Monday, June 18, 2012

Undergraduate Research at UVA

Hey Guys! My name is Emma Petkofsky and I am a rising third year here at UVA. I grew up in the wonderfully historic Williamsburg, VA and I am studying Kinesiology and Psychology here at UVA. After I graduate I plan to get a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy.  One of the most rewarding things I've been involved with here at UVA has been undergraduate research--something that about two-thirds of our undergraduate students will take part in during their time here.

I know when people talk about research at a university it is easy to jump right to science and engineering projects, but as a student at UVA you have the opportunity to explore whatever topic interests you most--no matter the field or the discipline. There are also a number of different avenues to getting involved in research, whether through student-led projects or teaming up with professors. As a research-oriented university, our professors are constantly engaging in their own research, and are more than happy to have undergraduates working on their projects.

For my own research project, I received the funding I needed through one of the grants offered here at UVA, known as the Jefferson Public Citizens. This grant is given to student teams of three to seven members that work on a project under the advisement of a faculty member. Some of this research takes place on grounds, but other projects have given students the opportunity to travel across the country, and internationally as well. My JPC team, for example, is doing research here in the Charlottesville area that deals with topics concerning gender studies and relationships. Some other grant opportunities available to students at UVA are The Harrison Award, and The Double Hoo Research Grant. The Harrison Award grants up to three thousand dollars to undergraduate students to work on a year-long research project, and the Double Hoo grants up to five thousand dollars to an undergraduate and graduate student pair working on a year long research project.

Research is abundant here at UVA. Whether you are interested in the arts, or engineering a clean water system for the developing world, you will find the resources you need to take part in a number of hands on, innovative research projects all over grounds.

Best of luck!

Emma

Three JPC grant recipients (from left: Catherine Nakalyowa, Emily Renda, and Jamie Swogger) are all smiles at an orientation this past semester. Photo Credit: Deidre Davie 

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