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Summer Scholars Institute 2023

The College of Sciences and Engineering and the Center for Research Excellence is pleased to announce the sixth annual USC Aiken Summer Scholars Institute (SSI) in support of student-faculty summer research. External funding from ADP, SC INBRE, and WORC has enabled SSI to increase STEM undergraduate research activity at USC Aiken.


  • SSI is open to USC Aiken undergraduates in STEM disciplines.

  • Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.8.

  • Each student must be mentored by a USC Aiken faculty member.

  • Mentors provide a 1-page research proposal incorporating the student, along with a mentoring plan providing sustained and purposeful interaction with the student mentee.

  • Student salary/stipend: $3,000 total (salary and fringe); Faculty salary: $5,000 total (salary and fringe). Funds may only be used for salaries/stipends. Mentors must have the equipment/supplies to conduct the proposed research.

  • Students and faculty are expected to attend weekly professional development workshops.

  • Students will present the results of their work as a poster at the SSI Research Symposium.

  • Students with ongoing summer funding (e.g., Magellan, INBRE) may submit their original proposal as part of the application.

Proposals are due by 5 p.m., Friday, March 24, 2023. Recipients will be notified in the first week of April.

To apply, mentors must first complete the items below and upload a 1-page research proposal and required supporting documentation as one document.

Proposal Requirements

  • Centered at top of proposal page, include your project title. Under title: student’s full name, major, mentor’s name, and department.
  • Proposal Page Limitations: May not exceed one (1) single-spaced page. References may be on an additional page and are not included in the page limit.
  • Format: Use a readable font (Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, etc) and a font size of 11 points or larger with 0.5 inch margin (top, bottom, left, and right).
  • A clear, concise description of the proposed project, which includes the following required sections and their required titles. The following order is suggested but may be altered for narrative flow: 
    • Research question (OR Research statement)
    • Project description
    • Project impact (including how the project is connected to student’s academic, personal, or professional goals)
  • References cited (OR Works cited, Bibliography, etc) (Not included in page limit; can be an extra page)
  • Current and Pending Support: Please attach the mentor’s current and pending support (funding). If no other funding exists, please indicate that as well. A statement must also be provided that indicates the availability of the mentor and student during the summer to conduct the research proposed. (Not included in page limit, can be an extra page)
  • Faculty mentor must provide a concise plan of how the faculty mentor will have  sustained and purposeful interactions with the student during the research period (Not included in page limit, can be an extra page).
  • A completed proposal includes:
    • The one-page description of the project with the student’s full name and title of project at the top as described above. No title page is needed.
    • A reference page.
    • A statement or page about the mentor’s current and pending support and availability of the mentor/student during the summer.
    • A mentorship plan.

Requirements for Recipients

  • Either the faculty mentor or the student must attend the weekly meetings scheduled by the Center for Research Excellence. Excused absences may be granted with prior approval of the Center for Research Excellence.
  • Funds for SSI are only to be used for salary/stipend. Faculty mentors are expected to have equipment and supplies to conduct the research proposed. Funds from SSI may not be used for equipment/supplies purchases.
  • At the end of the summer, there will be a special poster session. All student researchers are required to present their SSI funded research at this poster session.

For research projects involving vertebrate animals

  • Proposals may be submitted prior to approval by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).
  • Include a statement within your project description/timeline that you are submitting for IACUC approval and will comply with all rules, regulations, and training requirements.
  • NOTE: Projects involving animals must maintain compliance with regulations at all times or funding will be revoked.
  • For more information, mentors may contact the Chair of the USC Aiken IACUC: Dr. April DeLaurier (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

For research projects involving human participants

USC Aiken is required by the federal government to follow strict guidelines when human subjects are involved in research projects requiring Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval.  Human subject’s research INCLUDES studies that use:

    • data collected through interventions, interactions, or observations with human participants (e.g., surveys, interviews, testing, or observational procedures); and/or
    • existing data sets containing any personal information (e.g., medical records, educational records, voting records).
  • Include a statement within your project description/timeline that you are submitting for Human Subjects approval and will comply with all rules, regulations, and training requirements.
  • For more information and applications:
  • For Human Subject FAQs:
  • For ALL Human subjects questions: contact the USC Office of Research Compliance (; 803-777-7095)
  • Projects involving human subjects must maintain compliance with regulations at all times.

  • WORC 1
  • WORC 2
  • WORC 3
  • WORC 4
  • WORC 5
  • WORC 6
  • WORC 7

This focus area concentrates efforts on providing financial assistance through scholarships to help STEM majors progress towards their degrees. This focus area also includes branding WORC as a key initiative of the CSE for workforce development with SRS. Both aspects of this focus area are very important for the WORC Scholars Program. The annual awarding of scholarships and frequent use of the WORC brand will help students correlate the opportunities provided by the WORC Scholars Program with career opportunities and job placement at SRS.

One of the most significant outcomes from WORC Scholars Program is the impact of the WORC scholarships for UofSC Aiken’s STEM students. This will continue to be a crucial part of the WORC Scholars Program.

WORC Scholarships will be given out to students who meet our WORC scholarship requirements in the following disciplines: engineering, computer science, chemistry, and biology (ERRP program).

In academic year 2020-2021, 39 STEM students received $3000 scholarships to continue their studies.

