Undergraduate Research

Across eight undergraduate colleges, Samford students work closely with faculty mentors to design original research projects that will add greater knowledge and deeper understanding to their disciplines. Whether they are translating literary works or decoding strands of DNA, composing original musical scores or evaluating economic models, assessing the impact of teaching strategies or designing more effective ways to deliver healthcare, our students challenge themselves to make a difference in their academic communities, and the world.


Awards and Honors


Jack Kawell (Engineering Physics). North Carolina State University Research Experience for Undergraduates in Composites for Extreme Environments. Summer 2016.

Lauren Bates (Brock Scholar). With professors Rusty Yerkes and Sara McCarthy , published “How Do Municipal Bonds Behave without Tax Exemption?” in the Journal of Investing, Fall 2016.

Jeffrey Cole (BIOL) and Patrick Buszka (BIOL). First Place, Undergraduate Poster Competition. Alabama Academy of Science. University of North Alabama. February, 2016. "Characterization of the Venom Delivery Mechanism and Proteome for the Wandering Spider, Ctenus hibernalis (Aranea: Ctenidae)."

Hannah Newman (HDFS). 2016 Outstanding Undergraduate Research Paper Award. National Council on Family Relations. “The Relationship Between Parental Conflict Tactics and Sibling Conflict Tactics.”

Hannah Chandlee (HDFS). 2015 Outstanding Undergraduate Paper Award. National Council on Family Relations. “Parental Chronic Illness and Young Adult Women’s Psychological Stress.”

State, Regional and National Presentations

Samford Undergraduate Research Publications

Samford Undergraduate Research Journal (University Fellows)

Sponsored and staffed by the University Fellows Program, the Samford Undergraduate Research Journal (SURJ) is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal open to submissions from all Samford undergraduates. SURJ is looking for the best research in any discipline offered at Samford University.


Sojourn (Department of Journalism and Mass Communication)

Sojourn is the literary arts magazine of Samford University. This biannual magazine features photography, poetry, art and short stories by both Samford students and faculty.

Wide Angle: A Journal of Literature and Film (Department of English)

A joint publication between English majors and faculty, this journal embodies the interdisciplinary nature of the Department of English at Samford University. It provides a venue for all Samford students, faculty, and staff to publish their best critical and creative work.

Read Wide Angle

Summer Research Programs

Arts and Sciences Program for Independent Research

The Arts & Sciences Program for Independent Research (ASPIRE) is a one-on-one, faculty guided summer research experience for undergraduates. Since 2004, ASPIRE students have been rolling up their sleeves to do original research. They’ve waded Alabama rivers to collect water samples and spent long nights decoding DNA strands. They’ve scoured old prison records for information about historic civil rights cases and conducted interviews with survivors of the civil war in Bosnia. They’ve climbed mountains in Ecuador for information about changing climate patterns and uncovered 2000-year-old civilizations in Israel. Many of them describe their research as the best educational experience they’ve had in college.

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Alabama Power Foundation Research Fellowships

In 2007, the Alabama Power Foundation made a $250,000 investment in the University Fellows program. This gift established the APF Research Fellowships, competitive grants available exclusively to University Fellows. Previous recipients have conducted summer research in fields such as chemistry, classics, computer science and political science. These projects have resulted in conference presentations and scholarly publications, and have proven to be valuable preparation for graduate study.

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Pharmaceutical Sciences Summer Internship

The McWhorter School of Pharmacy offers a 10 week summer research internship that provides interested students the opportunity to work in the research laboratory of a pharmacy faculty mentor on a bench based research topic in the basic pharmaceutical sciences. Selection for these internships is competitive and students are paid for their participation.

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Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF Grant, Summer 2016)

From May 29-July 28, 2016, Samford University will host a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program that will provide an in-depth faculty-mentored research experience for 12 students. The program focuses on multidisciplinary research to study interactions in complex systems ranging from the molecular to the landscape scale in a diverse Appalachian ridge and valley ecosystem at Oak Mountain State Park (OMSP) near Birmingham, Alabama.

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SoCon Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF)

On October 28-29, 2016 on the campus of Wofford College, the Southern Conference Academic Exchange will host the inaugural SoCon Undergraduate Research Forum. This multidisciplinary conference will bring together approximately 150 students, faculty, and staff for a two-day event that will feature presentations, poster sessions, and performances in the arts & humanities as well as the STEM disciplines.

To participate in the conference, students must first apply to a Samford selection committee, which will then determine those students who may apply directly to the SURF selection committee. The deadline for the Samford selection committee is Friday, September 9, 2016, and students accepted to participate in inaugural conference will be notified by Monday, October 3.

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