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Stony Brook University is a trailblazer in integrating research and undergraduate education: it was one of the first research universities in the country to establish an office for the specific purpose of promoting undergraduate research and creative activity, and offers many programs that support undergraduate research efforts. These programs have included: the Battelle Summer Research Program, the Beckman Scholars Program, Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site Programs, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Undergraduate Research Programs, and the URECA Summer Research program.

URECA - established 1987. The URECA program is administered through the Office of the Provost/Division of Undergraduate Education. The URECA program has been generously supported by the Simons Foundation since 1987. Additional support for undergraduate research has been made possible through private donations. Our sponsored  summer research awards include: the Ashvin Chhabra and Daniela Bonafede Chhabra -URECA award; and the Kenneth M. Nicholas - URECA award

URECA collaborates with the Institute for STEM Education  (formerly Center for Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME)/Long Island Group Advancing Science Education / LIGASE) which from 2007-2014 co-sponsored the campus-wide research symposium event, the Celebration of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity. The annual URECA campus "Celebration" is a tradition inaugurated when the university received the Recognition Award for the Integration of Research and Education (RAIRE) from the National Science Foundation in 1997.

Other partners with URECA include: Undergraduate Biology (which has co-sponsored summer research U-BAR awards since 2012); the Career Center (which co-administers the Explorations in STEM summer program; External Scholarships and Fellowships Advising, the Center for Inclusive Education (CIE) which co-sponsors a summer symposium, SB honors programs (Honors College, University Scholars, WISE); Technology and Society (C-STEP), and the Educational Opportunity Program(EOP) program.

Dates URECA History & Important Dates
2023 SUNY SOAR : Summer Opportunity for Academic Research established at SBU in 2023 with the support of the SUNY Chancellor's Summer Research Excellence Fund. Program will be administered by CIE in partnership with URECA (PI: Karian Wright, CIE) , and provides a summer research experience for academically talented SUNY undergraduates who are first-generation college students or economically disadvantaged. 
2022 The Frances Velay Women and Science Research Fellowship program established at SBU in 2022 with the support of the Panophil Foundation supports a faculty-mentored summer research experience for undergraduate students in the following STEM areas: Astronomy, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Earth & Space Sciences, Engineering Chemistry, Geology, and/or Physics. 
2013-present Explorations in STEM program established with SUNY-RF funding which provides professional development workshops/programming for students considering research and/or professional careers in STEM fields. This program is consistent with the SUNY emphasis on applied learning and Stony Brook University's emphasis on experiential education. The Explorations in STEM program has been generously supported by the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost, and is co-administered by Technology & Society, the Career Center and URECA.

PSEG sponsored the Explorations in STEM Program in Summers 2015 - present; and includes collaboration with the Career Center-URECA; as well as the WISE program.
SBU's outstanding undergraduate research & creative projects program cited in U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges under "Programs to Look For."
2006 SB selected as a site for the Beckman Scholars Program.
2001 SB admitted to Association of American Universities.
2000 SB designated by the Association of American Colleges and Universities as a Leadership Institution, for "substantially reforming curricula in disciplines as diverse as biological sciences and music; introducing courses in such new fields as biomedical engineering; involving undergraduates in research. . . ." SB honored with Theodore Hesburgh Certificate of Excellence for "Faculty Development to Enhance Undergraduate Teaching and Learning.
1999 SB awarded institutional funding from the Arnold & Mabel Beckman Foundation to establish the SB- Beckman Scholars Program.


SB launched the first Celebration of Undergraduate Achievements in 1999. The Celebration, which now takes place every spring, is a university-wide event that showcases the accomplishments of Stony Brook students working with faculty mentors in virtually every discipline. Students display their work through research posters, art exhibits, talks/symposia and performances. Many undergraduates are published for the first time in the URECA-sponsored Collection of Undergraduate Research Abstracts and Creative Project Descriptions. 

Concept of Discovery

"Concept of Discovery" Cartoon contributed by George Booth, The New Yorker, for URECA 1999 publication

1998 SB established The Reinvention Center, a national center whose mission is to promote an approach to undergraduate education at research universities that emphasizes inquiry, investigation and discovery. 

President Shirley Strum Kenny (appointed in 1994) launched and chaired the Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University with funding from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The result was the Commission's landmark report, Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America’s Research Universities (1998).
1997 SB one of ten research universities nationwide to receive a Recognition Award for the Integration of Research and Education (RAIRE) from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This Award was unique in its emphasis on universities' records of past achievement in promoting the synergy between research and classroom learning.
1987 SB established the URECA program/office to promote student participation in undergraduate research and creative activity and help students find placements. With funds contributed by the Simons Foundation, stipends awarded to students to support faculty-mentored research activities (URECA Summer program).