About OSRI

The Office of Student Research and Inquiry (OSRI) provides multiple institutional programs and support for undergraduate and graduate research students and recognizes our outstanding faculty for their roles as research mentors.  


Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF)

OSRI awards fellowships to students interested in pursuing their research and creative activity through the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) Program. The fellowships are available to students from all three undergraduate schools: the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; the Greehey School of Business; and the School of Science, Engineering and Technology. 

The fellowships provide funds for undergraduate students to participate with faculty mentors in an eight-week intensive scholarly activity, as well as travel grants for students to present their research at academic or professional conferences. Current undergraduate students can find out more about applying for these fellowships and grants by visiting the Office of Student Research and Inquiry page on the Gateway portal. 

Student Travel Awards

The OSRI travel award funds up to $300 to an undergraduate student who has been accepted to present research or scholarly activities at a conference. 

Faculty Research Mentor Awards

OSRI annually recognizes two faculty members for their outstanding contributions towards mentoring undergraduates in research. The Senior Faculty Research Mentor Award and Junior Faculty Research Mentor Award are announced each spring at the Research Showcase awards ceremony. 

Research Opportunities

In addition to programs offered by OSRI, St. Mary’s University provides undergraduate students with a number of opportunities to engage in faculty-led research. Some examples of these programs include: 

McNair Scholars

The McNair Scholars Program is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. This program seeks to help first-generation, low-income and underrepresented students of any major to apply to and succeed in doctoral programs. 


The Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (U-RISE) program is to develop a diverse pool of undergraduates who complete their baccalaureate degree, and transition into and complete biomedical, research-focused higher degree programs (e.g., Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.). 

Spring Research Fellowship (SRF)

The Spring Research Fellowship (SRF) program provides freshmen and sophomores with hands-on research experience and mentorship with a St. Mary’s faculty member during the spring semester. Students selected will research for at least 100 hours and receive a stipend. Those who are interested in a Ph.D. are strongly encouraged to apply. To be eligible for the program, students must have at least a 3.0 GPA, pursue a course of study in the School of Science, Engineering and Technology or Behavioral Science, and be interested in research. 

For more information, contact Veronica Contreras-Shannon, Ph.D. at vcontrerasshann2@stmarytx.edu. 

Biaggini Research Program

The Biaggini Research Program in the Department of Biological Sciences hopes to enhance the ability of faculty members in the department to engage in research projects as a means for professional development in the form of publication(s) and/or additional external funding to continue their research endeavors. 

Welch Summer Scholar Program 

The Welch Summer Scholar Program, a hands-on summertime experience, is designed to give high school students a chance to learn more about research and to explore the many opportunities available to them. 

StMU Research Scholars

StMU Research Scholars is a student organization at St. Mary’s University featuring scholarly research, writing, and media from students of all disciplines.  

  • Learn More

    Melissa Karlin, Ph.D. 
    Director of the Office of Student Research and Inquiry (OSRI) 

    Garni Science Hall, Room 203 

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