College of Science, Health & the Environment Centers & Research Labs

Educational enrichment and engagement opportunities for students frequently serve as a pivot point in students’ transformative experience. The College’s centers and education outreach programs provide these real-world opportunities for students to apply learning in a professional setting. These experiences may include internships, field study, practica, research, service learning, student teaching, study abroad, and academic-based and inspired community engagement, among others.

Centers & Education Outreach

Student Research

The quality of student-faculty engagement is a key differentiator at MSUM, and no where is it more evident than in the number students within the College working with faculty on research projects. A high percentage of students within the College present the culmination of their work at the university’s annual Student Academic Conference, and many also attend or present their research at regional and national conferences.

The College of Science, Health & the Environment has 16 research laboratories, including a biological field station, that provides scientists, faculty and students the opportunity to be involved in nationally significant research. Among our research labs: marine biology, fish research, neurobiology, prairie ecology, child development, memory, and geographic information systems, among others.

Research Labs

Undergraduate Research Grant and Strong Scholar Fund Guidelines

Applicant Eligibility:

  • The project must be endorsed by a faculty supervisor.
  • The applicant must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program offered in the College of Science, Health, and the Environment during completion of the project.
  • The applicant must be willing to present her/his research results at the MSUM Student Academic Conference.

Additional Eligibility Requirements if applying to the Strong Scholars Research Fund:

  • The recipient must be enrolled fulltime during the time the award will be disbursed, and should hold either junior or senior standing.
  • Recipients must be majoring in a degree program in Biosciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, or Physics and Astronomy.

Guidelines for Grant Use:

  • Funds must be used for requests outlined in budget of project.
  • Use of human subjects or animals in the research must receive approval by the appropriate university committee prior to beginning the project.
  • Funds cannot be used for student salary.
  • Funds may be used for software, small equipment items, other research supplies, travel to and from research sites, travel to conferences to present results of research and other methods of dissemination of research results. See travel guidance below.
  • Funds must be expended following regular University guidelines and materials purchased become the property of the University.
  • Maximum award amounts are typically $1000.00. Funds must be spent or encumbered by June 15, 2021.
  • Project timelines should fall within a 12-month period.
  • Projects that run beyond the timeline outlined in the proposal require special permission from the dean’s office.

TRAVEL: As of September 1, 2020, University presidents are authorized to approve domestic travel outside of Minnesota to contiguous states (Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota) via ground transportation. Requests for University-related travel outside of Minnesota and contiguous states will be considered on a case-by-case basis. CSHE requests need to be submitted to Dean Lisa Nawrot along with the rationale and the proposed travel details. Division leaders must seek presidential endorsement before the waiver request is submitted to the system office for final review and approval.

Additional Guidelines for Strong Scholars Research Funds:

  • Recipients will be required to submit a report of their work to the CSHE dean at the end of the 12-month period.
  • Applicants must submit a letter of support for the project from a faculty mentor.
  • Award amounts can exceed $1000.00, maximum amounts depend on number of proposals submitted, funds available and competitiveness of proposals. Funds must be spent or encumbered by June 15, 2021.

Review Criteria

  • Project description is clearly written by the student in her/his own words, well designed and cost-effective.
  • Student shows a strong interest in the project, and it fits into the student’s academic and/or career plans.
  • Project is realistic for the student’s background, the time frame, and the amount of funding.
  • Faculty supervisor supports the project and has an appropriate background for supervising the project.
  • Project is likely to result in a paper or academic project that can be presented to a professional/peer audience and/or published in a scholarly publication.

Additional Review Criteria for Strong Scholars Fund:

  • Recipients will demonstrate strong scientific potential as a researcher, and in their proposed project.
  • Although they may be related to larger projects already in progress in a faculty mentor’s lab, proposals must represent independent scientific ideas and work to be done by the student.

Guidelines for writing your research proposal:

Please write for an interdisciplinary audience of your peers, remembering that not every reviewer is an expert in your area of research. The proposal should not exceed five pages in length, including the bibliography. It should be double-spaced, have one-inch margins. It should consist of the following sections.

  • Title: On cover sheet.
  • Project Summary: The Project Summary should state the objectives of the project, the methods to be used, and the “intellectual merit” of the work being proposed. This section should be 200 words or less.
  • Introduction: This section should state the research problem, provide background information, and explain the goal of the research. Be sure to discuss the significance of the research and provide a prediction of the results of your work and your hypothesis. You should provide references from the literature in your field.
  • Methods: This section should describe the experimental approach to be taken and any equipment needed. Your explanation of the methods should allow a reviewer to understand how your experimental approach will allow you to address the research problem you stated in the introduction. If two or more people are going to be working on the project, please state the role for each person.
  • Budget: Use a table format to list your itemized budget, include description of items, quantity, unit costs and subtotal cost, and the total cost of your project. Include a brief justification of why each item is needed. Money may be spent on approved items only, as determined when the grant is awarded.
  • Project Time Line: Use a table format for this section. Indicate the period of the proposed work, noting proposed landmarks throughout the period including when the project will be completed, when and where you will present the results of your work, and when your final report will be submitted to the committee.
  • Bibliography: This section will contain the citations for each of the key literature references included in the Introduction and methods sections. It is suggested that your use the format most appropriate for discipline when listing your references.