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Kerrigan Research Minigrants Program Description


September 15th to April 30th


Students are invited to apply to work on a research minigrant project under the guidance of a faculty member. To see a list of available projects and advisers please click here.

A minigrant project is for $300 payable at the end of the Spring semester upon completion of the project. Incomplete projects will receive no funding. The total number of minigrants offered by the Math Department will not exceed eight.

A student accepted by an adviser to work on a minigrant project is expected to do the following so that the research project be considered complete.

  1. Perform the research activities as indicated by the adviser.
  2. Write a 15-25 page research report describing those activities and their output.
  3. Submit that report to the mathematics department by March 30th.
  4. Prepare and present a talk on the Math Awareness Month (MAM) Symposium. The talk should be a brief presentation of the submitted report. The MAM Symposium will be organized in April at a day to be announced.

All the talks and projects presented on the MAM symposium will be automatically entered in the project competition and ranked by an impartial jury based on research depth and originality. Besides the $300 for the completion of the project, the first three ranked projects will receive prizes of: $100 1st prize, $70 2nd prize, and $50 3rd prize.


We wish to offer research experiences as early as possible and encourage both our undergraduates and our graduates to write honors or MA theses. The participating advisers will work toward producing with their advisees research reports deep enough to be subsequently usable as the kernel of an honors, or MA thesis, respectively. Based on progress on these minigrants, the advisers will instruct the students how much more than the final project report is needed for an honors or MA thesis. It is the adviser's right to offer or not to offer the advisee the possibility of making his/her research report count toward his/her honors or MA thesis, depending on how happy the adviser is with the advisee's performance. It is the advisee's right to accept or decline such an offer.

The funds available for these minigrants come from a donation of Mr. Patrick Kerrigan. By the generosity of the same donor, the Math Department at UNO has established two prizes for excellence in mathematical writing. They are awarded annually to the best honors thesis, (TIER I: $ 350) and MA thesis, (TIER II: $ 500).

Research minigrant recipients who decide to develop their project into an honors or MA thesis will automatically be entered in the competition for the Kerrigan prizes once they submit their thesis to the mathematics department.

Application Procedure (deadline: September 15)

Students reading the call for applications for $300 minigrants on our website, should check the list of available titles and chose one or more, then send an email to Dr. Valentin Matache specifying the following: Name of Applicant, Student ID, List of Projects he/she applies to work for in order of preference.

The applications will be sent to the advisor of each listed project in order of preference until one of the advisers accepts the applicant. Once the applicant is accepted he/she will be notified by e-mail and asked to contact his/her adviser ASAP. From then on the project activities are between the two of them.