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College Office of Undergraduate Research (COUR)

Welcome to the College Office of Undergraduate Research in the College of Science and Mathematics at Georgia Southern University. The students and faculty of COSM are leaders in undergraduate-faculty research at Georgia Southern. Through COUR this successful collaboration will be supported and developed further via an annual Research Symposium. COUR will continue to seek ways for expanding undergraduate-faculty research in the College of Science and Mathematics at Georgia Southern University.

A key objective for the University’s is discovery and dissemination of knowledge. Prompt and open dissemination of the results of research and creative activities to the public is essential to the University’s mission of instruction and research. Taken further, commercial development and distribution of such results to benefit the inventor, the public, and the economy can be considered part of the University’s mission of public service. The University’s intellectual property policy was crafted to facilitate the commercial development of intellectual property and to provide compensation to University inventors who participate in such development. Students have inventor rights under the policy and the College Office of Undergraduate Research encourages students to review the policy and become familiar with its provisions.

Our Mission: To further the Undergraduate Research Experience in Science and Mathematics at Georgia Southern University.

COUR Objectives
  • Support and enhance existing faculty-undergraduate research.
  • Support student travel to present research.
  • Facilitate the creation and support of new faculty-undergraduate research initiatives.
  • Showcase faculty-undergraduate research.
COUR Structure

COUR is a division in the College of Science and Mathematics at Georgia Southern University. The Directors of COUR have the responsibility of overseeing the mission objectives, facilitating specific responsibilities to achieve these objectives, and managing the COUR budget. The Directors report to the Associate Dean of Faculty and Research Programs.

COUR Committee

The COUR Committee is charged with furthering the mission of COUR. The responsibilities of the COUR Committee include assessing COUR grant applications, attending/organizing the spring research symposium, and serving as judges for poster and oral presentations as necessary. Through individual and group efforts, the COUR Committee will gather, organize, and disseminate information on undergraduate research experiences to the Georgia Southern community. Committee members will act as liaisons to their department/unit to further undergraduate research at Georgia Southern University.

Dr. Heather JoestingDirectorBiology
Dr. Yi HuAssociate ProfessorMathematical Sciences
Dr. Mark EdwardsProfessorPhysics
Dr. Jennifer BaileyProfessorBiology
Dr. Amy PotterAssociate Professor Geology & Geography

All COSM undergraduate researchers (COUR) must present at the University Wide Student Scholarship Symposium.

  • Statesboro Campus-Russell Union, April 16, 2024
  • Armstrong Campus-Student Union, April 18, 2024

COUR 2024-2025 Research Grants

All undergraduate research students in COSM are invited to submit a proposal for the Annual College Office of Undergraduate Research (COUR) competition. The due date for applications is March 15, 2024 at 5 p.m. Funding will cover research being conducted from May 2023 through May 2024. Students will be expected to present the results of their research at the Annual Symposium in April, 2024.

COUR Research Award Application Instructions
Online Application

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

The COSM College of Undergraduate Research (COUR) invites applications for the 2024 Summer
Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). This fellowship is designed to enhance experiential learning
for students by supporting undergraduate research during the Full Summer Term. $4000 awards will be
made to the best applications and include: 

-$3000 stipend for the undergraduate student, with the expectation that the student conducts
research with a COSM faculty mentor for 25 hours/week for 10 weeks during the Full Summer Term. 
-$500 summer stipend for the faculty mentor
-$500 in supplies or research travel (funds may not be used for conference travel)

To qualify, students must be a COSM major and mentored by a COSM faculty member. For more
information and to view application instructions,
visit and select the 2024-2025 Grants tab or email Dr.
Heather Joesting at

Applications are due April 15, 2024.

COUR Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Application Instructions
SURF Online Application

Travel Grants from the Office of Research Services

The Office of Research is offering a limited number of travel grants for undergraduate students presenting original research at a regional or national conference. Award recipients are required to provide a summary of their experience together with the winning abstract no later than one month after attending the conference. This material may be made public in the new undergraduate research journal. This is a rolling deadline. Complete applications will be reviewed on the 15th of each month, for travel after the 1st of the following month.

Eligibility Criteria:
  • Students must be an undergraduate and enrolled continuously before and during the time of award and travel; if the student is a senior, travel must be completed within three months of graduation.
  • GPA of 3.0 or better
  • The primary research mentor must be a Georgia Southern faculty member

To apply follow this link and click the “Money” tab.

