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Developing Scholars

About our award-winning program










What is DSP?

DSP is a program within the larger Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry.  DSP offers high-achieving, serious-minded, historically underrepresented* students research projects in their field of study with faculty mentors. Scholars will receive academic, social, and financial support while becoming integrated into the intellectual climate of the university. 

Scholars will enroll in an introductory research seminar course for each semester of their first year. Additionally, all Scholars will attend monthly meetings consisting of team-building, lectures, presentations, and community service. 

*Note:  “Historically Underrepresented” is defined as an undergraduate student who is first generation of any background or is a member of a group that has been historically underrepresented in higher education.  Students who do not fit this profile are invited to consider the OURCI Grants program for possible research matches or view the OURCI Clearinghouse for research projects.  All undergraduate students in pursuit of undergraduate research placement are welcome to visit one-on-one with OURCI staff for further guidance.

What does DSP provide?

  • Structured, faculty-supported opportunities for selected students who typically have not been well-represented in higher education in Kansas
  • Research experience in any field of study that K-State offers from the sciences, the humanities, education, business, agriculture, the arts, and everything in-between
  • A motivated peer group of achievers and leaders
  • A positive and supportive climate in which to develop intellectually and socially
  • A network of mentors across campus and beyond
  • A guided pathway to a rewarding future
  • An award-winning staff to assist with the journey

Click on this video to hear Dr. Ornelas', MD, experience while participating in DSP!

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Excelencia In Education Honorable Mention

In 2009, the Developing Scholars Program was recognized as an Example of Excelencia Honorable Mention. Excelencia In Education is a non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate Latino student success in higher education. Kansas State University was the only school acknowledged in the Midwest in 2009.

Outstanding Unit Award for Enhancing Diversity at K-State

In 2017, the Developing Scholars Program was recognized for their commitment to advancing diverse students through undergraduate research.

Program Profile and Highlights:

  • 48% first-generation college students
  • 81% graduation rate
  • Fulbright Scholarship Recipient
  • Goldwater Scholarship Recipient (and an Honorable Mention)
  • National Science Foundation Fellowship recipient toward Ph.D. in Chemistry ($34.000 for 3 years plus tuition)
  • Truman and Rhodes Scholarship finalists
  • Two Cargill Global Scholars (out of 10 nationally)
  • National Institute of Health Fellowship, American Chemical Society Scholarship, and Gilman Scholarship recipients
  • Four Teach for America Awardees
  • Cancer Research Awards every year since 2000 
  • Three medical doctors, five in medical school, three in dentistry
  • Two students in chiropractic school, one optometrist
  • Eight architects, ten engineers
  • Five veterinary graduates and three currently in veterinary school
  • Three attorneys and one in law school
  • Two Peace Corps participants
  • Ph.D. students at Berkeley, North Texas State, K-State, and others
  • Scholars in graduate programs
  • Internships at MIT, Harvard, UCLA, GM, ExxonMobil, Cargill, St. Jude Children's Hospital, and others
  • Three University Distinguished Undergraduate in Research Awards
  • Thirteen Outstanding Senior awards in thirteen years
  • University Distinguished Young Alumni Awardee