Business, industry, other educational institutions, local governments, and the U.S. government offer grants and contracts for help in solving real-world problems. Through the LeTourneau University Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), students have the opportunity to join these projects as research assistants. Over 400 students have participated in projects in the fields of engineering, natural sciences, and business.
The OSP assists faculty members in preparing proposals to potential sponsors of contracts and grants and provides administrative management for resulting projects. These grants and contracts provide opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to develop professional skills, apply theory to solving real-world problems, and encourage their commitment to life-long learning and scholarly inquiry.
Working under the direct supervision of the faculty member, student research assistants receive either pay or academic credit for work performed. Students have the opportunity to work with their professors in an employee-employer relationship that is similar to relationships they will encounter after graduation. Another potential benefit to students is the prospect of developing a relationship with project sponsors that could lead to future employment.
Previous and current project sponsors include: National Aeronautics and Space Administraton (NASA), National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Navy, A.O. Smith, Westinghouse, GRACO, American Iron and Steel Institute, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Advanced Technology Program, Morton-Thiokol, Trinity Industries, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Lone Star Steel, Stemco, Solar Atmospheres, and the City of Longview.