Newswise — Washington, DC- Every day, across the nation, undergraduate students and faculty mentors engage in research that advances knowledge, and profoundly shapes their educational and professional aspirations.

At this year’s Posters on the Hill, the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) will be presenting distinguished 2011 alumni and Planetary Scientist Lujendra Ojha with the 2016 Honorary CUR Fellowship award for his collaborative work to discover water on Mars. “Ojha’s discovery of water on Mars shows that scientific curiosity and exploration as an undergraduate can in fact lead to powerful outcomes,” remarked CUR Executive Officer Elizabeth Ambos. “This discovery could open the door to endless possibilities, including fulfilling the human dream of discovering life beyond Earth,” she added. Mr. Ojha started his research discoveries as an undergraduate student at the University of Arizona, where he was selected to present at the 2011 Posters on the Hill reception. It was as an undergraduate that Ojha helped make one of the biggest scientific discoveries of recent history, evidence of flowing water on Mars. CUR is pleased to present this award to Mr. Ojha, and feels his story truly captures the potential undergraduate students bring to the world of research.

On April 20, 2016 the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) will honor the research achievements of 60 undergraduate research projects from colleges and universities nationwide at the 20th annual Posters on the Hill event on Capitol Hill. The event affords an elite group of students the opportunity to share their undergraduate research with Members of Congress, congressional staff, federal government officials, academics and others, and demonstrates the value of federal investment in undergraduate research. CUR’s poster reception is co-hosted with the American Chemical Society, and will take place in B-357 of the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill from 5:30 through 7:30pm on April 20.

Council on Undergraduate Research: The Council on Undergraduate Research ( supports faculty development for high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. Over 700 institutions and more than 10,000 individuals belong to CUR. CUR believes that the best way to capture student interest and create enthusiasm for a discipline is through research in close collaboration with faculty members.