Capstone Research Projects

The EVS curriculum culminates in the final year of the EVS program with a two-semester capstone research experience. Under the mentorship of  a UT faculty member, students bring all of their education and experience to bear on a research question or issue that is of personal interest and importance to them. This research culminates in a final report including a research abstract, as well as in the creation of a research poster, suitable for presentation at professional conferences.  Students are also eligible to submit a proposal for a Capstone Research Award; see below for more details.

NOTE: Current EVS students preparing to conduct their Capstone Research Project should review and complete a Capstone Research Contract with their faculty mentor prior to beginning their research. EVS students must submit a signed contract to the EVS Program Office by the 4th class day of the semester enrolled to avoid being dropped from EVS 271 or  EVS 371.

Students should start exploring research options early! Here are some useful resources to get started:

  • UT Office of Undergraduate Research – advising and support for getting involved with research
  • EUREKA! – searchable database of faculty research interests on campus
  • Past EVS Capstone Projects and Mentors – searchable/sortable database of over 90 past EVS student projects and faculty mentors. Try sorting by EVS Track or Mentor Department, or searching Mentor Research Keywords, to brainstorm ideas for your own project.
  • ESI-Affiliated Faculty – compilation of faculty across the UT Austin campus teaching and conducting research on the wide variety of subjects related to environmental science. Many of these faculty members have worked with EVS students on their capstone projects in the past!

Capstone Research Grants

The EVS Capstone Research Grants were established in 2012 with funds generated by an EVS Program fundraising dinner. Through support from the Environmental Science community, EVS can now offer awards of up to $500 to support EVS students in their pursuit of capstone research projects.

Eligibility: Only students admitted to and actively pursuing an EVS degree are eligible for the grant. Applicants must be currently enrolled and in good academic standing at The University of Texas at Austin. Applicants must also either (a) be currently registered for EVS 271 or 371 (Research Experience) or (b) have a completed Capstone Research Project Contract on file with the EVS office as of the date award applications are due and register for EVS 271 or 371 during the next academic term.

Selection Process & Criteria: The grant recipients will be selected from applicants by a committee of faculty members associated with the EVS Program prior to the close of each long semester.  Criteria for selection will include:

  1. the intellectual merit and feasibility of the proposed research;
  2. the amount of student input and originality in the project design;
  3. faculty feedback on the proposed research; and
  4. the proposed budget, as appropriate.

How to Apply:  Applications are accepted and grants will be made in both the Fall and Spring academic terms, with recurring deadlines to occur in conjunction with early registration for each long semester. Application information will be made available to the EVS students enrolled in EVS capstone courses each semester.