College students will continue to gain experiences through scientific research thanks to funding from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s West Virginia Science & Research (WVSR) division, which renewed six Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) grants. SURE grants offer undergraduate students substantial hands-on experience in ongoing science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) research at West Virginia’s public and private four-year colleges and universities. Each institution is responsible for issuing individual funding to students. These grants are supported by the Research Challenge Fund, which was established by the West Virginia Legislature in 2004 and is administered by WVSR.   

Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Grant Awardees:

Michael Norton, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at Marshall University: $204,186.

Robert Warburton, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Science at Shepherd University: $129,180.

Matthew Zdilla, associate professor of biology at West Liberty University: $129,000.

Michelle Richards-Babb, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and director, office of undergraduate research at West Virginia University: $225,000.

Michael Fultz, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at West Virginia State University: $120,000.

Joanna Webb, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry and chair, department of chemistry at West Virginia Wesleyan College: $105,600.


West Virginia Science & Research, a division of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, manages state and federal research grants including the West Virginia’s National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Track-1 grant, NSF’s Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES) and the Research Challenge Fund.