More Southern Oregon University students will receive research grants for the next four years thanks to PepsiCo.

More Southern Oregon University students will receive research grants over the next four years thanks to PepsiCo.

The school received a $100,000 signing bonus for agreeing to serve Pepsi products exclusively at football games and in on-campus dining facilities, said Craig Morris, interim vice president of finance and administration. The money will go toward a mini-grant program to support student-faculty collaboration.

The five-year contract began last year and will be divided among the remaining four years, making $25,000 per year available for student research with faculty members and mentoring for professors who teach classes online, SOU Provost James Klein said.

Students could receive grants up to $1,500 for materials or travel assistance to attend conferences and present their findings with professors, Klein said.

The money will also provide assistance for faculty teaching online courses for the first time.

"It's really an entirely different pedagogy from teaching face to face, and it's nice to have mentoring help," he said.

This is the first time Morris could recall that SOU received a signing bonus with a soft drink company, he said.

"We're pretty excited about that," he said. "We have had contracts in the past; some have been exclusive and some have been non-exclusive."

The university already had a contract with Pepsi before renewing its agreement last year and receiving the bonus, he said.

Julie French can be reached at 482-3456 ext. 227 or jfrench@dailytidings.com.