Handbook

What is URCO?

Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunity (URCO) grants provide a one time, $1,000 scholarship and up to $1,000 for research costs to support original research or creative work by USU undergraduates with the guidance of a faculty member.

URCOs are project/proposal based and support year-long (from award to report date) independent projects. The work must be original and substantive, given the standards and objectives of a student’s field. Each URCO proposal must be sponsored by a faculty member who has read and approved the proposal and who agrees to oversee the project to completion. Teams of faculty and graduate students review URCO proposals, and awards are made and coordinated by the associate vice president for undergraduate research.

URCO grants have two components: a scholarship component and an optional research costs component:

Scholarship component:  All URCO awards include a $1,000 student scholarship, applied directly to a student’s account (students may not request to forgo the scholarship). The Office of Research and Graduate Studies covers $750 of the scholarship, and there is a required $250 match from another university source (generally, student’s home department, mentor, or mentor’s home department). Matching dollars must be confirmed by a person with budget authority at the point of application. Proposals without this confirmation will not be reviewed.

Research costs component (optional):  An URCO proposal can also include a request for equipment, supplies, and research-related travel. These funds must be matched 1:1 from a university source (generally, student’s home department, mentor, or mentor’s home department). Up to $500 may be requested from RGS, making the total request for equipment, supplies, and research-related travel $1,000 (given a 1:1 match). Matching dollars must be confirmed by a person with budget authority at the point of application. Proposals without this confirmation will not be reviewed.

How many URCOs are awarded?

There will be 25 URCOs awarded each round, with 75 total for the year.

What are my chances of getting an URCO?

Historically, roughly one-third of applicants are awarded the grant. You can improve your chances by providing a well-edited, detailed, original grant proposal.

How many times can I be awarded an URCO?

You can be awarded an URCO grant up to 2 times.

How many students can apply for one URCO?

Groups of up to 4 students may apply for URCOs together. In this case, upon a successful review, each student in the group would be awarded a $500 scholarship ($375 from RGS and $125 from another university source).

What are the requirements for receiving a grant?

All students who are awarded URCO grants are required to attend an URCO orientation, present their research, and submit a final report.

All students who are awarded an URCO are required to attend an URCO orientation session (held twice per semester) prior to the funds being available. URCO training will include a description of the requirements, along with some other opportunities that are available to URCO awardees.

All URCO grantees are required to present their work. This requirement may be satisfied in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to Utah Research on Capitol Hill, Student Research Symposium, the Summer Research Symposium, the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), or the Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research (UCUR). A qualified professional conference is also allowable (and encouraged!). For the arts, an exhibition or performance may satisfy the requirement. URCO students may apply for the RGS Undergraduate Research Travel Award to help fund their presentation costs.

Conferences
Travel Award
A final report is required. The report should be approximately 2–4 pages summarizing what was done and the results of the project. In addition, an impact statement is required: what did the URCO do for the student researcher professionally and/or personally. A social media post about the project, while not required, will be strongly encouraged. For equipment grants, we will require a budget report that includes scanned copies of receipts for all purchases.

Submit Final Report