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Program for Undergraduate Research Experiences (PURE)

Proposal Guidelines

HES Program for Undergraduate Research Experiences (PURE) aims to encourage and support undergraduate participation in research projects across the college. PURE provides opportunities for exceptional students to cooperate actively with faculty mentors, learning firsthand about multiple dimensions of research, creative activity, and scholarship processes.

All students in HES, including minor and certificate seeking students, enrolled fulltime, have a minimum 50 hours of completed coursework, minimum 3.25 GPA are eligible to apply for a PURE mentorship to occur between May 15, 2020 and May 30, 2021.

Students must apply in partnership with faculty mentors in their major department and are expected to:

  1. Devote roughly 120 hours to the research experience, and
  2. Prepare two products:
    1. a research poster, talk or other final product for either on-campus or off-campus presentation, and
    2. a written account of approximately 500 words for publication of a report on research mentorships.

These products must be provided to the Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies either within 1 month of the completion of the PURE project, or prior to graduation, whichever comes first.

It is expected that the research experience will be around 120 hours in length. Applicants and mentors may structure this time in the most appropriate fashion (e.g., 15 hours per week for eight weeks, 7.5 hours a week for 16 weeks) to the PURE period selected and the research project itself.

Only one PURE award may receive during a student’s HES undergraduate career.

Students may apply for a PURE award for any one of four different periods:

  • Summer 2020 (student is responsible for enrollment in a minimum of one credit hour)
  • Fall 2020
  • Spring 2021
  • Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters

All successful applicants will receive the minimum of $1,500 ($1,000 from HES and $500 from the Department) for completion of an approved project, normally 50% at the start of the project and the balance at the completion of the experience.

Any participating student may request up to $200 in additional funds for travel to present the research from their project. More information on these funds is available from the office of the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies.

All materials should be submitted to the Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, 118 Gwynn Hall, by the deadline of March 20, 2020.

Please address questions on eligibility, applications, and the review process to Trish Savage at

Faculty Mentor Information

Faculty members who agree to participate in this program have the opportunity to involve some of our most talented undergraduates in their personal research. Such involvement will, of course, assume different shapes according to the individual demands of the discipline, the specialty, the individual mentor, and the particular project.

The faculty mentor and student should meet throughout the project timeline to discuss challenges and assess progress. For a summer mentorship, regular and frequent meetings are suggested — biweekly for at least an hour over the course of eight weeks. For an academic semester mentorship, weekly meetings of at least an hour would be acceptable. Of course, the faculty mentor and student are in the best position to determine the length and frequency of meetings appropriate to the discipline and to the specific research project. The core activity that this program seeks to foster is a partnership that allows the undergraduate an inside look at the process of research/creative achievement that lies at the foundation of academic life.

Participating faculty mentors are encouraged to engage students directly in their research—not just to employ them as assistants. Accordingly, the Dean’s office believes it is crucial to acknowledge the student fully (as co-author, associate investigator, or in some other appropriate capacity) in any publication or public presentation that results from the project and reports an activity in which the student has made a professional contribution.

Faculty mentors may assist the applicant in preparation of their application. Further, a letter of support from the faculty mentor is required and is to be sent directly by the faculty mentor to the office of the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, 118 Gwynn Hall, or to by the application deadline of March 20, 2020. This letter and the application should include identification of the source of funding (MoCode) of the student award that will be provided through the mentor (see below). The mentor’s departmental chair is to also endorse this letter. Faculty mentors should check with their student on their timely submittal of the required two products.

The total pay for the undergraduate participant is a minimum of $1,500; $1,000 is provided by the PURE program and the other amount (a minimum of $500) is provided by the mentor’s unit or other source identified by the mentor and Chair. In addition, the Associate Dean’s Office will provide up to $200 in travel expenses for the student to an off-campus presentation of the research results, if applied for two weeks before the presentation is given.

2019-2020 Recipients

Student Name Dept Project Title Faculty Mentor
KeLa Allen HDFS Prejudice or Preference: Does Phenotype Influence Interracial Dating/Mating? Antoinette M. Landor
Madelyn Arends HDFS Student-Parent Facilitated Communication: The Effect of Technological Communication on Parent-Child Relationships Sarah Killoren
Sophia Bell HDFS Gratitude and Resilience among Latino Emancipated Migrant Youth in U.S. Farmwork: Mixed Method Approach Fiorella Carlos Chavez
Holly Brinker ArchSt Tornado Resistance Housing, a Comparison of Building Geometries and their Structural Properties Robert Walsh
Yaqi Fang PFP An Analysis of Household Retirement Behavior Lu Fan
Katrina Stewart ArchSt MU Energy Literacy Energy Project Laura Cole
Victoria Workman ArchSt Testing and Modeling of Ecotherapy for Healthcare Facilities Jong Bum Kim

To view the complete table on a tablet or phone, scroll table horizontally.

2018-2019 Completed Projects

Click on the links below to view the completed projects.

Student Name Dept Project Title Faculty Mentor
Tara Weng ArchSt Green Building Education in Science Museum: Eight Case Study Museums in the U.S. Laura Cole
Mikaela Mongeon ArchSt The Impact of Virtual Reality on Spatial Presence, Comprehension, Memory and Movement Bimal Balakrishnan
Jessica Blankinship ArchSt Immersive VR Education Program for Enhanced and Practial Learning Bimal Balakrishnan
Eric Ballesteros ArchSt Evaluating the Perception of Architecture: Understanding How People Observe Different Geometric Forms Bimal Balakrishnan
Dain Jacob NEP Neurovascular transduction in human obesity and following bariatric surgery Jacqueline Limberg
Jillian Otto NEP Appetite Changes after Bariatric Surgery: Does Sweetness Perception Play a Role? Elizabeth Parks
Melissa Riggle TAM The Impact of Social Media Influencers in Sustainable Fashion on Millennial Consumers Li Zhao

To view the complete table on a tablet or phone, scroll table horizontally.