Fueling Student Discoveries

Fueling Student Discoveries

A new home for undergraduate research

Research isn’t just something we do at Johns Hopkins—it’s who we are. Every day, our faculty, clinicians, researchers, staff, and students collaborate to advance humanity. To give our youngest researchers a boost, the Hopkins Office for Undergraduate Research—HOUR, for short—launched in March 2017 under Vice Provost for Research Denis Wirtz with the mission to create a broad, centralized support structure for undergraduates to pursue their research.

To help connect students to research opportunities both inside and outside Hopkins, HOUR is building out a new database listing available grants and summer research programs, like CIRCUIT, a summer program allowing undergraduates of any background to take part in brain-mapping research at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. The program provides a $5,000 stipend for living expenses.

Such stipends, HOUR recognizes, are critical for reducing the barriers for fledgling young researchers. That’s the principle behind another new offering, the STAR program, which provides $4,000 stipends for summer research of the student’s choice within any Hopkins partnership, in Baltimore or beyond.

Each spring, HOUR sponsors DREAMS, a showcase for undergraduate research across the disciplines, including engineering, science, medicine, and the arts and humanities. Presentation topics include cancer research, medieval artwork, urban gardening, robotics, and immigration.

HOUR also intends to serve an educational role of its own. A range of training materials, such as videos and tutorials, will help students learn about every step of the research process, from applying for grants and preparing budgets to making public presentations.

Photo: Excerpt from time-lapse photography project by PURA awardee Ambrose Tang