The School of Arts & Sciences

Undergraduate Research and Discovery Scholar Program (URaD)

This is a one-year SoAS signature program that engages undergraduate students in research and/or artistic endeavors. The program sets up collaborations between research-active faculty and undergraduate students who undertake projects that engage with a topical issue.

Eligibility

The program is a selective and competitive program that is open to students who are enrolled in a program leading to an undergraduate degree.

Selection

This selective, competitive opportunity is open to students who are enrolled in a program leading to an undergraduate degree. Preference will be given to students who are already engaged in research with a research-active LAU faculty.

Student Testimonials

Mazen Al Hammoud - BS in Biology
Mentor: Associate Professor of Biochemistry Ralph Abi-Habib
Research Topic: 
The Role of mTOR Activation After Arginine Deprivation in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

“URaD was a turning point in my life because now I am involved in seven research projects, two of which I am leading. I am currently working on medical projects with my mentor Dr. Essa Hariri at Cleveland Clinic mainly, and in the process of publishing few manuscripts as a co-author. I was also selected as the only undergraduate student on the advisory board of medical students of the International Journal of Clinical Research. I also obtained my peer review certificate from Publons Academy. I truly think that URaD offers a fertile ground to begin research, especially if the student is proactive and willing to build connections – it’s a domino effect,” he said.  

Nour Abi Fadel – BS in Biology, Minor in Psychology.
Mentor: Visiting Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology Pia Tohme
Research Topic: Predictors of eHealth Use in Students, Investigating Digital Health Literacy, Mental Health Literacy, and Reflective Functioning

“I’m passionate about reorienting digital health innovations to inclusive implementations. My primary value is increasing equity in the digital space. URaD was a ticket to become a next-generation researcher and innovator. Over a month, we learned about sustainability, valuable programming skills, and how to think like a researcher. In order to strengthen the study’s outcome, Dr. Tohme and I decided to investigate both digital health literacy and mental health literacy. Moreover, Dr. Tohme combined more psychological attributes, such as mentalization, the ability to understand mental state that underlies the overt behavior of oneself or others.”

Discovery Curriculum

The Research and Discovery Scholar Program offers a series of three-hour workshops. Some will be required while others optional. Scholars need to complete the discovery curriculum in order to proceed to the next stage.

Core knowledge – Must be taken as a sequence

  1. Literature Search and Review [3 hours]. Literature review including search strategies, keeping up to date, organizing your material, reading a paper critically, organizing your material before writing, bibliographic annotation, integration and synthesis, and citation management and tools. Instructor: Dr George Khazen
  2. Writing a Research Proposal [3 hours].  Learn how to write your research proposal including types of a research proposal, components: research problem, context, and results evaluation. Instructor: Dr. Jad Melki
  3. Effective Communication [6 hours]. Learn to be a better communicator by exploring the communication process and how different communication styles affect your personal style. Topics include empathy, asking the right questions, understanding the person’s viewpoint, and non-verbal communication. Instructors: Drs. Dan Badran and Victor Khachan
  4. Capstone [One Week]. Students will work closely with a mentor in developing a research proposal to be pursued during the academic year 2020-2021 and presented at the SoAS Research Day.

SoAS iPark [Required]

  1. Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Pitching your Idea [6 hours].  Overviews the key components in the innovation process and examples of major innovations.   Customer service science and elevator pitching.  The Language of Start-Ups including business language and terminology, business model, market study, impact, venture capitalists, funding rounds, and KPIs. Instructor: Dr Martine Abboud
  2. Teamwork and Project Management [3 hours].  Organize your team’s work and manage projects from beginning to end: creating and assigning tasks, managing due dates, creating checklists, and project management tools. Instructor: Dr. George Khazen

STEAM [Required]

  1. Python Programming [6 hours].  Fundamentals of Python programming including data types, conditional statements, loops, and dictionaries.  Applications to sciences and humanities will be discussed.  Instructor: Dr H. Harmanani
  2. Introduction to Deep Learning for Computer Vision [6 hours].  A simple introduction to deep learning and artificial intelligence using NVIDIA online tools.  Scholars will receive a certificate from NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute.  Instructor: H. Harmanani
  3. Digital Humanities [3 hours].  Using digital data and technologies to answer humanities research questions. From text analysis to data visualization and more. Instructors: Drs C. Jenainati and H. Harmanani
  4. Research Methods in the Social Sciences and Humanities [6 hours]. Planning and designing research studies using appropriate research methodologies and data analysis techniques. Instructors: Drs C. Kozman and G. King
  5. Mapping the Self Through the Conflicted Landscape [3 hours]: Theories of space and place through an open process of landscape evaluation with a focus on affective and aesthetic relationship: visits of sites of historical conflict, street art, music, and film productions.  Instructor: Dr C. Jenainati

Students will receive a certificate upon the completion of the Curriculum.

Projects

Participants work collaboratively to complete creative or scholarly outputs.  Where projects are to be submitted for formal assessment as Capstone or Senior Projects, the student will be allocated a departmental advisor, and the submission will be individual. 

Participants select one of three pathways of intellectual engagement:

A. Mapping the Self Through the Conflicted Landscape

This pathways is multidisciplinary with a focus on cultural intelligence.  Scholars are taught using Problem-Based Learning pedagogy and are expected to undertake active field research. Wiorking closely with the pathway lead, we reflect on theories of space and place through an open process of landscape evaluation: we document the landscape around us and we interpret its impact on the individual and collective sense of self through affective and aesthetic critique.  The pathway includes visits of sites of historical conflict and examines street art, music, and film productions.

B. SoAS iPark

This Pathway aims at unleashing the scholars’ creative potential by developing their creative skills, techniques, systems, and leadership behaviours.  Scholars will be expected to pitch their own ideas and deliver an innovative product.

C. SoAS STEAM

This Pathway focuses on developing scholars’ creative skills in Sciences, Technology, English, Arts, Digital Humanities, and Mathematics.  Students will be mentored, and their research skills sharpened.  The program will promote multidisciplinary projects leading to tangible research outputs such as publishing articles, proceedings, developing research-based theatre, and art exhibit, or a performance.

Faculty Involvement

Where relevant, scholars will be assigned a faculty mentor who shall oversee their effort.  In addition to the Pathway Lead, the mentor shall guide the Scholar in writing and submitting a proposal, supervise his/her scholarly activity, and assist in the final report.

Deliverables

Students shall present their findings during the SoAS research day* with the expectations of an article or proceedings submission, a publication, an innovative product, an art exhibit, or a performance.

*Program will be defined at a later stage.

 


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