KOFAC supports undergraduate student research
KOFAC supports undergraduate student research
  • Kwon Yu-bi
  • 승인 2009.06.01 16:05
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     The Korean Foundation for the Advancement of Science & Creativity (KOFAC) announced that it would initiate the Undergraduate Research Program (URP) for university students who major in engineering, medical science, and pharmacy beginning this spring. Research will continue through August 31 for short term participants and through February 28 next year for long-term participants. 
     The KOFAC initiated the program to extend special education to university students that had previously been provided only to middle and high school students. The research program is aimed to foster students’ capabilities for independent research and to give them practical experimental skills with the help of expert mentors. At the end of the program, the KOFAC expects students to have competence in areas beyond those included in textbooks. 
     The KOFAC will provide 1.5 billion won in support for the research program. For first-term research, 439 teams from 67 universities applied for funds and 71 teams were selected. Among them, eight teams, consisting of 17 Ewha students, started their research on May 1. 
     The KOFAC offers financial support to student participants and also gives them overall mentoring guidance in their research processes. Financial support includes research expenses, food expenses, and even school supply expenses that students need to do the research. When students are done with their research, the results are to be evaluated and revised by managers from the KOFAC. 
     In science, experiments are an important part of understanding theories in textbooks. However, students are usually limited to the experimental topics and materials assigned during classes. The URP is a chance for students to concentrate on their own topics for experiments, at the same time receiving advice from mentoring professors. 
     “Students who participate in the URP should be the center of the whole experiment. Although it is hard to keep up with our experiments, the URP is an important opportunity for undergraduates to gratify their curiosity and learn professional knowledge,” said Jung Hey-jung (Life Sciences, 4), who is a participant of the URP. 
     Professor Oh Eok-soo (Life Sciences) says the support that KOFAC offers should be enlarged so that more students will be encouraged to apply for the program. “The more support provided, the more students will participate. And a problem with expenses should be settled. All participants, including professors and assistants, have to gather all the receipts to submit them to KOFAC. At least for students, that rule should be adjusted in order to help them focus on research,” said Oh.

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