Undergraduate Research @ UMKC

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Undergraduate Research Ambassadors


Jacob Gurera

Senior Undergraduate Research Ambassador

Year in School:  Senior
:  Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Spanish
Faculty Mentor
:  Dr. Diane Filion, Psychology, College of Arts and Science
Ask Jacob a question.

Why is undergraduate research important to you?
Undergraduate research is important to me because it helps to set a foundation in scholarly research for the future. I have aspirations to go to graduate school for clinical psychology and to conduct more sophisticated research as I work toward my PhD. Getting involved in undergraduate research will help me get into a quality graduate program as having prior experience in a lab working with participants and university research equipment will make me more competitive when I apply. Research is also something I feel fulfilled by, in that it helps me feel in control of my own education because each research project is a learning experience.

How did you find your mentor?
I was put in contact with one of the past research ambassadors from the psychology program who helped introduce me to her research group. I started out as a research volunteer, filing paperwork and organizing data. Eventually, I became a student researcher in the Cognitive Psychophysiology Research Group in the Psychology Department under Dr. Filion’s supervision.

How did you determine what your particular research project would be?
I was influenced by research studies performed in previous semesters before my admittance to the research group, as well as projects I assisted my graduate mentor to complete for his own coursework. I then applied for and received a SUROP grant from the university to pursue a research question I had been developing with my research group. The project I am currently working on investigates the relationship between sleep quality/quantity in college students and an individual's locus of control. We will be measuring sleep using FitBit activity monitors, and as a member of the Cognitive Psychophysiology Research Group here on campus, we are also interested in our participants' pulse rates and skin conductance (simply put, the sweat produced in one's fingertips to measure arousal).


Dr. Jane Greer
106 Cockefair Hall
Department Contacts
Undergraduate Research Advisory Board
Undergraduate Research is a division of Academic Affairs

Important Dates and Deadlines:

Thursday, August 30, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
1st Floor Lobby of Miller Nichols Learning Center
5th Annual SUROP Poster Symposium
Contact Jane Greer for more details.


Friday, September 14, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.
Deadline for SEARCH Applications
Please note the SEARCH Application is online. Students should plan to submit early so that faculty mentors and department chairs have time to provide recommendations letters and necessary signatures.
Contact Jane Greer for more details.


Friday, November 2, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.
Deadline for Nominations for Undergraduate Research Day @ the Capitol.
Faculty mentors are encouraged to nominate outstanding undergraduate researchers, scholars and artists to share their work with state legislators and other stakeholders in Jefferson City in spring, 2019.
Contact Jane Greer for more details.

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