I-DISC is offering support for faculty to include undergraduates in their research.

Who can apply?
Any I-DISC faculty member who is part of a collaborative research group is eligible to apply for this support.

What can this support be used for?
This support is intended to pay for undergraduate research only.
Important: I-DISC can not offer funding to support a student who is also getting credit (e.g., through an independent study course) for the same project. 

How much funding can I request?
Each award will be for $1,000-$2,000
Faculty may request funding once per semester, up to a maximum of 3 consecutive semesters. 

How to apply:
Complete a REQUEST FORMNow accepting applications for FALL SEMESTER 2023.
Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis.

Awardees will be expected to evaluate the project & provide a summary of what was accomplished.

Projects I-DISC Faculty have included undergraduates in their research

Below are some examples of how I-DISC’s UG Research Support has provided opportunities for I-DISC Faculty to include undergraduates in their research. 

"Torque and Force-Free Swimming at Low Reynolds Number"
Undergraduate student, Evan Dare, worked with I-DISC faculty member, Ebru Demir, MEM on the numerical analysis of a torque- and force-free swimmer that swims at Low Reynolds number environments. During the Spring and Summer Semesters '23, Demir was able to use the support to employ Evan to extend his studies to shear-thinning fluids, which was the last step before she started working on a journal publication. Read more about this project >

Alexis Soulias, '23, CpE (above), supported Prof. Rosa Zheng's research.


"Underwater Wireless Communications"
Project description: prototyping a hardware communication system using coherent modulation schemes for 115 kHz ultrasound transmission
Student contribution: 

Learned coherence communication scheme and MCU programming,

Modified reference designs to implement PSK for 115 kHz carrier

Lab test and documentation. Paper presentation. 

Publication: A. Soulias, Y. Xue and Y. R. Zheng, “Coherent Phase Shift Keying Modulation Using Low-Power Micro-controllers (MCU) for Underwater Acoustic Communications,” MTS/IEEE Oceans, Hampton Roads, VA. Oct. 2022, pp. 1-5. 

Benefit: deepen understanding of course work, connect with real-world applications, lab tests and problem solving, technical writing, publication, and presentation.

"Probabilistic Forecasting of COVID-19 for CDC"
With support from I-DISC and faculty advisor Tom McAndrews (COH), Matt Piriya (CSE ’23), Abraham Berlin (CSE ’23) and Parth Deven Ghandi (ISE Masters student) built a Vector Auto Regression model that trains on COVID-19 incident cases, incident deaths, and incident hospitalizations, producing probabilistic forecasts of all three targets of public health importance for every state in the US and of incident cases for every county in the US.  These forecasts were submitted to the COVID-19 Forecast Hub, which is monitored by public health officials at the CDC. Prof. McAndrews plans to submit forecasts for these targets every week.

"Smart Underwater Sensors and Wireless Communications"
Computer engineering major Alexis Soulias ’23 placed third at Lehigh’s Undergraduate Research Symposium for her work on “Smart Underwater Sensors and Wireless Communications.” Her research was supported by the I-DISC UG Research Grant awarded to her adviser, Rosa Zheng (ECE). 

Additional funding for Fall 2022 was awarded to help support Alexis Soulias to further the research integration of the wireless transmitter with the underwater sensor. In the previous semesters, she went through the training on sensors, micro-controllers, and wireless communications. She also designed a basic acoustic communication system and implemented it on a micro-controller. The results have been putting in a paper which will be published in IEEE Oceans conference in Oct 2022. Alexis continues to improve the communication system and conduct field experiments.

"Detangling the Mechanism of Delocalized Arene Catalyzed Triplet to Singlet Oxygen Conversion"
Mechanistic understanding of reactions is critical to designing more efficient and selective chemical transformations. While experiments can be used to understand the kinetics of reactions, first principles computation is one of the only ways to capture all the intermediates or reactions and understand their physics. In this project, 3rd year chemistry major Ice Hu will computationally build a reaction mechanism for a delocalized arene (diphenyl-pyrido[2,3-g]quinoline-phenalenyl) which has been shown to bind triplet oxygen through the formation of an endoperoxide. Endoperoxides can be formed through radical-radical pairing or zwitterionic mechanisms. Discerning the difference in these mechanisms is complicated experimentally, so Ice’s calculations will be critical to untangle how chemical substitutions on the main molecule might affect the reaction mechanism. Ice will begin by using quantum mechanics to optimize the experimentally known reactants and products. Followed by extensive computational searches for reaction intermediates and activation energies required between each step. This will build on her previous work screening organic radicals for particular photophysical properties and allow her to experience a more open ended research project which has a less well defined list of tasks. These kind of mechanistic studies require not only computational attention to detail which Ice has already shown but also chemical intuition and creativity to find the best mechanism and rule out other pathways and intermediates. Successful completion of this project will prepare Ice for graduate level research and make her a much stronger candidate when she applies to graduate schools next fall. This funding will allow me to spend more time with Ice analyzing results and building chemical intuition so help insure that this project is a success in a reasonable amount of time.