Howdy and welcome to the February edition of LAUNCH into Research, the
Texas A&M Undergraduate Research Newsletter. This newsletter is distributed monthly to scholars, faculty, and staff at Texas A&M who participate in and support undergraduate research.

Featured Articles

Read our featured articles, spotlights, tips for students, and more on our blog at!

Person typing on computer.   Group photograph of students in the Ecological Systems Laboratory

Useful Skills for Undergraduate Researchers: Writing Abstracts

Biochemist Erwin Chargaff once said, "Science is wonderfully equipped to answer the question 'How?' but it gets terribly confused when you ask the question 'Why?'" Both questions are important to address when writing a successful abstract.


Undergraduate Research Program in the Ecological Systems Laboratory

Offering interdisciplinary opportunities in undergraduate research, the Ecological Systems Laboratory in Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences enhances the Aggie research experience through the involvement with LAUNCH: Undergraduate Research.

Photograph of the Academic Building at Texas A&M   Photograph of faculty member and student speaking outside.

Should I Stay or Should I Go: Graduate School At Your Home Institution

Making the decision of where to go for your graduate degree is a tough one. Do the benefits of staying outweigh those of leaving, or will going somewhere new open up a door to new opportunities?


Enrolling in Research Courses

How are you planning to get official credit for your undergraduate research? Most students enroll in 291, 485, or 491 courses to document research efforts on their transcript. Here's advice on how to do this, even when you don't have room in your schedule for more credit hours.


Upcoming Events & Deadlines

See our full calendar online at

February 29

Undergraduate Research Ambassador Application Opens

Undergraduate Research Ambassadors represent LAUNCH: Undergraduate Research at research, recruiting, and outreach events. Ambassadors work to inspire broader engagement in undergraduate research by educating and serving the Texas A&M University community, participating in activities such as the Undergraduate Research Expo, Getting Started in Research and Mentoring Undergraduate Researchers workshops. Ambassadors are also available for presentations to student organizations and meetings with administrators, faculty, and prospective students.

The application includes submission of a resume, a description of your research experience, and a statement of the benefits of undergraduate research. All applications require a letter of support from a faculty research mentor. The deadline to submit the student application is April 6, 2016. Faculty letters of support must be uploaded by April 13, 2016.

Read more.

March 4

Deadline for Student Research Week Registration Extended

Submit your abstracts before midnight on Friday, March 4 to participate in the Graduate and Professional Student Council’s 19th annual Student Research Week (SRW).

SRW provides an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to showcase their research to the University community each spring semester, while simultaneously competing for up to $1000 in award money and receiving valuable feedback on their presentations from our faculty and graduate student judges. This year, SRW will be held March 28-April 1, 2016. The closing ceremony will take place on April 4 at 2:30 PM in the ILSB 1105 Auditorium.

Register at before March 4, 2016 at midnight.

Important competitor information: To be considered for specialized awards of up to $1000 (in addition to normal subject area awards), you must fill out an additional application before registration closes. There are four specialized awards with multiple winners, and some only require a short paragraph. This form can be accessed at

Read more.

April 6-18

National Fellowships is Recruiting Applicants - Start Early!

LAUNCH: National Fellowships is recruiting applicants for the Churchill, Rhodes, Marshall, and Mitchell scholarships for graduate study. If you are a high-achieving junior or other student who will begin graduate school in fall 2017, you are encouraged to apply! Undergraduate Research experience will strengthen your application.

  • Churchill Scholarship (due April 18): for one year of graduate study at University of Cambridge; need 3.7+ GPA
  • Rhodes Scholarship (due April 6): for any degree at the University of Oxford; need 3.8+ GPA
  • Marshall Scholarship (due April 6): for a graduate degree at any university in the United Kingdom; need 3.7+ GPA
  • Mitchell Scholarship (due April 18): for one year of graduate study at any university in Ireland; need 3.5+ GPA
The Rhodes, Marshall, and Mitchell are open to students from all disciplines, while the Churchill is exclusively for STEM students intending a research career. Applicants must be U.S. citizens; the Rhodes also accepts applications from permanent residents. Contact Adelia Humme at to learn more about the application process.

Read more.

Research Opportunities

More opportunities can be found online at

February 26-27

2016 CHC Symposium, "Campus Heritage"

The theme for the 2016 CHC Symposium is campus heritage and the issues related to the life, death, and health of historic buildings and places on university campuses in Texas. The symposium will open on Friday night with Sylvia Kendra from the Smithsonian Institution with a talk on the use of new technologies such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) for the maintenance and management of their collection of buildings. On Saturday, a variety of speakers will discuss issues at Texas A&M College Station, University of Texas at Austin, Trinity University in San Antonio, and Rice University in Houston. A poster session will also be held for students from any university to show projects and research regarding heritage. Registration is required to attend these events.

Read more.

February 28

Aerospace REU

The summer program in the Aerospace Engineering Department at Texas A&M University is called the REU Program (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) with funding provided by the National Science Foundation. The program is coordinated with the Texas A&M Dwight Look College of Engineering’s Student Services and Academic Programs (ESSAP) Undergraduate Summer Research Grant (USRG) and the Texas A&M Office of Undergraduate Research.

During the summer research experience, participants will work closely with faculty members, graduate students and undergraduate mentors on current research projects, make short progress presentations to their peers during program meetings, attend presentation skills workshops, make a formal poster presentation of their research experience at the end of the program, and submit a written, final report describing the results of their research. Students should not enroll in additional academic courses during the summer sessions. It is hoped that the students participating in the REU program will make significant contributions to ongoing faculty research and, more importantly, will gain an appreciation for and an interest in graduate school and a future research career.

Read more.

March 31

ATLAS Center Internship Program

The Advancing Transportation Leadership and Safety (ATLAS) Center is now accepting applications for a 10-week summer internship program at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI). Up to six junior-level undergraduate students will be selected to participate. The internship will include active involvement on safety-related research projects at TTI with opportunities to interact with students in other summer research programs on the TAMU campus and to participate in university-wide seminars, tours, poster sessions and other events. This is program is open to all majors interested in furthering transportation and safety research.

Read more.

Looking for more opportunities?

Check out our list of on- and off-campus research, funding and presentation opportunities for the fall, spring and summer semesters.

See opportunities and resources online.

Help us promote your undergraduate research initiatives by sending us your opportunities, workshop dates, and stories. We also welcome your questions, comments, and suggestions for future newsletters.

114 Henderson Hall
4233 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843
ph. 979.458.0039
fax. 979.845.4668

LAUNCH: Undergraduate Research Logo
This email was sent to you by
LAUNCH: Undergraduate Research.


Facebook LogoTwitter LogoWordpress Logo