Oklahoma State University

Preparing Biologists for Research


Program Activities


Our program is designed to help fellows succeed. URM fellows will:
• develop and conduct research projects
• interact with peer mentors
• complete a 1 hour Strategies for College Success course
• attend graduate school application workshops
• complete a 1 hour Succeeding in Graduate School course
• participate in professional society meetings
• work with professional advisors who are available when fellows have questions


URM fellows will work closely with their faculty mentors to develop and conduct culturally relevant and ecologically important research projects.


Peer mentors, who are successful transfer students and/or graduate students majoring in a STEM field, will interact with URM fellows during informal activities and serve as a resource for URM fellows throughout their time at OSU. Examples of possible informal activities include coffee hours, pizza nights, field trips, and potlucks for URM fellows, peer mentors, and faculty mentors.


The Strategies for College Success course is a 1 credit course that URM fellows will complete during their first semester in the program. This course will introduce URM fellows to campus resources, study skills, GPA and course grade calculations, OSU rules and regulations, life management strategies, financial literacy, careers in the life sciences, and portfolio development (i.e., documenting their experiences and best work).


A series of graduate school application workshops will provide URM fellows with information about the graduate school application process, including how and when to contact potential faculty advisors. Faculty mentors and graduate students will share their perspectives and experiences, including discussing how to translate experiences in the URM program into quality graduate school applications.


URM fellows will enroll in a 1 credit Succeeding in Graduate School course during the fall semester of their senior year. This course will include activities and discussions related to time management, research ethics, proposal writing, and manuscript preparation, while also addressing other key issues critical to success in graduate school, such as dealing with diverse students and colleagues, identifying funding sources, thesis and dissertation requirements, selecting a mentor, research compliance issues, developing a plan not just a proposal, and other aspects of academic life.


URM fellows will be encouraged to join and participate in professional societies, including presenting their research findings at a professional society meeting attended with faculty mentors and other URM fellows.


Academic advising in the College of Arts and Sciences is provided by professional advisers. Kathleen Wilson and Karen Smith serve as advisors for the biological science, physiology and zoology degree programs. Kathleen and Karen will work closely with URM fellows to help them maintain eligibility and meet degree requirements.