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. You can apply for as many URCO grants as you choose, and we encourage students to revise rejected proposals and resubmit them in the next application cycle. Students may not apply for a second URCO grant within the year that their first URCO grant is funded.
How many students can apply for one URCO?
Groups of up to four students may submit an URCO proposal. In this case, the award is a $500 scholarship per student, with the Office of Research and Graduate Studies covering $375 per student and a $125 match from another university source. Groups may also request up to $1,000 for research costs, as above, with the 1:1 match from another source. All group members must be undergraduate students at USU.
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 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, the 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.
- Life Science Final Report
- Art Final Report
- Physical Science Final Report
- Engineering Final Report
- Social Science Final Report
Not every research project is successful, but all projects require a final report. If your project does not go smoothly, here is an example of the kind of report you can submit to show how your URCO grant benefited you as a researcher despite the project’s lack of success.