Are you still active in research?

If you are like many semi-or retired Mason faculty the answer is probably “yes”.  You may even continue to work with graduate and undergrad students, although the lack of research funding may make this difficult. If this is the case, you may want to learn more about the “OSCAR” program that can help provide some funding – see http://OSCAR.gmu.edu

Briefly, the program is aimed at increasing the participation of undergraduate students in research, needs faculty mentors, including retired faculty. The need is particularly acute in the areas of science and business, but retired faculty in all areas are encouraged to participate. There are two types of programs that the OSCAR office funds. The first is a work-study program that supports research experiences for students in financial need. Under this program you can submit a simple project proposal (described on the work-study section of the OSCAR web site LINK http://oscar.gmu.edu/fac-staff/Faculty-Page-Federal-Work-Study-Assistantships.cfm) & OSCAR will send you resumes of all students who express an interest in it. Alternatively, you could recruit students within your former academic unit, and if they qualify for work-study you could sign them up through OSCAR. This method could be a particularly good way to find highly talented students who happen to have financial need. Approved work-study students can earn up to $2500 working with you, typically for 10 hr/week. Nearly all work-study applicants will be funded if a mentor is found.

The second type of OSCAR-funded program (“Undergraduate Research Scholars” LINK http://oscar.gmu.edu/students/ursp.cfm) is more research-intensive, and more competitive (about half are funded). It requires joint proposals by a faculty member and a pre-identified student. In this program a deeper level of commitment in the design and execution of the research is expected from the student, who should be in a position to present the work either on campus or at a conference (for which travel funding is available). OSCAR has so far sent over 200 students to conferences. The program includes awards to students and faculty to help offset costs of time and materials which vary from $1500 to $5000.  If you have an interest in this type of program you may wish to be listed on the “find a mentor” page of the OSCAR web site. Please send the OSCAR Office your name, department, and email contact information to be added.

Please feel free to contact Dr. Bethany Usher, Director of the Students as Scholars initiative, at OSCAR@gmu.edu or 703-993-3794, or peruse the OSCAR website (LINK OSCAR.gmu.edu) for more information about the programs.