Honors College
Oak View Hall, Room 210
509 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4452
(248) 370-4450
Fax: (248) 370-4479
Scholarship Opportunities

Michigan Center for Undergraduate Research

The Michigan Center for Undergraduate Research (MCUR) supports and advances strong undergraduate research by nurturing innovative ideas, projects and collaborations. Housed in the Honors College, MCUR provides for undergraduate researchers across Oakland University by offering information and training, by promoting ingenuity and aspiration, and by helping develop projects and project funding plans.
The Center for Undergraduate Research Leadership (CURL), supports undergraduate research leadership initiatives. CURL assists in supporting leadership development and excellence among the Oakland University undergraduate community, and the qualities of creativity, innovation and social and public enterprise. The leadership center aims to advance the idea that strong undergraduate research leadership supports the future of higher education, the engine powering the success of our colleges and universities and of the public and private sectors.
Photo-documentary of Syrian refugees
Journalism student Salwan Georges' project began as an  Honors College thesis to document the life and struggles of Iraqi-Americans in Dearborn. He took more than 1,000 images over a six-month time period to illustrate their stories. Some of his photos were selected to be part of the  March 5 Washington Post article “Starting over in Dearborn, Michigan: The Arab capital of North America.” Since that article ran, the newspaper has asked him to serve as its Detroit area freelance photographer.

Exploring eye diseases in premature babies
Nathan Spix studies retinopathy of prematurity, a disease that occurs in premature babies. He discovered a passion for research, and his experience in the lab has made a positive impact on his classroom studies.

Religious pilgrimage and New Age Spirituality
Anthropology major Alex Morton’s research led her to the mountains of northern Spain, where she took part in El Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage to the historic cathedral  some believe houses the remains of Jesus’s apostle Saint James the Great. Morton observed and interviewed pilgrims to better understand the journey’s cultural significance. The focus of my research was about the reasons people do El Camino de Santiago, the impact El Camino has on the individual and the community, and the differences between routes of the Camino,” said Morton. 

Cognitive psychology in young children
Rooted in cognitive psychology, Kathleen Saigh’s research explores “physical, social, and relational categorization formation in young children,” particularly those with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and also highlights “emotion recognition and theory of mind.” The psychology major presented her work at the 2013 Cognitive Development Society meeting and at Meeting of Minds conferences the past two years.

Causes of blindness
Mark English conducted research at OU’s Eye Research Institute (ERI) examining how the absence of peripherin/RDS, a protein in the eye, can lead to vision loss. He has presented his research during the ERI’s SUPER program. When peripherin/RDS is not present, photoreceptors lose their shape, which leads to blinding diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration,” the biology major explained. “To provide a more complete understanding of the relationship between peripherin/RDS and photoreceptor structure, I have developed a standard measurement for the affinity of peripherin/RDS and cell membranes."

As an undergraduate researcher, MCUR provides exceptional mentors to help guide you through your field of study. These mentors are regularly conducting research and pursuing their passion for discovery. Mentors can be found in a variety of departments throughout Oakland University including:

Department of Biological Sciences

Dr. Amy Banes-Berceli

The chance to do undergraduate research sparked a life-long passion in me to pursue biomedical research. There is nothing as rewarding to a mentor than to see your mentees thrive and move on to their own successful careers. I feel very fortunate to be able to come to work every day and still be passionate about my research. I have the chance to further our understanding of the causes, development, pathologies and treatments of human diseases. I can’t ask for more than the chance to contribute to the body of knowledge that leads to new disease treatments and helps save lives.

Department of Physics

Dr. Brad Roth

When I was an undergraduate physics major, one of the most influential experiences I had was the chance to do scientific research. This is an opportunity that I encourage undergraduates at Oakland to take advantage of.

Dr. Roth’s research has been supported by grants from renowned institutions, such as the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, American Heart Association and Whittaker Foundation. He spent seven years at the Maryland-based National Institutes of Health, where he helped develop transcranial magnetic stimulation of the brain, a method to activate the brain painlessly and non-invasively.


Web GURU Guide to Undergraduate Research
This guide is full of additional information about undergraduate research programs, mentoring, and professionalism in the lab. 

Council on Undergraduate Research
CUR helps support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship.