The Origins Project has announced the winners of its inaugural Undergraduate Research Scholarship, which funds joint research projects between Arizona State University undergraduates and their faculty mentors. A $5,000 research fund is awarded to both the student and their mentor for a total of $10,000 awarded per project.
Winners of the $10,000 research project funding include astrophysics student Michael Busch and mentor Judd Bowman; economics and biochemistry student Alexi Choueiri and mentor Jason Newbern; physics and mathematics student Aditya Dhumuntarao and mentor Maulik Parikh; anthropology and geological sciences student Alexandra Norwood and mentor Michael Smith; and biomedical engineering student Nitish Peela and mentor Mehdi Nikkhah.
“The Origins Project is providing a wonderful opportunity to support aspiring scientists with undergraduate research funding,” said Choueiri, one of the student winners. “My faculty mentor and I are very grateful and excited to pursue our research goal of elucidating the origins of the brain. I strongly believe this award will cultivate me as a scientist and a scholar. It is a privilege to have the Origins Project here at Arizona State University.”
Choueiri’s mentor, Jason Newbern, agreed. “We are extremely honored to have the opportunity to contribute to the Origins Project mission by unraveling the complex origins of neural circuitry," Newbern said. "I look forward to the fantastic mentoring opportunity made possible by this award and preparing the next generation of innovative neuroscientists.”
“The Origins Project was established at ASU in part to encourage ASU undergraduates to explore foundational questions as they pursue their studies, and to encourage new research opportunities in forefront areas of interest across the full spectrum of scholarly activity associated with origins,” said Origins Project Director Lawrence Krauss.
“What better way to support this than to encourage our best students to seek out faculty resources and to be engaged directly in exciting new research projects,” Krauss said. “I am delighted that we have been able to raise funds to support these projects and I am delighted by the quality of the students who applied with their mentors and the proposals we received. It was a difficult decision, and these five projects are truly exceptional.”
This award is one of many awards and scholarships the Origins Project has available to students, researchers, and scholars. For more information visit origins.asu.edu/prizes-scholarships.
Written by Michelle Iwen, Origins Project