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CUSE workshops aim to broaden undergraduate research opportunities

| Monday, September 25, 2017

In an effort to promote intellectual development, the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) hosts workshops across campus that cater to undergraduates interested in research, scholarly engagement, creative endeavors and fellowships.

Assistant director of undergraduate research, Yvonne Mikuljan, said the CUSE workshops introduce students to various kinds of research and learning experiences while offering advice about how to pursue those opportunities.

“CUSE workshops and advising are designed to encourage undergraduates to think about their own unique interests and goals and assist students in developing meaningful research projects and experiences,” Mikuljan said.

The two workshops CUSE regularly offer are “Getting Started in Undergraduate Research,” which explores different kinds of research and scholarly engagement opportunities, strategies for finding a faculty mentor and developing a plan for pursuit of such interests and goals, and “Crafting a Strong Grant Proposal,” which walks students through funding sources at Notre Dame, the components of a grant application and a composing an effective grant proposal, Mikuljan said.

Student programming coordinator for CUSE, Kati Schuler, said the workshops welcome students from all majors and grade levels every week.

“If you’re not quite sure where to begin exploring research and engagement opportunities at Notre Dame, ‘Getting Started in Undergraduate Research’ is the right workshop for you,” Schuler said. “If you have a specific project planned and would like to start the process of securing funding, ‘How to Write a Strong Grant Proposal’ would be the best.”

Since 2012, CUSE has offered about 35 workshops annually that are open to all undergraduate students, Schuler said. The workshops are typically held in Brownson Hall.

“We also bring our workshops into classes if a professor requests it,” Schuler said. “For example, in 2016–2017, 130 students attended the workshops held in the CUSE office, but we saw another 245 students during in-class workshops.”

Outside of workshops, Schuler said CUSE offers individual mentoring and advising to students pursuing scholarly engagement outside of class. Students can make an appointment with an advisor to discuss their project plans and get help on drafting a proposal, she said.

“CUSE can also help students connect to all of the various centers, institutes and resources on campus,” Schuler said. “We work like a compass, helping to guide you through all of the different opportunities at Notre Dame.”

Mikuljan said CUSE is currently in the process of developing a grant writing series to provide more hands-on assistance during the grant writing process.

“CUSE is always working to create new and better workshops and resources to help students be successful in their research and scholarly endeavors,” Mikuljan said. “Undergraduate students of every level and every college and discipline participate in a range for research activities at Notre Dame, around the country and abroad.”

Sophomore anthropology major Dayonni Phillips said she attended CUSE workshops to learn how to write a grant after being invited to do research in Ireland and attend a field school in Poland.

“I would definitely recommend students attend CUSE workshops or get involved with CUSE even if they do not have research plans,” Phillips said. “Although the CUSE workshop was meant to teach students how to organize a general grant proposal, I felt like the instructor was interested in specific questions that students had pertaining to their personal grants, and he would then address those questions as well.”

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About Kelli Smith

Kelli Smith is a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame. Originally from El Paso, Texas, she currently resides in Badin Hall and is pursuing a double major in Political Science and Film, Theater and Television with a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy.

Contact Kelli