What is CUGR?
The Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR) facilitates faculty-mentored research, scholarship and creative activities for undergraduate students across all academic disciplines. We provide research funding from the CUGR office and external sources, as well as links to other resources for students, administrators, staff, and faculty. Graduate students are eligible to participate in MSGC opportunities and the UMaine Student Symposium. CUGR programs are managed by Mindy (Melinda) Pelletier, Program Manager, Melissa Maginnis, Associate Director, and Ali Abedi, Director, in consultation with the CUGR Advisory Committee.
What do I apply for? (MSGC? CUGR Fellowship?)
If you are an undergraduate student engaged in faculty-mentored research, you may apply for the CUGR Fellowship Award. If you are an undergraduate or graduate student conducting faculty-mentored research in the fields of aerospace technology, space science, earth science, human exploration/space development or other science or engineering related fields, you are eligible to apply for the MSGC Research Experience Award.
What is the difference between the MSGC and CUGR fellowships?
CUGR Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities Fellowship: The CUGR Academic Year and Summer Fellowships provide financial support for undergraduate students engaged in faculty-mentored research. Each fellowship provides a $1500 award for the student to help cover the cost of their project.
MSGC: The Maine Space Grant Consortium is an affiliate of NASA’s National Space Grant College Research Experience. The Research Experience provides funding for both undergraduate and graduate students engaged in research in aerospace technology, space science, earth science, and human exploration/space development, and other science or engineering related fields. Undergraduate MSGC awardees will receive $3700, and graduate awardees will receive $6000, to help with the cost of research.
How can I get involved in research?
If you have a specific mentor you’d like to work with you can professionally email them from your @maine.edu account and ask if they have any opportunities for you. Many faculty are always looking for students to work with them on research projects.
Are group projects allowed for AY/Summer fellowships and research experiences?
Yes, however we are only able to issue payment of the award to a single individual. It will be up to that individual and the members of their group, as well as their faculty mentor, to decide how that monetary award will be used or dispersed.
Where do I find information on what is needed in our CUGR fellowship/MSGC research experience final report?
Detailed information on what we require in your final CUGR fellowship/MSGC research experience report can be found on our website.
What are my responsibilities if I win a fellowship/research experience?
We will communicate with you via email if you have (or have not) been awarded a fellowship/research experience award.
What does “professionally email” mean?
This refers to the kind of email you should be sending to someone like a potential Faculty Mentor. You’ll want to use their full name and any prefixes they may have. Do not write as if you are emailing your best friend. Be more formal in your writing and respectful of the person’s time. It’s important to not write the email as if you are writing a text to your best friend. You also want to do your research about what the individual may specialize in by reading about them on their departments website or their labs webpage. Reference why you are reaching out to them and what interests you about their work. By emailing a faculty mentor like this you are more likely to be seen as someone they’d like to mentor and serious about your inquiry.
How do we receive our fellowship/research experience funds?
Your funds will be sent to you as a check to your mailing address as soon as you have completed all the required paperwork.
What if I don’t finish my research by the end of the performance period for the fellowship/research experience?
If you do not finish your research completely by the end of your CUGR fellowship/research performance period that is okay. We ask that you report on what you have done so far and elaborate on what you’ll be doing in the future and what you think the results will show. Email us at email@example.com as soon as you realize you won’t be able to finish in time.
Can graduate students participate? Does CUGR offer graduate student opportunities?
Yes, graduate students can participate in graduate MSGC Fellowship opportunities. The eligibility requirements and important dates and deadlines can be found on the Graduate MSGC Program webpage. Graduate students are also encouraged to submit proposals for the annual UMaine Student Symposium(UMSS). Participation in UMSS allows for students to network with peers and potential employers while showcasing their work.
Why am I required to present at the UMSS?*
If you are a CUGR Fellowship awardee or an Maine State Grant Consortium (MSGC) research experience or fellowship awardee you are required to present per your contract. Other fellowships and awards may also require you to present. Your classes may also require you to present. It is an important part of the scientific process. You will be learning how to present your own research, learning about other research at the University of Maine, learning how to network, and supporting your fellow classmates and peers.
Can a student submit and win a fellowship or research experience if they are currently a research assistant in a lab?
Yes. Depending on the faculty mentor’s funding situation and preferences, they may ask the winning student to use their monetary funds as hourly wages. This can be discussed and decided between the student and their faculty mentor.
For UMSS22, am I required to present virtually or in person?
UMSS22 will be a hybrid event. All participants will be required to record a virtual presentation. Anyone who wants to also present their work in person may do so on the day of the event, but it is not mandatory.
How do we find a NASA collaborator/mentor?
NASA collaborators/mentors are not required but highly encouraged when you are applying for an MSGC Research Experience or MSGC Graduate Fellowship. You can ask your UMaine Faculty Mentor and/or you can use the link below to find someone in your field of research below.
Why do I have to take RCR training?
Training in the Responsible Conduct of Researchers (RCR) is a best practice for all researchers, and in particular new researchers including student researchers. The training helps to protect everyone involved in the research enterprise. RCR training makes sure everyone understands how to conduct research while maintaining accuracy, honesty, efficiency, and objectivity before beginning on their projects. Research misconduct can harm careers and reputations because the reliability of research results comes, at least in part, from the trust placed in the researcher or institution to not misrepresent information.
Can I apply and win a fellowship or research experience for research I did with a faculty mentor last semester?
Unfortunately, no. The research must be done within the time period for which it was awarded. Academic Year fellowships or research experiences are to be conducted from November through May, and summer research is to be conducted from May through August.
Will winning an award affect my Student Financial Aid?
Please check with UMaine Student Financial Aid directly to answer this question. Every student’s situation is different.
Can a student receive a fellowship more than once?
That is dependent upon which award you receive. A student can receive a maximum of $3,000 in CUGR/MSGC fellowships during their academic career. If you receive a summer fellowship in the amount of $3,000, you will not be eligible to receive an Academic Year fellowship award. If you receive an Academic Year fellowship, in the amount of $1,500, you will be eligible to apply for a second Academic Year fellowship in following years.