Deadline to submit research grant applications extended

Photo courtesy of UMAC.

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Dixie State University Undergraduate Research Office extended the submission deadline for two research grant applications to Feb. 8 due to faculty and student complaints.

Rico Del Sesto, the director of undergraduate research, said he was given feedback from faculty that the original deadline, Feb. 1, was too soon. The students applying for the Undergraduate Research Office Student Grant Program and Undergraduate Research Office Travel Grant Program told their professors they were not given enough time to finish their proposals for the application, Del Sesto said.

The proposal for the student grant is an explanation of what supplies and expenses are needed for the project and the impact of their project if the student were to receive the grant, Del Sesto said.

Del Seso said the travel grant proposal consisted of an explanation of what they would present at the conference the student would travel to.

Chauntel Nielson, a junior American Sign Language major from St. George, won the student grant fall semester 2018. The proposal took three months to complete, and she is still working on the project, considering she is a full-time student, Nielson said.

Nielson said her love for sign language inspired her project, which is comparing the roots of sign language to the roots of Old English to educate people about sign language but also learn more about it herself.

Nielson’s research mentor, Olga Pilkington, who is also the assistant director of undergraduate research, first informed her about the grant and has guided her through the project.

“Pilkington and I talked about how it’s cool that we’re comparing a language, Old English, that’s been studied for a long time with sign language that’s only [been recognized] as a true language within the last 20 years,” Nielson said.

Nielson said she needed a book that was too expensive to purchase on her own, additionally, she wanted to provide gifts for the deaf individuals that she interviewed as part of the research.

The student grant was able to cover the cost of the book, gifts to repay the individuals and other costs, such as printing papers, Nielson said.

“It is very likely that [Nielson] wouldn’t have done this particular project if not for the money offered by the grant,” Pilkington said.

These grants are important because it shows that the academic authorities are supportive of students’ efforts who are interested in research and creative projects, Del Sesto said.

“This has historically [not been the case,] so it shows that there’s a shift in how we view the student experience,” Del Sesto said.

The undergraduate research office and committee want to show they support the culture of research and care about their students’ opportunity to express their interest in research.

“Part of this effort [is] to really support and build research and creative activities on campus for students,” Del Sesto said.

Any student with an interest in research and idea for a research project can apply for the Undergraduate Research Office Student Grant Program to receive funding for general expenses related to student research and creative activities, and Undergraduate Research Office Travel Grant Program to fund travel expenses for students to showcase and present their projects, Del Sesto said.

Each applicant is required to have a mentor who helps them through the project.

There is not a specific budget limit for the grants, only based upon individually, Del Sesto said, $250 is the maximum award for a single applicant applying for the student grant, and for two or more students co-applying for the grant, the maximum is $500.

For those applying for the travel grant, $500 is the maximum for a single applicant, and for two or more students co-applying, the maximum is $1,000, Del Sesto said.

The deadline to submit applications is Feb. 8 and awardees will be notified by Feb. 22.