There are many opportunities to help you obtain the resources and funding you need to conduct your research as an undergraduate.  These grants and funds are awarded to student researchers to fund things such as materials and travel costs.

The Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities (URCO) Grant Program, funded by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, was established in 1975 to support worthy independent student projects. In the summer of 2013, the program was expanded to include the summer term and allow salary to be included in budgets. In the summer of 2014, the summer program was unified, and the URCO programs’ scope and budget were expanded.

Projects can have budgets of up to $2,000. A portion of the funding comes from the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, while the student’s sponsoring academic department must provide matching support. While no match is required for the first $500, for every dollar of the total budget above $500 (to a maximum of $2,000 of total budget), a 1:1 match is required. Thus, RGS will be responsible for $500 + 50% of the remaining budget up to $2,000. This is a maximum of $1,250 from RGS, per grant. The match must come from a university source. The departmental or college matching support may be in funds or “in-kind” support.

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The purpose of the Academic Opportunity Fund (AOF) is to provide financial support to undergraduate students who have been accepted to or invited by a reputable organization to present a scholastic achievement, or to participate in an academic competition.

Eligibility for Funding

Awards are made on a first-applied, first-awarded basis beginning each fall semester. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Criteria for funding include:

  • The entire cost of the experience
  • The amount requested
  • Individual financial contributions
  • Compliance with the eligibility guidelines (listed below)
  • How well the subject matter furthers the student’s educational goals and major.

Academic Opportunity Fund Eligibility

  1. All individuals must be undergraduate students in good standing at Utah State University.
  2. Student must have been accepted or invited by a reputable organization to present a scholastic achievement or to
    participate in an academic competition and will represent Utah State University at the event.
  3. Student must have received at least $100.00 in financial support for their presentation or competition from a Utah
    State University department, college, or other University source.
  4. The application must be submitted less than six (6) months and more than four (4) weeks before the event.
  5. Student must pay some of the associated cost and must include themselves as a source of financial support on the
    application.
  6. The scholastic achievement being presented is directly related to their area of study.
  7. No individual will be awarded more than $500.00. No group will be awarded more than $2,000.00. Awards may
    be less than requested amounts.
  8. Multiple students attending the same event may apply jointly or separately for funding. The committee reserves
    the right to consider separate applications jointly, as the focus of the AOF should be to fund core curriculum,
    rather than extra-curricular opportunities.

Completing Your Application

  • Complete all parts of the application. Remember to include:
    1. Personal information. Groups must include every person receiving AOF (attach a Participants list).
    2. Name, location, and date of the conference. Do not use acronyms.
    3. All funding sources available to you as well as a cost estimate of the most economical travel and lodging that are
      reasonably available.
    4. Complete answers to the questions, including any information that you would like the AOF committee to take into
      consideration.
    5. Signatures by the applicant(s), research professor, and department head, verifying that the trip cost estimate is
      accurate and the information on the application is complete. AOF Policies AOF Application
  • Attach a copy of your original acceptance letter. Documentation accepted by USU/SA includes a copy of acceptance
    letter, fax, or email from the meeting sponsor. If the acceptance letter has not yet been received, please note when it
    will be expected. Immediately upon receipt of the acceptance letter submit a copy. Applications will be accepted
    without an acceptance letter, with the understanding that the letter will be submitted to USU/SA as soon as it is
    received. Processing of the application and check request will be contingent upon receipt of the notice of acceptance.
    Funding will be released only if USU/SA has a copy of your acceptance letter.
  • Submit a copy of your research abstract.
  • Submit a cover letter. Include an explanation of the credibility of the conference and the benefit to Utah State
    University of your presentation.
  • Applications will be accepted up to six (6) months prior to the conference date. To be eligible for AOF funds, your
    completed application must be submitted at least four (4) weeks prior to travel.

Disbursement

Distribution is arranged through the Student Involvement and Leadership Center and your department. For more information on disbursements, please contact Lynne Singleton at (435) 797-1716 or lynne.singleton@usu.edu or your department’s business manager.

Your department will need you to complete a Travel Authorization before you travel. Please contact your department for more details.

Receiving Notice of Your Application Status

The USU/SA Academic Opportunity Fund Allocation Committee makes every effort to review applications within two weeks of receipt, excluding holiday and university breaks. Contact between the allocation committee and applicants will be through the applicant’s college senator. Please feel free to direct any questions you may have regarding the awarding process to your college senator. Statutes of the Academic Opportunity Fund Allocation Committee can be provided upon request in the Student Involvement and Leadership office, TSC 326.

Completed application to USU/SA four (4) weeks before travel.

Copies of acceptance letter to USU/SA no later than two (2) weeks before you travel.

Notifications

Please be aware that because our funding resources are limited, academic opportunity awards are not guaranteed to every student who applies.

You will forfeit any award from USU/SA if you fail to follow these procedures. No exceptions will be made due to a student’s misunderstanding of or inability to conform to these policies.

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The Honors Research Fund is designed to give Honors students access to direct funding for activities that will academically enhance their undergraduate experience. Students may apply for awards from $50 to $1000, and applications will be considered on a rolling basis during the academic year only. Only active Honors students on track to graduate with Honors are eligible to apply.

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These are one-semester, $1,000 grants ($750 CoS; $250 dept.) that are designed to encourage students to become involved in their first mentored research experience. The CoS funds are awarded directly to the student. The departmental funds are either awarded to the student (Math & Stat and Physics) or are used as a supply budget for the project (Biology, Chem & Biochem, Geology). The application process consists of a form and the following documents:

  • A one-page statement to the selection committee that addresses the student’s qualifications to undertake the proposed research project (e.g. coursework background) and the relationship of the proposed research project to their previous research experience and long-term career goals.
  • A two-page proposal describing their plan and goals for the research minigrant period. We advise the students that the proposal must be written in their own words and for a general scientific audience.
  • A list of honors, awards, scholarships, and formal recognition received while at USU
  • Contact Associate Dean Lisa Berreau (lisa.berreau@usu.edu) for more information.

Awards are made on a first-applied, first-awarded basis beginning each fall semester. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Criteria for funding include:

  • The entire cost of the experience
  • The amount requested
  • Individual financial contributions
  • Compliance with the eligibility guidelines (listed below)
  • How well the subject matter furthers the student’s educational goals and major.
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The Engineering Undergraduate Research Program (EURP) is designed to involve outstanding undergraduate students in research projects and encourage students to consider graduate school. Students selected for the program are paid a minimum of $1,500 a semester for up to three semesters and are expected to work at least 10 hours per week, present research results at a professional venue, and apply for the “Undergraduate Research Scholar” designation on their transcripts.

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Visit the RGS Research Development website for more undergraduate research funding opportunities.

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