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Undergraduate Research

Even in your first or second year at USD, you can join research teams, earn mini-grants, present at national conferences or conduct your research at sites around the world. Whatever your major, you’ll find research and creative opportunities ranging from Latin American saxophone music to nanotechnology, and from the use of lighting in theatre to the use of social media by potential employers.

The Council for Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship (CURCS) is a group of faculty and staff whose goal is to advance research and creative activity among undergraduate students. CURCS administers a number of the undergraduate research programs.

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs serves as the hub for undergraduate research and creative scholarship at USD. Contact us at

Our staff can help you:

  • Formulate your research goals
  • Connect you with faculty mentors
  • Provide you with grants to fund your work

For questions or more information contact:

Name Department & Office Contact
Kevin OKelley
  • Assist VP, Research
Robert L Slagle Hall 107


  • Andy Holmes, a senior Honors student in front of his poster he created during his internship with Avera Pediatric and Community Research Center

    Senior Honors student, Andy Holmes (Spanish and medical biology major), completed a Research Internship with Avera Pediatric and Community Research Center (APCRC) as part of the RISE-UP program from May 26-July 31, 2019. His internship was an opportunity to research disparities in gestational weight gain between American Indian and white women and identify respective socioeconomic and psychological determinants. Andy is now working with APCRC on a manuscript to publish in a journal relating to maternal health or obstetrics and gynecology.

  • IdeaFest

    This annual event celebrates student research, creative scholarship and academic engagement. Undergraduate and graduate students in all disciplines present their work in oral and poster presentations, live performances, readings, exhibits and displays.

  • A student in a lab, wearing a white coat.

    Ten undergraduate students were selected to participate in the U.Discover Scholars summer research program from May – August, 2019. This highly selective program is a project of CURCS and provides students from multiple disciplines the opportunity to experience conducting a research or creative scholarship project under the guidance of a faculty mentor over 10-weeks during the summer. Scholars received a $5,000 stipend and will present their research at IdeaFest 2020.

    Congratulations to this year’s scholars and their mentors: Rusul Ali (Medical Biology; Lisa McFadden, Ph.D.); Holly Gerberding (Medical Biology; Jacob Kerby, Ph.D.); Jennifer Gillaspie (Medical Biology; Scott Pattison, Ph.D.); Brock Goeden (Medical Biology/Chemistry; Haoran Sun, Ph.D.); Benjamin Jacobs (Medical Biology; Cliff Summers, Ph.D.); Jade Muller-Smit (Biology/Sustainability; Meghann Jarchow, Ph.D.); Daniel Petra (Medical Biology; Victor Huber, Ph.D.); Rachel Rucker (Medical Biology; Brian Burrell, Ph.D.); Jacob Rudenick (Biology; Bernie Wone, Ph.D.); Levi Sternburg (Studio Art; Chris Meyer, M.F.A).