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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.

2014-2015 Officers

President: Sarah Whelan
Vice President: Jay Van Doorn
Public Relations: Tamas Nagy


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:

  • 2013: Zach Hilt and Richard Smith
  • 2012: Kimberly Anderson, Nadine Kabengi, and David Atwood
  • 2011: Trevor Creamer and A. Gwynn Henderson
  • 2010 Winners: David Rogers & Chana Akins
  • 2009 Winners: Diane Snow & Elzbieta Wala; Honorable Mention: Tammy Stephenson
  • 2008 Winners: 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