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A&S Students Honored in National Competition for Undergrad Research

By Ryan Girves

Before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 50 outstanding University of Kentucky undergraduate research students learned they were selected to present their faculty-mentored research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. The event was canceled, but UK's Office of Undergraduate Research is noting the achievement. Among them are more than a dozen students in the College of Arts & Sciences. 

The student conference, which would have been held this past weekend at Montana State University, is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity in all fields of study. It provides models of exemplary research and scholarship and strives to improve the state of undergraduate research by celebrating and promoting student achievement.

Young scholars from institutions of higher learning from all corners of the academic curriculum and their mentors attend the annual conference. 

Any UK undergraduate student participating in research is eligible to apply to attend next year's NCUR. Working with a faculty mentor, undergraduates apply by submitting a 200- to 300-word abstract that clearly states their central research question and/or purpose and describes their work.

As an enhanced institutional member of NCUR, UK has been a staunch supporter since the mid-1990s with several UK faculty and staff accepting leadership roles in the national organization. In 2014 the university hosted the conference, providing UK with a special opportunity to showcase the campus to over 4,000 visitors.

To recognize and celebrate UK's outstanding students who were selected to present their faculty-mentored research at the now canceled NCUR, the Office of Undergraduate Research will spotlight students daily on its Facebook and Instagram.

For a full list of students selected to participate and a synopsis of each research study, click here. To learn more about the Office of Undergraduate Research, visit their website

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.