Building Undergraduate Student Research Experiences

The Public Policy Center (PPC), in collaboration with the Office of Undergraduate Research, offers funding for faculty who would like to hire an undergraduate student(s) to assist with their research. 

The goals of the grant are twofold:

  • Provide faculty with more capacity for their research
  • Create more opportunities for undergraduate students to be involved in research

Funding may be used for the following expenses specific to the project:

  • Remuneration for student personnel
  • Other appropriate expenses, which may include:
    • Data collection, survey development support (available via the ISRC)
    • Software, supplies
    • Research participant payments

The Public Policy Center and the Iowa Social Science Research Center (ISRC) can provide support at no cost for:

  • Learning/sharing sessions for faculty on how to effectively engage undergraduates in research
  • Assistance in finding interested, eligible, underserved students in the UI community
  • Connection to our campus partner, the Office of Undergraduate Research
  • Grant development and submission support

Current Program Participants

Zuhlke_group research1

(Left to right) Grace Koch, Lilli Scott, Kate Beeman, Amukta Gantalamohini and Abby McKeone

Samantha R. Zuhlke, 342 JH
Assistant Professor, School of Planning and Public Affairs
Research Fellow, Environmental Policy Research Program, UI Public Policy Center

David Cwiertny, 4655 SC
Program Director and Senior Research Fellow, Environmental Policy Research Program
Director, Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination (CHEEC)
Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor, Department of Chemistry

Project name: Public Policy and Iowa’s Drinking Water Kiosks: An Investigation of Environmental, Social, and Water Quality Concerns

Project description: Private drinking water kiosks in Iowa claim to sell purified drinking water in gallon units at a much higher price than a gallon of tap water, but these claims are unchecked due to a lack of regulations in the state. Our research aims to investigate the quality of water at these kiosks, with the goal of providing policy recommendations.

Applications for Building Undergraduate Student Research Experiences are currently closed.

For more information on the PPC's Building Undergraduate Student Research Experiences, please contact