Students in the College of Natural Resources have many opportunities to work with outstanding faculty on research projects. Research enhances student scholarship and provides participants with invaluable skills and experience. The SPUR program offers CNR students the opportunity to participate by applying to a faculty-initiated project, or by submitting a student-initiated project in order to receive funding. SPUR is funded by donations make to the Berkeley Fund for Natural Resources.
Faculty-initiated projects are meant to facilitate the process of finding an undergraduate research position. Faculty post available projects every fall, spring, and summer, and eligible students are encouraged to apply. Accepted students earn research units while gaining valuable research experience.
Students are also encouraged to apply for research positions through the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP). URAP is open to all students and faculty at Berkeley.
Student-initiated projects are ideal for students who would like to undertake their own independent research project, and are seeking funding to support their research. These may be projects intended for a senior thesis or the CNR Honors Program. Students who previously participated in a faculty-initiated project may expand their research experience into a new project.
These projects require a considerable amount of preparation. It is recommended that students initiate their projects the semester prior to when research is set to begin. Students are strongly encouraged to attend one of the many research workshops offered by the Office of Undergraduate Research.
Regular faculty, Cooperative Extension specialists, adjunct faculty, faculty emeriti, and lecturers currently teaching or who have taught in the previous semester are eligible to sponsor a student-initiated project. However, priority consideration will be given to projects submitted with whom the sponsors are regular faculty and Cooperative Extension specialists. Projects from those sponsors in other eligible categories will be approved if funding permits. Extension specialists without an adjunct appointment, and others without a teaching appointment, will be considered to sponsor if they have a teaching faculty member act as Instructor of Record.