2 female students examining a human lung sample

SPARK: Students Pursuing Applications, Research, and Knowledge

$2,500 Stipend for Eligible Students

SPARK encourages top caliber incoming freshmen to engage in undergraduate research during their first year at the University of Illinois in the College of AHS. Incoming students are personally invited to participate and can earn up to a $2,500 work stipend by participating in undergraduate research.

What is the purpose of the AHS SPARK Undergraduate Research Program and how does the program work?

  • SPARK provides a gateway for creating a comprehensive educational experience for students that includes building a solid academic foundation, developing effective research and interpersonal communication skills, and applying these skills to real-world situations so that graduates are well prepared to enter the work force, graduate school, or professional health graduate programs.
  • The overall goal is to assist students in gaining experience, beyond traditional university boundaries, that allows them to enter the work force or post-schooling with valuable experience that accelerates their ability to navigate the “first job” learning curve.
  • Students engage with world-class AHS faculty and their research groups starting their freshman year. It is a great opportunity to discover the field of research and earn some money at the same time. No prior research experience is required or expected. Faculty are looking for curious, motivated and hard-working students that are excited to learn and be trained. Based on interests and career goals, we try to match students appropriately with a research group.

Spark 2020 Showcase

The culmination of SPARK is the presentation of slides on each student's research efforts. We are thrilled by the hard work completed by all the SPARK students. Below the Showcase you can see more information about the SPARK students and the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Congratulations SPARK students!

Message from the Dean

The 2020 SPARK Showcase

Undergraduate Research Symposium

We are thrilled to also note that 6 of our SPARK students also participated in the Undergraduate Research Symposium! Here are the students and the titles of the research they presented.

Alex Trekas
“Young Adults' Sexual Attitudes in Tourism vs. Everyday Life”

Amber Dorn
“Effects of Extended High Frequency Cues on Speech Recognition In School-Age Children”

Carson Smith
“Healthcare Technology in Older Adults”

Chloe Maghinang
“Differences between the Perception and Production of Sung Melodies”

Josette Orlevitch
“The Role of Assistive Devices on Worry about Falling and Leisure Self-Efficacy among Older Adults”

Mackenzie Wiegers
“Conservation Farming: A Viable Way of Life”

Meet some of our 2019 SPARK Scholars!