The Center for Persons with Disabilities launches its undergraduate research program this year, building on both Utah State University’s program for student research and the CPD’s tradition of excellence in the disability field.
Since people from all walks of life are likely to live with, work beside or sell to people with disabilities, this program is open to students from across the USU campus, allowing them to gain real-world experience as researchers and to receive the recognition that their work deserves.
CPD Undergraduate Research Associates may also qualify for a special designation as Undergraduate Researcher on their USU transcript. Details about the requirements for this special recognition are available at the Undergraduate Research Office website under Awards and Recognitions.
Students who wish to become CPD research associates need to take these steps:
Connect: The first step in getting involved as a CPD Undergraduate Researcher is to identify an opportunity and a CPD mentor. Any undergraduate student working on a grant, contract or project at CPD can apply to be an undergraduate research associate. Students who are not currently working on a CPD project should identify what kind of project they would like to be involved in. It is likely that one of the CPD’s research scientists, faculty or staff already has a project or an interest that would fit.
Plan: The second step is to develop a work plan in collaboration with the CPD mentor, supervisor, principal investigator or program coordinator. The work plan should last for a minimum of two semesters. For example, some CPD undergraduate researchers have applied for and received Undergraduate Research & Creative Opportunities (URCO) Grants from the Research Office to further their research. Others have become involved in different CPD-funded projects. Work plans will be very specific to student goals.
Execute: The third step is to implement the work plan with the CPD research mentor.
Disseminate: The final step of the CPD undergraduate research experience will be to disseminate the results of the work. For example, results can be presented at a poster session, conference or workshop, or submitted for publication in a professional journal. Student researchers may work with the CPD to publish the results online, or through one of our existing outreach and dissemination efforts.
For more information about how to get involved with the CPD Undergraduate Research Associates program, contact Bryce Fifield, CPD director and undergraduate research coordinator.