand?

There’s gonna be very few instances where you’re working on something solely by yourself and you’re gonna be often put into teams with people you may not even know and I think having the ability to work cohesively in a team and bounce ideas off each other and keep each other in check, on task, is just such a wonderful trait to have going forward. And I think we really demonstrated that within our group and allowed for further progress we made simply by having other people.

I think we’re, we’re very happy with our results. We did accomplish what we set out to do which was to achieve star mode. We’re working towards achieving a more powerful star mode in which we are able to preform nuclear fusion.
Get Started

Undergraduate research opportunities are available in nearly every major.

Through research, you’ll learn to hone your skills in writing, creativity, editing and researching - skills essential for employment and/or graduate school.

Where do you start?
First, explore your options: areas of study, research mentors and centers and facilities. Then, reach out to a professor or mentor within your field of interest.

Questions? Contact

Undergraduate Research Funding Opportunities

Web GURU Guide to Undergraduate Research
This guide is full of additional information about undergraduate research programs, mentoring, and professionalism in the lab. 

Council on Undergraduate Research
CUR helps support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship.

Center for Undergraduate Research Leadership
The Center for Undergraduate Research Leadership (CURL), supports undergraduate research leadership initiatives. CURL assists in supporting leadership development and excellence among the Oakland University undergraduate community, and the qualities of creativity, innovation and social and public enterprise. The leadership center aims to advance the idea that strong undergraduate research leadership supports the future of higher education, the engine powering the success of our colleges and universities and of the public and private sectors.

Undergraduate Research Symposium

Quality Assurance in Undergraduate Research Symposium
Friday, September 28, 2018
8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Oakland University
Laidlaw Room
Oak View Hall
509 Meadow Brook Rd
Rochester, MI 48309-4452


8:30-9 a.m. | Registration and Continental Breakfast

9-10:15 a.m. | Welcome

Graeme Harper
Dean, The Honors College, Oakland University
Director, Michigan Center for Undergraduate Research

Opening Remarks
David Stone
Associate Vice President, Research, Oakland University

10:15-10:30 a.m. | Break

10:30-11:15 a.m. | Session I: An Advising-centric Approach to Undergraduate Topic/Project Development

Peter Civetta
Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, Northwestern University

11:15-Noon | Session 2: Key Components of Undergraduate Research Outcomes

William Polik
Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship, Hope College  

Noon-1 p.m. | Lunch

1-1:45 p.m. | Session 3: Diversity in Undergraduate Research

Michelle Ferrez
Director of Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 

1:45-2:30 p.m. | Session 4: Keynote – Creating an Effective Office of Undergraduate Research
Peter Civetta
Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, Northwestern University

2:30-3 p.m. | Session 5: Mentorship roundtable

Training, structure, roles and best practices

3-3:15 p.m. | Break

3:15-3:45 p.m. | Session 6: Creating the National Document on Quality Assurance in Undergraduate Research for the Council on Undergraduate Research

Graeme Harper, Vice Chair of the CUR at Large Committee
Greg Wilson, Chair of the CUR at Large Committee

3:45-4 p.m. | Closing Remarks

Speaker Biographies

David Stone, Associate Vice President for Research, Oakland University

Dr. Stone is a highly accomplished instructor, researcher and administrator with an extensive background in interdisciplinary scholarship. He currently serves as associate vice president for strategic innovation and planning, and as an associate professor of public health in the School of Nursing and Health Studies at Northern Illinois University. Previous positions he has held at NIU include associate vice president for research and director of the Office of Sponsored Projects. Prior to joining NIU, Dr. Stone served as the founding director of the South-East European Research Centre at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom and at CITY College in Thessaloniki, Greece; founding associate director of the Pediatric and Adolescent Health Research Center at Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston; founder and director of Boston Cares for Injured Youth; and director of research and science at the Fenway Community Health Center in Boston.

