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Pomona College Receives $300,000 Grant for Summer Undergraduate Research

Pomona College has received a $300,000 from the Fletcher Jones Foundation for its 2010 Summer Undergraduate Research Program, which will support 68-83 research students. Opportunities for undergraduate research are a hallmark of a Pomona College education.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) provides participants with up to $4,000 in financial support for four to 10 weeks of extended, focused research on independent projects with substantive faculty mentoring or working directly for a professor as a summer research assistant.

This summer, student SURP projects include:

  • the molecular and neurophsyiological mechanisms of the genetics of addiction that occur as a result of alcohol and drug addiction;
  • the impact of Senatorial Campaign Committees on the Senate in terms of leadership structure, recruitment and policy-making;
  • the socio-economic value provided by the Southern California regional watershed in terms of recreation, water supply and water quality;
  • constraints on the economic growth rate of Scotland;
  • the relationship between stress and memory and whether there are sex-related differences;
  • the effects of the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, CA, on the surrounding community;
  • a photo documentary of the reality of the gentrification of Harlem during the 2009 recession;
  • off-shore wind power development in the gulf of Maine;
  • the relationship between insect pollination and pollen limitation in a local wildflower;
  • an assessment of tuberculosis and treatment in South Kenya; and
  • female migrant workers’ decisions to migrate to Dubai, conditions during migration and their vulnerability to human rights abuses in Dubai’s labor system.

“There is nothing quite like the excitement of doing original research,” says Pomona College President David Oxtoby, who is also an atmospheric chemist. “This program embodies what is best about science education at a small liberal arts college like Pomona: close collaboration between students and faculty members.”

The Fletcher Jones grant comes at a critical time at the conclusion of three major research grants and a reduced college operating budget, as applications to SURP continue to grow. The SURP is an extremely popular program and highly effective in providing students with the opportunity to acquire the skills and credentials necessary for admission to highly competitive graduate and professional schools.