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Undergraduate Research Initiative

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CAFLS Undergraduate Research Initiative

The CAFLS Undergraduate Research Initiative offers funding to individual undergraduate students enrolled in a CAFLS major working under the mentorship of a CAFLS faculty member. Each funded project is awarded $500 and project deliverables are due in the Spring semester of the academic year as specified below.

Undergraduate research can be a transformational experience for students, increase the likelihood of graduation, propel students forward to graduate school and aid students in identifying purposeful career paths. The research process fosters and celebrates creativity, discovery, inquiry, and student-faculty connection while building skills of collaboration and communication.

Participation requirements:

  • Identifying a faculty mentor with whom to conduct research. Students should discuss a topic and plan for conducting the research, and the materials required for the application process with the faculty mentor.

  • Completing an Application for Funding by the deadline of Monday, September 25, 2023, by 5 p.m.

  • Application for Funding requirements:

    • Your name, Clemson email address, major, and any applicable CAFLS minors

    • Your faculty mentor's name, Clemson email address, and home department

    • Project title (150-character limit)

    • Project description including objectives (2,500-character limit)

    • Proposed budget for use of the $500 in research funds.

  • Conducting research over the academic year under the guidance of the faculty mentor, utilizing the $500 allocated for research expenses.

  • Submitting the following to the office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs by April 5, 2024:

Winners will receive a monetary prize and recognition at the annual CAFLS Awards Celebration in the Spring semester.

  • 1st place $300

  • 2nd place $200

  • 3rd place $100

Additional Details

  • The CAFLS Undergraduate Research Initiative is open only to CAFLS undergraduate majors.

  • Faculty are limited to two funded projects per academic year under this program.

  • The ultimate use of the $500 award need not match the budget proposed in the application. However, applications that have a clearer vision for how the funds will be used will be favored.

  • Faculty members are encouraged, to the extent possible, to educate and involve the student on as many research stages as possible (e.g. theory, question formulation, data collection, data analysis, communication of findings) so that students can develop a sense for the general research process.

  • Decisions about which proposals will be funded will be made by the office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

  • By participating, the student and mentor agree that the program deliverables can be shared publicly to promote CAFLS programs.

2023 Winners

1st Place 
Jane Arnold
Topic: Who is the recurrent farmers' market customer? Evidence from markets in the greater South
Carolina region
Major: Agribusiness

2nd Place
Laura Lothridge
Topic: The effects of soil temperature on bloom time
Major: Horticulture

3rd Place
Grayson Seymore
Topic: Yellow Pine sapling identification: Ecological restoration and subjective workload
Major: Environmental & Natural Resources

Research in CAFLS Departments

Agricultural Science

Animal and Veterinary Science

Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Science

Forestry and Environmental Conservation

Plant and Environmental Science

Clemson University Research Opportunities

Students collecting research samples beside a stream

Creative Inquiry (CI)

Team-based investigations led by a faculty mentor

Creative Inquiry (CI) has come to define Undergraduate Research at Clemson University. It's small-group learning for 20,000. It's the imaginative combination of engaged learning and undergraduate research, and it is undergraduate research unique to Clemson University.

Clemson's CI Website
CAFLS Advantage
CAFLS Advantage | 101 Barre Hall Clemson, SC 29634 864-656-3013