Undergraduate Research: Using the Great Depression to Understand our Current Economic Crisis

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Student Application Deadline: January 25, 2012
Faculty Mentor Deadline: January 27, 2012

Program Description

The U.S. has faced difficult economic times and this in turn has influenced nearly every facet of our lives. Funding* is being made available to support two undergraduate research projects focused on any topic that addresses the differences and similarities in our current economic times and that of the Great Depression.

Projects might consider such things as:

  • Photographic historical documentation of the Great Depression, Rust Belt recovery, and current economic challenges
  • Documentation of stories (through works of poetry, writings, theatrical productions, paintings, and other ways) of economic hardship and responses to such things as being displaced from a job, chronic or under-employment, or creatively overcoming economic hardship
  • Implementation of social programs to protect children and others
  • Educational opportunities that revitalize the country

* This undergraduate research opportunity is supported by a donation from Dr. Irene Hulicka and coordinated by the School of Natural Sciences and the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Eligibility and Requirements

Proposals from students and mentors in all academic disciplines are welcome.

Only one proposal per faculty mentor will be accepted.

Students must devote a minimum of 10 hours/week for 15 weeks (academic year) or 4 weeks full time research during the summer.

Each award provides a $1500 student stipend and a $500 faculty mentor stipend. An additional $500 is available to support student travel and/or supplies (e.g., photographic equipment, computer software, travel to interview individuals or visit special collections/archives).


  1. A final report is due at the completion of the project. The final installment of the student stipend and the mentor stipend will not be paid until the final report has been reviewed and approved.
  2. Required participation of the student in either the Fourteenth or Fifteenth Annual Student Research and Creativity Conference (April 2012 or April 2013).

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed by anonymous faculty representing the four schools (Arts and Humanities, Education, Natural and Social Sciences, and Professions). The evaluation criteria are available online and include: Project/Creative Activity Criteria (35 points), Student Criteria (35 points), and Faculty Mentor Criteria (30 points). Notification of award recipients will be made after February 16, 2012. For information about mentoring go to: http://undergraduateresearch.buffalostate.edu/faculty .

Student Information
Name of Student:
Email. An email address must be provided before any information will be saved:
Your Banner Id:
Current class level:
Number of credit hours completed (by 12/2011; Do not include current semester courses):
Overall G.P.A:
Major G.P.A:
Expected Date of Graduation:
Title of Research/Creative Activity:
Faculty Mentor Contact Information
Name of Faculty Mentor:
Office Phone:
Email address of Faculty Mentor:

Note: An unofficial transcript will be obtained from the Registrar by the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. This transcript will only be used by the member of the faculty committee that reviews fellowship applications.

Directions: Part A of this application must be completed by the student. Part B of this application should be completed by the faculty mentor.

Part A: To be Completed By Student
1. Describe your proposed research project or creative activity. (Limit your answer to 1000 words or less). Be sure you clearly describe how your project intends to examine the differences and similarities in our current economic times and that of the Great Depression.
2. Describe the approach/method you will use to carry out your proposed project or creative activity. Explain why this is a reasonable approach that should result in a high likelihood of a successful outcome. (Limit your answer to 500 words or less).
Check if project involves any activity requiring compliance review
If above is checked, you need to contact your faculty mentor to complete the application for review. Note: Projects selected for funding cannot be awarded until this step has been completed.

Describe any relevant academic or work experience and achievements that prepared you for conducting your proposed activity. Include any prior related coursework, research and/or creative activity or any skills you acquired from your work experience. (Limit your answer to 250 words or less)
Part B: Information to be Completed By Faculty Mentor
1. Describe how you plan to mentor (support) the student throughout the proposed activity. Be very specific about how many times per week you plan to meet with your student and describe how you will monitor your student's progress. (Limit your answer to 500 words or less).

If project involves research requiring compliance review (see http://undergraduateresearch.buffalostate.edu/research-compliance) statement must include timeline for review. No research funds will be released until completion of compliance review (research exempt or approved)

2. This research opportunity is designed for frequent face-to-face interactions between the student and faculty mentor. If either of you plans to spend periods of time out of the Buffalo/WNY region, describe how your mentoring plan will address this.
3. The student is expected to devote a minimum of 10 hours/week for 15 weeks (academic year) or four weeks of full-time scholarly activity (in the summer). If your student plans to work while conducting the project, describe what arrangements you have made with the student and how the part-time or full-time job impacts the student's ability to complete the proposed project.
4. Provide a description (1000 word maximum) of your professional accomplishments, including any previous and current scholarly activities that include undergraduate students.
5. Provide a letter of recommendation for your student. You may upload a file OR enter your letter into the box below. Please upload only .doc, .docx or .pdf files.
Please make use of the "Save this incomplete form" option below when you have finished to return to this form, download the file you have upload and confirm that it has uploaded correctly.

Letter of Recommendation (if you have not provided a copy using the upload box above).