Student Government Association Travel Grants

Student Government Association Travel Grants
The Student Government Association can fund travel for students attending a conference and presenting their research at a maximum of $300 or student attending a conference at a maximum of $150.  The student must be a current undergraduate or a graduate student who is in good standing at Georgia Southern University and paid their student activity fees.  To apply follow this link

2020 Research Scholarship Recipient
StudentResearch MentorProject
Jacob AdamsMaxim DurachSearching for Non-Reciprocal Surface Waves in Reciprocal Bi-Anisotropic Optical Materials
Savannah AldermanMarylou MachinguraInvestigating the molecular and physiological basis for the limited transpiration trait in Sorghum bicolor
Kathleen ArpinGary GuilletInvestigation and Characterization of a Tri-Iron (II) Complex Through UV Spectroscopy
Ashley AvilaDongyu JiaInvestigating human disease-associated genes using Drosophila melanogastor
Elizabeth BeasleyBrandon QuillianPreparation of Platinum Complexes to Convert Petroleum Commodities into Value-added Products
Alexandra BryantBrandon QuillianDevelopment of Organic Compounds That Can Cradle Two Metals for the Study of Coordination Chemistry
Madison CockeWilliam IrbyThe Behavioral Response of Culex Erraticus Mosquitoes to Snake Skin Odors
Reilly CorkranAmy PotterThe Impacts of Climate Change on Coastal Georgia Heritage Tourism Sites
Susan Quinn DavisMeimei LinUsing GIS to Examine Residential Recycling Participations in Chatham County, Georgia
Elizabeth DobsonDebanjana GhoshExploring the Dual Applicability of a Triazole Compound for Chemosensing and Drug Delivery in a Model Biosystem
Jody ErberEric Gato Sophie GeorgeHeart rate of the ribbed mussel Geukensia Demissa from exposed and less exposed areas in the mid salt marsh.
Kylie HannafeyHua WangModeling the Stock Market Through Game Theory
Katrina HarveyJennifer Brofft BaileyInvestigating The Presence of Microbial Pathogens In Loggerhead Sea Turtle (caretta caretta) Eggs
Tonilynn HoltzMaxim DurachChern Numbers in Multi-Hyperbolic Optical Materials
Amanda JanschMitch WeilandStructural Characterization of the Biodegradation Protein PahZ1 KP-2
Jacob JonesMarina Eremeeva“Use of the wax moth Galleria mellonella as a model system to study Rickettsia 1ickettsia host-interactions and mechanisms of pathogenesis”
Gabriel LoosHua WangDesigning Efficient Algorithms for Sensor Placement
Kelly MardenSue-Ellen DeChenne-PetersNeuroprotection of Caffeine in Cell Culture Models of Parkinson’s Disease
Abigail MartinWilliam IrbyEvolution of blood-feeding, non-blood-feeding and mixed populations of Wyeomyia smithii from 2018 to 2020
Logan MooreArpita SahaRemoval of a Flame Retardant, TDCPP, from Water Using Adsorption with Biochar as a Medium
Ugochi OnuohaNathaniel ShankConjugation of Peptide Nucleic Acid (PNA) to protein
Daniella RayAaron SchreyChanges in DNA Methylation Patterns in Florida Scrub Lizards Due to Fire-induced Stressors
Natalie SchautWilliam IrbyIdentifying parasites from Canis Iatrans in Georgia using Polymerase Chain Reaction
Micayla ShirleyRisa CohenEffects of 17a-Ethinyl Estradiol on Male Fiddler Crab Aggression and Mate Attraction
Victoria SmithRia RamoutarInvestigating the anticancer activity of 1,2,3-triazole alpha-amino acid analogues
Alex SnyderKevin LoopeAnalysis of Vespula squamosa and its perennial multiqueen behavior through observation of multiple micr-satellite loci.
Emily SteeleArpita SahaSustainable Practices for the Removal of Emerging Environmental Contaminents Utilizing Carbon-Rich Absorption Mediums
Undergraduate News
Christopher A. Mays

Christopher A. Mays graduated from Georgia Southern with a B.S. Biology and minor in Chemistry. Currently, he is a post-baccalaureate with the National Institutes of Health (POSTBAC IRTA/CRTA program). He is working in the laboratory of David M. Wilson, PhD. Learn more about the research at:

Biology major Olajumoke Harrison graduated from Georgia Southern in the spring of 2017. For 2 years, she conducted research with Arpita Saha, PhD. Olajumoke won a COUR research award in 2016, as well as a Certificate of Appreciation by the division of Environmental Chemistry at the American Chemical Society (ACS) conference in San Francisco, spring 2017.

Olajumoke Harrison
Richard Steele

Richard Steele (double major in mathematics and physics, and COUR Scholar) presented his research (under the supervision of Jiehua Zhu, PhD.) entitled “An area based fan beam projection model” at the 2017 Southeaster Section Meeting of the Mathematics Association of America. He won the Walt and Susan Patterson prize for outstanding undergraduate presentations. Richard has also presented his work at the Southeastern Regional Honors Conference, the joint Mathematics Meeting, the COUR symposium, and the Honors Research symposium.