Apply for the WORC Scholarship

Our college is engaged in a summer institute sponsored by WORC and scientific engagement events to showcase our students and faculty and to connect them with scientific professionals in the community:

Dr. Peter Felten

peter feltenPeter Felten is executive director of the Center for Engaged Learning, assistant provost for teaching and learning, and professor of history at Elon University. He works with colleagues on institution-wide teaching and learning initiatives, and on the scholarship of teaching and learning. In his teaching, Peter aims to help students think critically and write clearly about the connections between the lives of individual people and larger themes in history. As a scholar, he has published six books about undergraduate education including most recently, Relationship-Rich Education: How Human Connections Drive Success in College (2020).

He has served as president of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2016-17) and also of the POD Network (2010-2011), the U.S. professional society for educational developers. He is co-editor of the International Journal for Academic Development, on the advisory board of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), and a fellow of the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, a foundation that works to advance equity in higher education.

Recorded versions of the presentations can be watched via the links below after the presentation has passed.

Presentation Title Audience

Relationship Rich Education (Students)
Download to watch full video

For all USC Aiken students

Relationship Rich Education (Faculty)

For USC Aiken Faculty

Dr. Saundra McGuire

Saundra McGuire Through the WORC Scholars Program, our college will bring in national speakers on the forefront of STEM education. This spring 2021, we welcome Dr. Saundra McGuire to our campus. Dr. McGuire is the Director Emerita of the Center for Academic Success and retired Assistant Vice Chancellor and Professor of Chemistry at Louisiana State University. She has delivered keynote addresses or presented workshops on effective learning strategies at over 400 institutions in 47 states and ten countries. Prior to joining LSU, she spent eleven years at Cornell University, where she received the coveted Clark Distinguished Teaching Award. Her best-selling book, Teach Students How to Learn, was published by Stylus in 2015. The student version of this book, Teach Yourself How to Learn, was released in January 2018.

Dr. McGuire’s most recent accolades include the 2019 Distinguished Lecturer Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), the 2019 Commitment to Excellence in Academic Support Award from the Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education, the 2017 American Chemical Society Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students to Pursue Careers in the Chemical Sciences, and induction in 2017 into the LSU College of Science Hall of Distinction. She is an elected Fellow of the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Council of Learning Assistance and Developmental Education Associations. She received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring in a White House Oval Office Ceremony.

Dr. McGuire will deliver three virtual presentations via Zoom. They can be joined by clicking on the links below at the time of the presentation.

Recorded versions of the presentations can be watched via the links below after the presentation has passed.

Presentation Title Audience Event Date

Metacognition: The Key to Acing Courses (and Life)!

For all UofSC Aiken students

Monday, March 15, 2021 

3:00 - 4:15 pm

Metacognition: The Key Ingredient on The Journey to Excellence

Special presentation with our students of color

Monday, March 15, 2021

4:30 - 5:45 pm

Get Students to Focus on Learning Instead of Grades:  Metacognition is the Key!

For all UofSC Aiken faculty

Monday, April 5, 2021

4:00 - 5:30 pm

What is the WORC Scholarship? 

The Workforce Opportunities in Regional Careers (WORC) Scholarship is a STEM-related scholarship through the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization (SRSCRO). The average size of a scholarship will be $5,000. 

Who is eligible? 

Any USC Aiken full-time student who is a sophomore, junior, or senior and who is currently enrolled in one of the following majors at USC Aiken:


SRSCRO wants to invest in you! Both the Savannah River Site (SRS) and the South Carolina Higher Education Study Committee (HESC) realize that over the years 2013-2030, there will be approximately 553,884 new jobs created in South Carolina, and that 52% of these jobs will require a higher education ("Competing Through Knowledge," Darla Moore School of Business, 2013). SRSCRO anticipates that 50% of the SRS workforce will retire over the next few years and desires to help develop the next generation.

How do I apply? 

The call for submissions is now closed. The next call will be in Fall 2023.

As part of the UofSC Aiken Office of Admissions Focused Friday series, the College of Sciences and Engineering is pleased to present STEM Friday!

STEM Friday is for students interested in the following subject areas:





Do you want to help cure HIV? Do you want to work with nanotechnology? Do you want to solve problems related to global climate change? Does a career in engineering interest you?

If so, then join us for STEM Friday at UofSC Aiken and find out how we can help you get there! Meet our award-winning faculty and perform lab experiments side-by-side with our current students majoring in science and engineering degree programs. STEM Friday also includes a walking tour of our beautiful campus and a free lunch with faculty representatives from the College of Sciences and Engineering.

STEM Friday is your chance to go hands-on at UofSC Aiken!

If you have any questions about this event, please contact Sarah Marie Williamson, Administrative Specialist for the College of Sciences and Engineering:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Click here to register

USC Aiken strives to remain as affordable as possible so that students can have access to a great quality education. There are several types of aid that students may benefit from:

Numerous scholarship options are also available, including South Carolina scholarships and USC Aiken scholarships.

Learn more about available scholarships

Students in the College of Sciences and Engineering may be especially interested in applying for the Workforce Opportunities in Regional Careers (WORC) Scholarship through the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization (SRSCRO). The average size of a scholarship will be $3,000. 

Learn more about the WORC Scholarship

The Admissions staff at the University of South Carolina Aiken understands that the college selection process can be overwhelming. Our staff is dedicated and prepared to help you with information about the University and our admissions process.

Your enrollment counselor is your personal contact at USC Aiken. If you have a specific question, please feel free to contact him/her.

Find Your Enrollment Counselor

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