Peter Civetta, Director, Office of Undergraduate Research, Northwestern University

Peter Civetta is the founding director of the Office of Undergraduate Research in the Office of the Provost at Northwestern University.  He advises students on grant proposals, works to foster undergraduate research across the University, and helps to develop new initiatives.  He is a lecturer in the Theatre Department and with the Cook Family Writing Program.  His research explores the performance of religious/spiritual/moral beliefs in contemporary American society, particularly focusing on the impact of preaching as cultural discourse.  In Evanston, Peter runs the non-profit Extraordinarily Sophisticated Imagination Club, a theatre program where children improvise and create their own original plays.

William Polik, Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship, Hope College

Dr. Polik has an exceptional record of productivity in scientific research with undergraduate students. He has been awarded $2.4M of funding from Research Corporation, the ACS Petroleum Research Fund, the Dreyfus Foundation, NSF and other sources to support a research program in molecular spectroscopy and computational chemistry. He invented the method of pure vibrational spectroscopy that resulted in the most detailed vibrational spectra of small polyatomic molecules in the world. He constructed the first cluster computer at Hope College, pioneering an approach currently utilized by major supercomputer centers. His research has resulted in 70 publications with 30 undergraduate co-authors and over 100 invited seminars. Dr. Polik has been recognized nationally for his scholarship as a NSF Presidential Young Investigator, a Dreyfus Foundation Fellow, a CUR Councilor, an AAAS Fellow and an ACS Fellow. 

Michelle Ferrez, Director of Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor  

Dr. Ferrez has twenty two years of professional, research, and assessment experience on undergraduate STEM retention programs (including managing multi-institutional NSF grants such as LSAMP, AGEP, and partnerships with Minority Serving Institutions. Michelle's primary research interest centers on postsecondary access and success for minoritized women and men in STEM fields, the culture and climate of the learning context in STEM, and the role of STEM diversity programs in creating educational equity in STEM. 

Graeme Harper, Dean of The Honors College, Oakland University , Director of MCUR

Arriving in 2011 to lead Oakland University’s Honors College,  Dr. Harper previously held posts in Texas (at the University of Texas Medical Branch), Alabama (as the Paschal P. Vacca Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts at the University of Montevallo), and in the United Kingdom and Australia. Formerly a college Director of Research, he has been a Foundation Chair of a number of academic departments, centers and institutes. He was a senior research assessor at Britain’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) from 2003-2015, and an assessor for Research Excellence Frameworks in the United Kingdom and Australia from 2005-2016. He has assessed medical research for the Wellcome Trust, Educational and Technology Research for the European Commission, technology research for the UK's Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), and creativity, media and cultural research for the Hong Kong Research Council. He is regular examiner of doctoral degrees worldwide, and is currently vice-chair of the At-Large Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR).

Greg Wilson, Assistant Vice President Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, University of Central Oklahoma 

Dr. Greg Wilson came to UCO in 2001 as a faculty member in biology. His teaching area is human and comparative anatomy and his research interests include molecular techniques to infer the population genetic structure of a variety of vertebrates. He has mentored both undergraduate and graduate research students, and he promotes, encourages, supports

and participates in research, creative and scholarly activities at UCO. Dr. Wilson earned a B.A. in Biology from Central College (Central University of Iowa), an M.S. in Biology from Fort Hays

State University, and a Ph.D. in Zoology from Oklahoma State University. He is a tenured Professor in the Department of Biology.  Dr. Wilson has 16 publications in peer-reviewed journals. In 2005, Dr. Wilson received the Vanderford Faculty Award in Support of Undergraduate Research, Creative, and Scholarly Activity and in 2007 he received the Hauptman Fellowship Award for engaging students in research. From 2004-2007, he served as a Faculty Mentor for the Summer Bridge component of the NSF SURE-STEP Program. Dr. Wilson has given over 90 presentations, the majority of which are co-authored with students at regional, national, and international conferences. His students have presented their research at the Oklahoma State Capitol and at the annual Posters on the Hill event in Washington, D.C. He currently serves as Counselor in the At-Large Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR)and is the former Chair of the CUR at Large Committee.

Graeme Harper, BA MLitt DCA Ph.D. FRGS FRSA FRAI
Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM)
Dean, The Honors College Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309
National Councilor: Council on Undergraduate Research 
Director: Michigan Center for Undergraduate Research

Robin Michel, Ph.D CFRM Oakland University MCUR Coordinator