Undergraduate Conference Presentations

Kyle Hinton, Grace Powers, Nicole Scheurmann, and Michael Saint-Jean (all Biology) presented a poster entitled “Cholinergic stimulation of the adult zebrafish brain induces phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta and extracellular signal-regulated kinase in the telencephalon of adult zebrafish” at the Symposium for Young Neuroscientists and Professors of the Southeast (SYNAPSE) in  High Point, North Carolina.

Andrew Mixson (Biology)  alongside other co-authors presented a poster entitled “Investigation of the toxicological effects of CNT-Ab  in mice following microwave hyperthermia” at the 2018 Southeastern Society of Toxicology (SESOT) Annual Meeting at the University of Florida.

Andrew Mixson (Biology) also gave a platform presentation at the TriBeta Biological Honor Society held at East Carolina University in April of 2019. He was awarded Second Place in the Frank G. Brooks Award for Excellence in Student Research.

Kiana Moncur (Chemistry and Biochemistry) presented a poster titled ” Quest of synthesizing new polynuclear transition metal complexes with the use of 4,5-Bis(hydroxymethyl)-2-methylpyridin-3-ol (PNH2)” at the American Chemical Society Conference in Orlando, Florida in April of 2019.

Daniella Ray (Biology) and Miranda Smith (Biochemistry) presented their research at the American Peanut Research and Education Society conference in Auburn, Alabama in summer of 2019.  They were the only undergraduates attending. They are funded through the National Peanut Board via the Georgia Peanut Commission.

Linnea Ryan (Geography) presented a paper entitled “Sojourn in Savannah: Examining the City’s Historical Markers Through A Content and Spatial Analysis” at the  American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. in April of 2019.

Nicholas Shummate (Chemistry and Biochemistry) presented a poster titled “Syntheses, single-crystal x-ray analysis, spectroscopic and magnetic characterizations of polynuclear transition metal complexes incorporating the anion of  4,5-Bis(hydroxymethyl)-2-methylpyridin-3-ol” at the American Chemical Society Conference in Orlando, Florida in April of 2019.

Katherine Barrs, (Biology and Mathematics) gave multiple oral and poster presentations at local and regional biology and mathematics conferences, and won the Franks G. Brooks Award for Excellence in Student Research at the TriBeta Regional Research Conference in Memphis, Tennessee.

Student Co-Authored Publications

Michael Reagan, Eric T. Drew, Z. John. Zhang,  Clifford W. Padgett, Jeffery Orvis, Arpita Saha. 2018. Synthesis and characterization of two new mixed-valent Mn6 complexes derived from a well-explored 2- hydroxymethyl pyridine along with the use of newly employed carboxylate ions.  Inorganic Chemistry Communication, 97, 139.

Simpo Rose Ogwang Akech, Olajumoke Harrison, Arpita Saha. 2018. Removal of a Potentially Hazardous Chemical, Tetrakis (Hydroxymethyl) Phosphonium Chloride from Water Using Biochar as a Medium of Adsorption. Environmental Technology & Innovation, 12, 196.

Ji Wu, Congrui Jin, Nathan Johnson, Moses Kusi, and Jianlin Li, ‘Micron-size Silicon Monoxide Asymmetric Membranes for Highly Stable Lithium Ion Battery Anode’, ChemistrySelect, 2018, 3, 8662-8668.

Hargis, Hailey, Gotsch, Sybil G., Porada, Philipp, Moore, Georgianne W., Ferguson, Briana, and Van Stan, John T. 2019. Arboreal Epiphytes in the Soil-Atmosphere Interface: How Often Are the Biggest “Buckets” in the Canopy Empty? Geosciences 9, 342; doi:

Finney, Jeffery R. and Potter, Amy E. 2018. “You’re out of your place:” Black mobility on Tybee Island, Georgia from Civil Rights to Orange Crush. The Southeastern Geographer 58 (1): 104-124.

This publication was recognized as the best paper published in the Southeastern Geographer in 2018 at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Division of the American Association of Geographers in Johnson City, TN.

Craven, K. S., Sheppard, S., Stallard, L. B., Richardson, M. and C. N. Belcher. (2019) Investigating a link between head malformations and lack of pigmentation in loggerhead sea turtle embryos (Caretta caretta, Linnaeus, 1758) in the southeastern United States. Herpetology Notes, 12: 819-825.

Scheuermann, N., and DeChenne-Peters, S.E. (2019). Faculty Experiences during the Implementation of a Developed CURE Curriculum at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions and a Community College. Talk presented at the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research, Minneapolis, MN.

