RESEARCH

About Beyond120 Research

Whether you’re conducting research in a group setting or designing your own project with a faculty mentor, undergraduate research is one of the best things you can do to expand your skillset and sharpen your mind outside of the classroom. The number of prestigious research opportunities available to UF-CLAS students is enormous and spans every major and area of interest. Contact jacobwatson@advising.ufl.edu for help choosing the ideal research experience for you.

Research Opportunities

There are several paths to conducting and participating in research. You can research with a faculty mentor, research with an organization outside UF, or participate in a UF group research project.

To find potential faculty mentors, you can begin by taking courses in the subject you want to research, attending events with faculty speakers, and reading professors’ published articles. Getting to know a potential mentor personally and familiarizing yourself with their work makes it easier to reach out to them for mentorship, and more likely that they’ll be willing to work with you. You can also search for faculty-supervised research opportunities in the CUR database.

We encourage you to get involved and explore all the opportunities available.

Non-UF Research Opportunities

The National Science Foundation sponsors REUs in a wide variety of disciplines. Search for National REU sites by subject here.

The CLAS Scholars Program

The CLAS Scholars Program (CSP) gives undergraduate students an opportunity to work one- on-one with a CLAS faculty member on a research project. Scholars can pursue a variety of different types of projects including laboratory-based research, field work, and scholarly activities. Through this program, CLAS Scholars will gain valuable insights into how research is performed and how new knowledge is created.

 

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Madeline Bickerstaff Economics

What is your research about?

“I examined the relationship that gun laws and gun ownership rates have with firearm homicide and suicide death rates in the United States. More specifically, using a panel design, I examined the relationship between gun ownership rates and 10 different common gun laws (which varied over time) on homicide and suicide rates from 2000-2010 in the United States. The model used was a multivariate regression model with time fixed effects and several state level factors that were controlled for.”

How has research helped prepare you for the future?

“I learned so much from taking Empirical research my junior year, and then working on this research paper my senior year. I think learning more of the basics of programming (R and Stata), statistics and econometrics was extremely beneficial for me--especially if I do decide to go to grad school in the near future. But for now, I think even the general knowledge that I have will better prepare me as I go into a career in Finance which will be very math heavy and may require me knowing certain statistical programming languages and research basics. And more than anything, I learned more than I ever thought I would about an issue I've always been very interested in within my two years of studying gun violence and writing two research papers on it.” Virtual Symposium Poster: https://cur.aa.ufl.edu/2020/04/14/bickerstaff-madeline/

Julia Bittencourt Biology

What is your research about?

“I have been creating a stage series of human embryonic genitourinary development through the use of micro-CT scans. We plan on adding this stage series to GUDMAP.org to provide as an educational resource within the GenitoUrinary Development Molecular Anatomy Project.”

Publications:

“Discovery of small-molecule enzyme activators by activity-based protein profiling.” Nature Chemical Biology.

Hannah Calderazzo English

What is your research about?

“My research focused on understanding the Victorian "unfeminine," woman through examining the characters of Marian Halcombe from Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White, and Theodora Dudley from Victoria Cross's Six Chapters of a Man's Life. I argue that their "unfeminine" physical appearances and heightened intelligence constitute a new type of womanhood, which is shown not only to be distinct, but desirable through the male narrators of their stories.”

How has research helped prepare you for the future?

“As someone who aspires to attend graduate school, this research experience through CLAS Scholars has prepared me both for my senior thesis I intend to write this upcoming year, as well as for eventual graduate-level research. Gathering sources and collaborating with my faculty mentor has given me a new understanding for how to prepare an official research paper, both for an academic journal and for conferences. Without this program, I doubt I would have challenged myself to submit my research project to UF's Journal of Undergraduate Research, and now I have a basis for my senior thesis.”

What’s your advice for UF students?

“I think it is important to understand that your topic will evolve--you do not have to feel obligated to stick to your initial idea or abstract. The more you research, the more you may discover, and the more your ideas or topic might become more nuanced. I also highly recommend pursuing undergraduate research, especially to those interested in attending graduate school--it challenges your writing, your preparation, and multitasking abilities, allowing you to grow as a scholar. Plus, once you finish, you can take pride in the fact that you have contributed something unique to the academic community and have learned a great deal about a subject that interests you!”

Virtual Symposium Poster: https://cur.aa.ufl.edu/2020/04/14/calderazzo-hannah/

Conference Presentations:

"Unfeminine Legacies from Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White (1860) to Victoria Cross's Six Chapters of a Man's Life (1903)." North American Victorian Studies Association Conference. Columbus, Ohio. 2019.

"Unfeminine Legacies from Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White (1860) to Victoria Cross's Six Chapters of a Man's Life (1903)." English Undergraduate Research Conference. University of Florida. 2020

Publications

“Understanding the Victorian Unfeminine.” Journal of Undergraduate Research. University of Florida.

Guancen Liu Chemistry

What is your research about?

“My research focuses on the design and synthesis of self-assembling paracyclophanes. In the previous work of our group, [2.2]paracyclophane-4,7,12,15-tetracarboxamide ([2.2]pCpTA) was shown to self-assemble into a one-dimensional supramolecular polymer through intermolecular and transannular amide hydrogen bonding. We expanded on this assembly motif and synthesized a new class of self-assembling paracyclophanes that have unique physical, chemical, and electronic properties.”

Conference Presentations:

Liu, G.; Henderson, W. R.; Fagnani, D. E.; Castellano, R. K. “Chromophore Conjugation to Self-Assembling Paracyclophanes” Poster presentation at the 95th Florida Annual Meeting and Exposition (FAME) of the ACS, Palm Harbor, FL, 2019.

Publications:

Henderson, W. R.; Zhu, Y.; Fagnani, D. E.; Liu, G.; Abboud, K. A.; Castellano, R. K. Self-Assembling [n.n]Paracyclophanes: A Structure-Property Relationship Study. Journal of Organic Chemistry 2020, 85, 1158−1167.

Awards and Honors:

Keaffaber Scholar Award for excellence in research and academic, University of Florida.