UR Psychology Professor Cindy Bukach Awarded NSF Grant to Support Her Work Preparing Undergraduates for STEM Research

August 29, 2018

Cindy BukachUniversity of Richmond psychology department chair and professor Cindy Bukach has received grant from the National Science Foundation. At just over $17,000, the grant will support her work preparing undergraduates for research in STEM-related fields.

Bukach is the lead scientist on the PURSUE project, which stands for Preparing Undergraduates for Research in STEM-Related Fields Using Electrophysiology. Bukach’s area of expertise is cognitive neuroscience.

She works to improve undergraduate education in STEM fields by training students in cognitive electrophysiology techniques, which include electroencephalography, a measure of continuous ongoing changes in electrical activity in the brain that reflects cognitive processing, and event related potential, a measurement allowing researchers to link brain activity to behavior.

Bukach and her team are developing an open access database for faculty to access experiments for hands-on lab exercises and share best practices and materials for involving undergraduates in research.

“It is my hope that these materials will encourage more faculty to involve undergraduates in authentic research experiences,” Bukach said.

Bukach’s NSF award is a supplement to her 2016 NSF grant supporting the PURSUE project and will specifically fund two faculty workshops.

Research“These workshops will allow faculty at a diverse selection of participating institutions, and ultimately their undergraduate students, to experience STEM teaching and learning through developing proficiency with cognitive electrophysiology,” Bukach explains.

Bukach has taught at Richmond since 2006. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University. Bukach is the MacEldin Trawick Endowed Professor of Psychology and James S. MacDonnell Foundation Scholar in Understanding Human Cognition.

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The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science, advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare, and to secure the national defense. NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.