FUSE grants aid student research

Brittany Eldridge

Every semester at WKU, 50 students are awarded the Faculty-Undergraduate Student Engagement grant.  

Kim Newell, administrative assistant in the Office of Research, runs the day-to-day responsibilities of the FUSE program.

She said the purpose of the FUSE grant is to assist students with creative activities and research. 

“It’s a grant to further your interest, so you can research more and just get more involved in your study,” Newell said. 

Undergraduate students can apply for the FUSE grant to help further their academic development, according to the grant application which can be found on WKU’s website. The student applicant must be at least a sophomore and should be in good academic standing in the university. 

Newell said those who have been awarded FUSE grants have traveled around the globe.

“In previous rounds, we have had individuals get grants and then travel to New York, and they’ve gone on Broadway and studied costume design,” Newell said. “We’ve had individuals travel to Africa and they have studied elephants and their effects on the environment, specifically certain types of trees.” 

Gordon Emslie, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said that student researchers should be proficient in their computer skills and be doing research for the fun of it.  

“‘Research is not like a class,’” Emslie said, quoting a previous WKU student. “‘It is work that really matters to you and makes you feel a part of something.’” 

Emslie said it would be great if more students could participate in funded research and that one important thing is that “research doesn’t always have a right answer.” 

FUSE grant proposals are due Sept. 24.