MAILED: July 17, 1998|
EAU CLAIRE -- Finding financial support for research may be a bit tricky, but at least one University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire organization is working to make it a little easier.Ten years after its creation, the UW Board of Regents-designated Center of Excellence for Faculty/Undergraduate Student Research Collaboration at UW-Eau Claire encompasses five different programs aimed at supporting faculty and students working together on scholarly activities, said Christopher Lind, assistant dean for research.
In 1997-98, the Center gave out more than $430,000 for collaborative research.
"We are putting tremendous resources into the faculty/student collaboration program," he said. "The size of our program here at UW-Eau Claire is substantial. We are on the forefront of institutions that are adopting the philosophy of using research as a teaching tool."
From the annual Student Research Day to providing travel expenses for students and faculty to present their research at professional meetings across the country to student stipends to support student research with faculty, the Center thrives on the resources and the ability of students and faculty at UW-Eau Claire.
"Our main mission at this university is teaching," Lind said. "We encourage our faculty to stay engaged in research so as to stay current in the thinking of their fields _ that then spills over into their classrooms.
"For students it allows them to gain experience in basic or applied research and take their results to professional meetings and present them."
Lind said another benefit for students is the increase in portfolio material, which gives a more complete picture of the students' abilities. Money to maintain the Center comes from a variety of sources.
The UW System Undergraduate Initiative, the Office of University Research and the UW-Eau Claire Foundation provide some of the funds, but the main financing has come in recent years with the adoption of differential tuition dollars on campus, Lind said.
"With the influx in differential tuition dollars, we are spending close to half a million dollars on collaborative research," Lind said. "For an institution with 10,000 students, that's pretty significant."
Also significant is the number of students participating in the research collaborations. This summer alone, the Center has issued grants to 40 faculty/student research groups through its Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. SREU gives each student an $1,800 stipend and traveling expenses.
Virtually ever discipline on campus is represented in the research, Lind said.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: July 17, 1998