Ji Wu, Ian Byrd, Congrui Jin, Jianlin Li, Hao Chen, Anju Sharma, Tyler Camp, and Ryan Bujol. 2017. ‘Reinvigorating Reverse Osmosis Membrane Technology for Stabilizing V2O5 Lithium Ion Battery Cathode’, ChemElectroChem,  4, 1181-1189. 

Marina E. Eremeeva, Shamta S. Warang, Matthew L. Anderson, Danielle Capps, Sarah Zohdy,  and Lance A. Durden. 2019. Molecular Survey for Pathogens and Markers of Permethrin Resistance in Human Head Lice (Phtiraptera:Pediculidae) From Madagascar. Journal of Parasitology 105(3) 349-468.

Matthew L. Anderson, R. Chris Rustin and Marina E. Eremeeva. 2019. Pilot survey of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) from southeastern Georgia, USA for Wolbachia and Rickettsia felis (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae). J. Vector Borne Dis 56, June 2019, 92-97.

Undergraduate Student Awards

Katherine Barrs (Biology and Mathematics) was awarded a Barry Goldwater Scholarship, the preeminent undergraduate award for students pursuing research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering. She is one of only 496 college students from across the United States to earn the scholarship, which she will apply to her remaining four semesters of coursework.

COSM Transcript Notation for Dean’s Recognition as a Research Scholar

Undergraduate students may receive the COSM notation on their transcript by fulfilling a set of requirements listed below prior to the awarding of their degree. The notation would appear as:

Dean’s Recognition as a Research Scholar

The transcript notation provides evidence that the student has demonstrated excellence in scientific research and will certify that the student has achieved proficiency in a set of research and scholarly benchmarks as outlined by the College.  The Dean will award students with this designation at the Dean’s Recognition as a Research Scholar reception.  

Research in the College of Science and Mathematics

Research experiences are a high impact practice in the COSM. Research is defined as: “An inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline” (Council on Undergraduate Research, 2019). In order to recognize the outstanding work of our students, the College of Science and Mathematics has an established set of requirements that must be fulfilled to qualify for the transcript notation.

The requirements are as follows:

Course Work

A student must conduct a project over a minimum of two semesters and earn a minimum of three research scholar credits conducting research with a faculty advisor. One research scholar credit is equivalent to either one independent research credit hour or at least 95 hours of paid student work on a project. Acceptable research projects must conform to the following four criteria:

  1. Project has the potential to produce a contribution to the discipline.
  2. Project involves faculty and student collaboration.
  3. Project has the potential to be published.
  4. Project involves the scientific process.

Summer Research

Summer research experiences may be counted for credit towards the Dean’s Recognition as a Research Scholar program.  Typically, students will enroll in independent study, capstone, research, thesis, or similar course credits. Undergraduate students can receive one research scholar credit for every 95 hours of summer research. Students can request up to three research scholar credits. (Research scholar credits are for the transcript notation only, not course credit. Similarly, research scholar credits can be granted for participation in federally supported programs including NSF REU programs and full-time programs by NASA and NIH.) Students intending to make these substitutions should consult with COSM’s College Office of Undergraduate Research (COUR) director for their home campus, and/or COSM’s associate dean of research to determine how to verify participation in these programs before they apply for this designation.

Written Product (Research Thesis)

A student must prepare a substantial written product from their research in manuscript form, which should be comparable to an honors thesis in length and format  and must be approved by the advisor.  Completion of an Honors thesis will qualify for this requirement.  If the student is awarded this transcript notation their written product will be archived on the COUR website, and/or at Digital Commons via the Georgia Southern Libraries.  (Note: The document will NOT be posted online until the research mentor decides the timing is appropriate).  By submitting this application you give COSM permission to archive your paper on the website.

Presentation on Professional Meeting

A student must present their research at an external professional meeting related to
their major discipline or research, at the state, regional, national, or international level. If the
discipline does not encourage undergraduate participation at discipline-specific
conferences, a student could also present at other student-oriented conferences such
as the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Sigma Xi, Georgia
Undergraduate Research Conference, etc. Attendance will be verified by the student’s
faculty mentor, registration receipts, or similar evidence. An oral presentation or a
poster presentation given by the applicant will fulfill this requirement.

Transcript Notation Application

A student must submit a Transcript Notation Application via Google form to COUR Director for their home campus (contact information below). The application should be prepared with the student’s faculty-mentor and must be submitted four weeks before graduation in order to be recognized at commencement. Students are encouraged to submit this application as soon as it is complete. (You do not have to wait until the the semester of graduation.) Doing so will allow for your transcript notation to occur earlier, which can be beneficial for graduate/professional school and job applications. Students have up to six months after graduation to apply.

If you have questions please contact:

Dr. Heather Joesting

Administrative Fellow in Undergraduate Research


Last updated: 12/21/2023