Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities
When are the proposals due?
Noon, October 15, Round I
Noon, February 15, Round II
Please note these are firm dates, no matter if they fall on a weekend or holiday.
Submit grant proposal, faculty mentor information, and final project report here:
The Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities Grant Program (URCO), funded by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, was established in 1975 to support worthy independent student projects. Two rounds of competition occur each year: Round I due date is October 15; Round II due date is February 15.
Who may apply?
Any properly registered undergraduate student in good academic standing may apply. Faculty may identify promising students, but the student is responsible for the application. The application must designate a faculty advisor.
What kinds of projects are funded?
Research is broadly defined to encompass all types of scholarly and creative inquiry, including creating a sculpture, composing a piece of music, doing archival scholarly work, and working at the laboratory bench.
How much are the awards?
Students' projects can have budgets of up to $1,000. Half of the funding comes from the Office of Research and Graduate Studies division of Graduate and Undergraduate Research, while the student's sponsoring academic department must provide matching support. The departmental or college matching support may be in funds or "in-kind" support.
What is the process?
Study the URCO webpage, especially the proposal guidelines, to learn more about the program and how to prepare a proposal. To prepare, students may request individualized meetings with the director of Undergraduate Research, but they should be scheduled at least two weeks in advance of the URCO submission deadline. Drafts of proposals can also be reviewed before the deadline.
Complete the online proposal submission, which will ask for you and your co-authors' information, as well as a pdf attachment of your completed proposal. You must then provide contact information for your faculty mentor, so he or she may independently submit a letter of support.
3. Review and status
A faculty panel reviews the applications: one panel reviewing scientific applications, a second panel reviewing engineering, and a third panel reviewing non-science applications. The panel generally makes its decisions within three weeks following the application deadlines (November 8 for fall submissions and March 8 for spring submissions), at which point applicants are informed of the status of their proposals (funded, not funded, or revise and resubmit).
4. Receive funding
Financial arrangements for the grant are coordinated by the Senior Business Officer of the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. Once the project is completed—and by the stipulated deadline—a final report and financial statement must be submitted. For students needing extensions of time, a request must be filed with the Associate VP for Research.
5. Conduct research
Grant recipients will have the remainder of the semester to complete their research project. It is expected that the results of the project will be shared through a symposium, professional conference, publication, etc. Throughout the process, they are expected to communicate closely with their faculty mentor on the project's progress. Students may also consider the Office of Research and Graduate Studies as a resource for advice and assistance.
6. Submit final report
From this same portal, students are requested to submit a final report outlining the research experience and results.
7. Carry on
Once you've completed your research, don't stop there! Share your findings and advice with other undergraduate researchers; present your results at a conference or symposium; apply for funding to continue your research or ask another research question. Use your project to improve your application for graduate school or a job.