Office of Undergraduate Research Newsletter 
Fall 2017 Issue No. 1
September 8th, 2017
Welcome Toreros to Fall 2017!
Greetings from the Office of Undergraduate Research!
Welcome to a new semester at the University of San Diego.

We would like to congratulate all of our summer research scholars and their mentors! Kudos to a productive summer, and we look forward to learning about your research findings at the Creative Collaborations Undergraduate Research Conference in the Spring.  If you would like to participate in summer research through one of our programs next year, our applications will be available January 2018.

If you are a returning research scholar, please consider nominating your summer research mentor for the  Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award.
We look forward to another productive term!

Stop By to Meet the OUR Staff!

Elisa Maldonado, Ph.D.
Hi everyone! I'm excited to be the new Director of OUR. I have devoted my career to helping students get involved in undergraduate research to prepare them for their future careers. Most recently, I was the Director for the Summer Training Academy for Research Success (STARS) at UC San Diego. As a first-generation Mexican-American college student, undergraduate research programs helped me navigate college and successfully apply to graduate schools. I earned my Bachelor's in Marine Biology from UCLA and Ph.D. in Marine Biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, followed by a postdoc at Harvard. I have won several prestigious graduate research and postdoctoral fellowships, including the Ford Foundation Dissertation and NSF Graduate Research and Minority Postdoctoral Fellowships. Feel free to stop by my office! I would love to help you get involved in undergraduate research, apply for fellowships and other opportunities, and prepare for your future career! 

Maritza Castellanos
Administrative Assistant
(619) 260-8823 
Hello All! I have been the Administrative Assistant to the Office of Undergraduate Research for almost two years now, time really flies! I am currently a Junior here at the University of San Diego, majoring in Psychology and looking forward to Graduate school in the future. I am  a first generation Mexican American and college student. I am very passionate about cultural diversity, education, and community involvement. If you would ever like to discuss research or events on campus, our door is always open!

Rachelle Martinez
Administrative Assistant
(619) 260-7840
Hello all! My name is Rachelle Martinez, and I have been the administrative assistant at OUR since March 2017. I earned my Bachelor's in Psychology from UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) and my master's in higher education from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!). I am always happy to discuss current events, anything regarding higher education, where to find delicious food, and of course, opportunities at USD for undergraduate research. Welcome Toreros!
Off- Campus Research Conferences 

Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS
Phoenix, AZ -  November 1-4, 2017
  • Sept. 8: Abstract Submission Site Closes (DEADLINE TODAY!!)
  • Sept. 25: Abstract Notifications
  • Sept. 27: Confirm your Acceptance
  • Oct. 10: Discount Registration Ends
  • Nov. 1-4: ABRCMS 2017 
Posters on the Hill 2018
Washington, DC - Date TBD
  • Application opens: Wednesday, September 6, 2017
  • Application closes: Wednesday, November 1, 2017.  Portal closes at 11:59PM EST.
  • Date of Event TBD
32nd Annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR)
University of Central Oklahoma - April 4-7, 2018

Annual West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research (WCBSUR) Conference  
Saint Mary's College in Moraga, CA - April 2018

Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research (SCCUR)
Cal Poly Pomona -  November 18th 2017 from 9 am to 5 pm
  • Abstract Submission Period: September 15th - October 5th 2017

USD Resources for Undocumented/DACA

As the current administration threatens the livelihood of individuals with undocumented or DACA status, we would kindly like to highlight campus resources at USD. 

Please click here for advice for DACA recipients and applicants.

Please click here for additional information, guidance, and support for undocumented students. 

Off Campus Opportunity
Volunteer middle school tutors needed for non-profit in the South Bay. Give back to the community and get experience working with students! Contact Brandi Paniagua at

*If you have other off campus opportunities for students, please email us at

Office Information

Visit Our New Office!
Over the summer, the Office of Undergraduate Research relocated to a new space. 

Please visit us at Founders Hall 146!
 (Our office is located in the back area of Founders Hall, around the corner from Founders Chapel in the space known as Casa Maria.)
Fall Office Hours
Monday Friday 
8:00am - 4:00pm
Closed for Lunch 
11:30am -12:30pm

Office of Undergraduate Research
Stay Connected in Our Community

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Summer Research Scholars in the News!
"Many students spent their summer taking a class, doing an internship, studying and traveling abroad or returned to their home state or country to be with family and friends. There were also several USD students who spent their time this summer gaining important experience as USD Summer Research Scholars. "

Link to Article

Nominate your Research Mentor!

The Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award (OURMA) recognizes research mentors that bring respect and excellence to the practice of mentoring undergraduates in research and scholarly activities. These individuals have a longstanding commitment to the development of research scholars.

 For more information please visit our website

Travel Awards
The Office of Undergraduate Research is currently accepting travel award applications for single or group travel awards. AS a reminder, the Travel Awards are on a first come first serve basis. For more information, click here.

CUR Biology and Psychology Division Travel Awards

The Biology Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is offering a limited number of travel grants, up to $250 each, for undergraduate students presenting original biological research results at a regional or national, discipline-specific meeting* during the fiscal year 2017 - 2018.

The Psychology Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is offering a limited number of travel awards (up to $200 each) for undergraduate students presenting original psychological research results at a regional or national, discipline-specific meeting.

Deadline: Applications must be received by 5:00 pm ET September 1, 2017, for meetings held between September 15, 2017, through February 15, 2018, or by 5:00 pm ET January 12, 2018, for meetings held between February 16 through June 30, 2018.  

For more info, visit their website

Research Scholars

Conducting Research?

Students engaged in undergraduate research/scholarship activities and creative works are eligible to become Research Scholars regardless of funding source or formal program affiliation.


  • 50% discount on on-campus housing during the summer (USD students only)
  • Participation in professional development workshops
  • Invitations to special networking events with other researchers