Authors and Advisors


Christine E. Cutucache, Ph.D.

Christine E. Cutucache, Ph.D. is the Haddix Community Chair of Science and Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Cutucache has diverse research interests, such as tumor immunology in B-cell lymphomas and discipline-based education research. She was a Councilor in the Biology Division of the Council of Undergraduate Research (2014–2017) and has directed numerous undergraduate research projects that have yielded more than a dozen publications including students as co-authors. She was the recipient of the 2018 UNO Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award. Dr. Cutucache is the founder and faculty advisor of NE STEM 4U, an outreach program whereby undergraduates mentor K-8 youth. In addition, Dr. Cutucache routinely collaborates with other colleges via NE SciLEAD, a science education design and assessment consortium to assist in the development of meaningful assessments for student development to meet stakeholder needs.

Lead advisors

Dr. Julio Rivera

Dr. Julio Rivera researches "Big Data" problems and applies methodologies emphasizing "Business Geographics," which integrates Geographic Information Science (GIS), visualization techniques, and statistics. He brings this approach to problems in Marketing, Real Estate, Retail Site Selection, Economic Geography, and Data Analytics and challenges students to use these methods to solve problems and conduct research. He has directed numerous undergraduate student senior thesis projects, many of which were presented at regional and national conferences. He was the recipient of the 2002 Carthage College Distinguished Teaching Award, and is an Emeritus President of the Council on Undergraduate Research. Rivera regularly serves as a consultant to other colleges and universities as they develop undergraduate research programs. He serves as a consultant to government, business, and higher education and served as the Provost of Carthage College overseeing all aspects of the College's academic administration (2010–14).

Professor Stuart Hampton-Reeves

Stuart Hampton-Reeves is Professor of Shakespeare Studies and Research-Informed Teaching, and Director of Research for the Faculty of Culture and the Creative Industries at the University of Central Lancashire, UK. He is Chair of the British Conference of Undergraduate Research.


Dr. Candace Rypisi

Dr. Candace Rypisi is the Director of Student-Faculty Programs at the California Institute of Technology. She manages ten programs, which provide research opportunities for over 950 undergraduates annually. As a data-driven administrator, she relies on research and best practices to guide strategic planning, assessment, and continuous improvement efforts. Her research interests are focused on the administration and funding of undergraduate research programs and on undergraduate research mentoring. She is co-author (along with Michael Bergren) on the article Endowing Undergraduate Research to Ensure Growth and Stability (Winter 2015, CUR Quarterly) and author of several chapters in Amgen Scholars: Best Practices in Summer Undergraduate Research Programs. She currently serves as President of the Southern California Conferences on Undergraduate Research.

Accessibility advisor

Wilma Alexander

Wilma Alexander is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with Masters in Human-Computer Interaction, Linguistics, and Information Science. She has over 15 years of experience as a manager with the online learning team at the University of Edinburgh, where she specialized in usable and accessible digital practice, tutored on the groundbreaking Masters in Digital Education, and developed online staff training on accessible e-learning and online tutoring skills. Since retiring from the University at the end of 2015, Wilma has provided consultancy services on all aspects of online learning, with a special focus on accessibility and usability issues.

Course structure



  • Introduction
  • Learning outcomes

Course files

    Module 1: Introduction to funding sources and stakeholders

    • Identifying stakeholders to help meet your goals
    • Communicating with stakeholders
    • Preparing a budget
    • Stakeholder responses and feedback
    • Next steps
    • Module summary

    Module 2: Aligning interests with that of stakeholders

    • Selling your ideas
    • Finding the right stakeholder: what are you asking for, and from whom?
    • Identifying and navigating conflicts of interest
    • What are you creating and selling?
    • Module summary

    Module 3: What's for sale? Writing with conviction, brevity, and passion

    • Conviction, brevity, and passion
    • Persuasive success
    • Reflecting on skills and challenges
    • Writing to persuade with passion and enthusiasm
    • Rough roads ahead: managing challenges
    • Module summary


  • Course summary
  • Resource bank

Course features

Course features include:

  • Useful and practical advice on how to convey the impact of your project
  • Links to useful resources and project management tools.

Supporting institutions

  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Johnson C. Smith University
  • Oakland University
  • Tulane University
  • University of Nebraska – Omaha
  • University of Southern Maine
  • University of Texas at El Paso
  • University of Westminster
  • University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
  • University of Wisconsin – Platteville
  • University of Wisconsin – River Falls
  • University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point