ACSScellence

       THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT EL PASO

ACSScellence Scholars are very promising undergraduate students receiving a scholarship from an NSF-funded program managed by COURI. ACSScellence scholars participate in a program designed to help them succeed in a globally competitive STEM workforce.

Activities ACSScellence Scholars participate in are:

• Research Driven Courses
• Mentored undergraduate research
• Technical writing course
• Research2Innovation Course (CHEM 4176)
• Professional development workshops
• Writing research reports
• Presenting at the COURI Symposium
• Bi-weekly program meetings
• Applying for summer research programs or internships

Considering mentoring an ACSScellence student?

We are looking for dedicated faculty mentors who will serve not only as research advisors but as committed mentors for these students. ACSScellence mentors are expected to:

• Advise ACSScellence scholars on their research project. This includes providing guidance, expertise, materials and equipment needed to conduct the project.
• Assist the scholar in obtaining any necessary approval and training for the research (e.g., lab safety training, IRB, IACUC)
• Meet frequently with the scholar and provide constructive feedback
• Read, revise and approve the scholar’s research reports, posters and presentations
• Serve as a team mentor for the scholar (and a team of undergraduates) during the Research2Innovation course.

What is Research2Innovation?

Research2Innovation is a one semester course led by facilitators from the consulting firm ecos Venture Collaborations (ecosVC), who specialize on translating research into commercial applications. This course is designed to introduce students to the innovator mindset by providing basic training on market research. Research2Innovation is a team-based course (4-6 students per team) and consists of an intensive two-day kick-off, followed by 6-8 weeks of data development and simple market research conducted by the students, with guidance from ecosVC personnel via virtual office hours.  The course ends with a final presentation by the teams. The role of the faculty mentor in this course requires minimal time commitment, but extremely important for the success of the team. Faculty mentors for the teams are expected to:

a. Work with their ACSScellence mentee to identify a team of students for the course. Ideally, this would be students in the mentor’s research group, so that all team members have a common research background and research goals. Undergraduate students, graduate students and postdocs can participate as team members.

b. Attend one or two phone conferences with the ecosVC team prior to the beginning of the course, to define the research-market applications that the team will be focusing on during the course

c. Attend the final presentation by your team. You are also invited to attend the virtual report-out sessions (3 during the semester), if your schedule allows. 

d. Be a supportive resource for your team by providing encouragement for the students and potential contacts in industries relevant to your research (if you have any).