Student Research Opportunities
Niblack Research Scholars Program
The Niblack Research Scholars (NRS) program provides support to Oklahoma State University undergraduates to conduct research in one of OSU’s research laboratories under the general guidance of a member of the research faculty and with day-to-day mentoring by a graduate student.
A comprehensive research university like OSU is in a unique position to offer undergraduate students an exciting academic experience outside the traditional classroom. The purpose of this award, made possible by the generosity of Dr. John Niblack, is to give outstanding students an appreciation of scientific research in a laboratory environment at an early stage in their academic careers. Research experience is invaluable in helping the students choose a career path for themselves, in improving their likelihood of success in the workforce, and in helping the students decide if graduate school is the correct choice for them. These awards are not intended to provide faculty members with assistants, but to provide students with a valuable educational experience not available to most undergraduate students.
Research areas available for this award are: Animal and Food Sciences; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Chemistry; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Entomology and Plant Pathology; Geology; Integrative Biology; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Microbiology and Molecular Genetics; Natural Resource Ecology and Management; Nutritional Sciences; Physics; Physiological Sciences; Plant Biology, Ecology, and Evolution; Plant and Soil Sciences; and Veterinary Pathobiology.
Eligible students are those (a) enrolled full-time, (b) having earned at least 28 credit hours (i.e., cumulative graduation/retention credit hours) at the start of the program, and (c) conducting research in one of the above areas. Preferred applicants will have a degree plan with an anticipated graduation date of December 2025 or after.
- Scholars are assigned to research activities with a faculty sponsor and a graduate student mentor who provide professional guidance, encouragement, and direction.
- The research project and schedule are determined between the scholar and faculty sponsor.
- Scholars spend a minimum of two to five hours per week working with their assigned mentors in a hands-on laboratory environment during the fall and spring semesters.
- During the summer, a minimum of 20 hours per week for two months in the laboratory is expected. Although, the total hours agreed upon with the faculty sponsor are dependent upon other activities (e.g., enrollment, etc.), the expectation is full-time participation for two months. The specific two-month period during the summer is negotiable between the scholar and the faculty sponsor.
- The program offers two schedules: Schedule A is a summer/fall/spring program; Schedule B is a fall/spring/summer program. Scholars must commit to return the following October to orally present their research to Dr. Niblack during his annual visit.
- Scholars must enroll in three hours of academic credit (1 hour each fall, spring, and summer semester). A UNIV 2910 Niblack Research Scholars course is established each semester for this purpose.
- Scholars must report to their faculty sponsor by the end of the first week of the semester or the award will be terminated.
- Students must maintain full-time enrollment status during the fall and spring semesters (minimum of 12 hours).
- A brief status report will be required before the subsequent semester’s stipend is approved (due to the Division of the Vice President for Research in January and May). Awards are renewed for the subsequent semester pending satisfactory progress and performance.
- A final report will be due in the Division of the Vice President for Research by mid-August.
- Scholars must return the following fall and participate in Niblack Research Scholars Day by giving oral presentations of their research to Dr. Niblack during his annual visit.
- Scholars receive a $2,000 stipend for fall semester, a $2,000 stipend for spring semester, and a $4,000 stipend for a summer semester ($8,000 total). NRS must commit to working in a laboratory for fall semester, spring semester, and two summer months.
- Awards will be credited to the scholar’s bursar account by September 1, February 1, and June 15 (pending satisfactory progress and performance).
- The graduate student mentor receives a research assistantship stipend of $2,100 (received during June and July; 2 x $1,050/month).
- These awards are not intended to provide faculty members with assistants, but to provide students with a valuable educational experience not available to most undergraduate students.
- The amount of the award does NOT include lab supplies or expenses.
- Scholars are often given the opportunity to continue working with faculty researchers beyond this award, at the discretion of the faculty sponsor.