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The Office of Undergraduate Research

SPUR: Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research

The Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) is a student organization whose mission is to introduce students to scholarly inquiry by engaging them in the research process and facilitating the discovery of new knowledge through mentorship and collaboration. The aims of the group are:

  • To provide peer support for undergraduates seeking a faculty mentor and to continue support throughout undergraduate research projects
  • To organize and promote the annual Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars
  • To hold colloqia for undergraduates currently involved in scholarly research and inquiry
  • To educate undergraduates about available research-related academic resources


SPUR is made possible by a dedicated team of officers, administrative and office assistants, and faculty. The Board of Officers plans and organizes all events hosted by SPUR. Each officer conducts research in a different field, but all are united by a commitment to spreading undergraduate involvement in academia beyond the classroom.

SPUR Officers for 2015 - 2016 
President: Jay Van Doorn
Vice President: Rachael Lowney
Secretary/Treasurer: Joy Kim 
Public Relations: Kody Ruark 


SPUR is located at 211 Funkhouser and can be reached via e-mail at

SPUR Awards

Each year, the Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research intends to recognize an outstanding faculty member at UK who has shown dedicated commitment to undergraduate research. The 1st Annual SPUR Award was given at the 3rd Annual Showcase for Undergraduate Scholars in the spring of 2008.

Past Winners:

  • 2015: Kristin Ashford and Robin Cooper 
  • 2014: Event not held due to NCUR hosted at UK 
  • 2013: Zach Hilt and Richard Smith
  • 2012: Kimberly Anderson, Nadine Kabengi, and David Atwood
  • 2011: Trevor Creamer and A. Gwynn Henderson
  • 2010: David Rogers & Chana Akins
  • 2009: Diane Snow & Elzbieta Wala; Honorable Mention: Tammy Stephenson
  • 2008: Patricia Burkhart & Nicholas McLetchie


All SPUR activities are made possible by our generous donors.  All donors will be credited as sponsors on our website and at the Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars.  Please contact us to make your donation.

SPUR welcomes donations from:

  • individuals
  • private organization
  • local businesses
  • colleges within the University of Kentucky