The Research or Creative Experience for Undergraduates (RCEU)  Program

Invitation for Undergraduate Student Applications
Summer 2017

Program Description

The purpose of the University of Alabama in Huntsville RCEU program is:

  • To support research or creative work experiences for undergraduate students in all fields of study
  • To foster cooperation between students and researchers in a research or creative endeavor, and to expose the student to academic scholarly work via active participation in a research, creative, or scholarly project
  • To assist in furthering UAH’s research activities by helping to provide opportunities for new and ongoing areas of study and creative work

Students undertake activities within a research or creative work project typically lasting for 10 to 12 weeks in the summer and under the direct supervision of a UAH full-time faculty member or researcher (including tenure-earning and tenured faculty, lecturers, and research staff with term faculty appointments). The work hours correspond to a full-time job (approx 32-40 hours per week), so participants are strongly discouraged from having secondary employment outside of their RCEU project.  At the very least, students should not have a job that interferes with the research project, professional development sessions or the final poster session. RCEU students receive a stipend of $3,200. Housing will be available in University housing at the usual rates for summer occupancy.  Meals will be available for purchase on campus.  Students may use the stipend for meals and housing, but no additional funds will be available.

To participate in the program, students must be enrolled as a UAH undergraduate student for either the summer or fall semester of 2017. While previous RCEU student participants can apply, preference will be given to new student applicants. Women and minority students will be encouraged to apply.  Proposing faculty and researchers are requested to encourage female and minority student applicants.

A non-exclusive list of possible activities includes laboratory experiments, musical compositions, field studies, clinical projects, engineering experiments and projects, theoretical work, human behavior studies, writing projects, and visual art projects.

Students are required to attend professional development sessions in the summer as part of the RCEU program. Students should avoid taking classes during the RCEU but may take one course during each five-week session or ten-week session with the permission of the sponsor. At the end of the program, students are expected to present their work in one or more public forums and submit a written report. The mentor is expected to complete a survey and write a review of the student’s performance and the educational benefit received by the student. This survey and review assist in evaluating the effectiveness of the program.

The program is funded through the office of the President, the office of the Provost, and the office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development at UAH, as well as through the College of Science, the College of Business, the College of Nursing, and the Alabama Space Grant Consortium and other sources as they become available. The Faculty Senate Finance and Resources Committee reviews RCEU proposals and makes individual awards. We anticipate that 33 proposals will be accepted, limited by the availability of funds. The committee strives to provide an equitable distribution of awards between colleges and departments.


Any questions about the RCEU Program, broadly, should be directed to Professor Joseph Taylor at 256-824-2363 or

Student Application Process

Faculty and researchers have submitted project descriptions, which may be found at:

Students are invited to apply to one or more of the faculty or researcher proposed research projects.  Student applications must be received by Wednesday November, 30 11:59pm. The applications must be submitted by filling out the form located at Please contact the faculty or researcher responsible for proposing the project description for additional information. It is anticipated that applicants will be notified of the status of their application(s) by relevant proposing faculty by Wednesday, December 14.

Proposing faculty will evaluate student applications and choose one student applicant for their project. Proposing faculty, then, will send forward their proposal, appended with the student applicant’s own application materials, to the UAH Faculty Senate Finance and Resources Committee. The Finance and Resources Committee will evaluate and rank all submitted proposals. Available funding will be awarded based on these rankings.

The Finance and Resources Committee will issue offers of funding by January 30, 2017.

Final RCEU proposals, comprising the faculty proposal with the appended application of the selected student, will be evaluated by the Faculty Senate’s Finance and Resources Committee based, in part, on the following selection criteria (student applicants should note, in particular, item 4):


1. Degree of benefit to the student

Specifically: tasks the student will perform; the student’s overall educational experience

2. Quality of mentor supervision

Specifically: the extent of collaboration between student and mentor; the extent of educational interaction between student and mentor; method and frequency of feedback from mentor to student

3. Quality of the student’s contribution

Specifically: the manner by which the student will contribute to the project; the amount of time for the student to learn instrumentation and technique versus actual experimentation or creative work

4. Student’s qualifications (including GPA) and personal statement of interest/benefit

Specifically: student’s explanation of interest in projects and perceived benefits of working on project


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