Valparaiso University joins multi-college undergraduate research initiative

Valparaiso University

The Valparaiso University College of Engineering has joined a network of universities across the country designed to encourage undergraduate research.

Valpo along with George Washington University, George Fox University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Olin College of Engineering, University of Washington-Tacoma, The University of Carolina-Chapel Hill and Campbell University, have launched Research 4 All.

The first goal of the project, URCurious, integrates research opportunities into the core curriculum of engineering majors. The second goal, URSkilled, allows students to earn certification “badges” in the various skills and interests an undergraduate research project might require.

“These goals represent the core values of Valpo,” said Doug Tougaw, dean of the college of engineering. “We want to make the connections necessary to help our students succeed, and we want to make sure our students are well prepared to succeed on day one.”

Valparaiso University is overseeing the third goal of the project — URConnected — which will develop an online application using the badge system to connect qualified students with professors in charge of relevant research projects. It will also be a space for students to freely browse research opportunities and find projects they can be excited about.

Research 4 All will lower barriers between students and research participation while encouraging them to see research projects as entrepreneurial opportunities to gain firsthand experience and make a difference in the world, the college said. The initiative is planned to be developed over a three-year period, by the end of which all involved institutions will implement the tools and techniques developed by the three overall aims.

Research 4 All received $2 million from the Kern Family Foundation, the founders of the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network, a partnership of more than 50 colleges from across the country focused on fostering an entrepreneurial mindset in undergraduate engineering students.

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  • Larry Avila

    Larry is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of experience working with daily newspapers and business-to-business publications around the Midwest. Avila is a Michigan native and a graduate of Central Michigan University.

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