Create Your Own Project

ELN student.

We invite UB students of all levels and majors to develop their own projects that align with individual interests, passion and sense of purpose. 

Propose an Independent Project with ELN

The most compelling projects do not require money or privileged access to networks or opportunities, but instead depend entirely on students’ willingness to fully commit to the stages of project development and experiential learning: Preparation, Engagement and Adding value, Reflection and Leveraging their experiences toward broader impacts. We call this process PEARL and we encourage all students to enjoy its benefits.

Through guided mentorship by ELN staff and engagement in our digital badge series, we invite UB students of all levels and majors to develop their own projects that align with individual interests, passion and sense of purpose.

To start a project with support from ELN, simply email the project mentor below. Then, students will begin by clarifying their project focus and finding a mentor. Once these critical steps are achieved, students will work through the various steps of their project, consulting with their mentor and earning digital badges along the way. In addition to supporting specific learning and professional goals, projects must be inherently meaningful, culminating in an outcome with relevance to some identified external audience.

Students can read more about Self-Directed Mentored Projects according to ELN Director, Mara Huber, who urges:

Now, more than ever, the world needs doers, professionals who can add value, setting meaningful goals, and navigating challenges and uncertainties toward some tangible outcome. Regardless of your circumstances or the evolving COVID landscape, know that you have what you need to keep moving forward. I implore you to be bold with your projects, to find mentors to support and encourage your work, and to leverage your investments toward bigger and far-reaching impacts. And most of all, have fun- there’s nothing more exciting than pursuing your dreams.

Project outcome

Under guidance from ELN staff and mentors, students will complete self-directed projects that culminate in a product that is inherently meaningful to an identified external audience. Projects may take any form and may include:

  • global collaboration
  • mentored research
  • creative activities
  • community engagement
  • innovation

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Flexible
Start time Flexible
Level of collaboration Individual and group projects are welcomed
Benefits Varied
Who is eligible All undergraduate students
Support Funding is available after the completion of the preparation badge. See below.

Project mentor

Mara Huber

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning, Director of

Experiential Learning Network

Phone: (716) 829-2834



To engage with this project, you will work through a series of Project-Based Collaboration digital badges to guide your experience. 

To get started, contact the project mentor using the contact information above to discuss availability and after you’ve received approval, you can start the Project Preparation Digital Badge. Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor

Preparation guidance

Once you have registered for the Project Preparation Digital Badge, you will receive further instructions related to the activities you will need to complete. In addition, you will also complete the following preparation activities for this particular project:

  • Your specific preparation activities will be customized by you and the mentor to set you up for success to achieve your goals and project outcomes.