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Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate Research Center

Enhancing the Undergraduate Experience Through Collaborative Research

covid-19 update

The most current information on research protocols in the COVID-19 environment are available here:

Given all of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the temporary university-wide spending freezes, we are still unsure if there will be funding available for Summer Research Grants and we don't expect that we'll have a clear answer on this until mid-April.

If funding does become available, please note the following:

1. We are extending the deadline for proposals to May 4th. We will do our utmost to turn around decisions as quickly as possible after this date.

2. The Writing Center will have a webinar available by April 2nd that you can do instead of the usual workshops to prepare your proposal

For those considering submitting summer research grant applications:

  • Research involving travel: international travel is prohibited until restrictions are lifted, and the URC cannot award grants for international travel until it is deemed safe.
  • Research involving human subjects: the URC requires IRB approval before any funds will be released. The IRB will consider how your research protocol protects your safety and the safety of your research participants. This may involve interacting with people remotely via zoom etc. or other measures to keep you and your participants safe.
  • Lab research: there are currently restrictions in place on who can be present physically in lab spaces. If you plan to work in a lab, you will need to show evidence that you have permission to be in the lab given COVID-19 "Stay at home" orders.

At the end of your proposal, please include your Research Compliance determination letter and/or a discussion of how you will conduct your research in the context of the COVID-19 travel and social distancing restrictions.

For those who foresee being unable to complete their research over the summer due to COVID-19 limitations, we will allow you to propose research to be conducted over the 2020-2021 winter break. You must clearly state when you plan to do your research in the discussion letter at the end of your application.

We will continue to keep you updated as we get more information, and really appreciate your patience in these uncertain times.

What is undergraduate research? what is the urc? 

Undergraduate research is "an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline," (Council on Undergraduate Research). The Undergraduate Research Center provides educational resources and funding to help students develop their research skills. The URC has supported students from all majors and departments. Some examples of previous research topics are: 

  • how cities rebuild after natural disasters or economic crises
  • the expression of multiracial identity
  • the development of prosthetic limbs for amputees
  • the creation of a medical mirror to track vital signs in patients
  • improved water quality in Thailand
  • pollution fighting effects of trees


The Undergraduate Research Center (URC) is devoted to enabling experiential learning opportunities for undergraduates by facilitating students' investigations that make original intellectual or creative contributions within and across disciplines. The URC directly advances the University's mission to promote learning, community, and scholarship by engaging with students in advancing scholarly inquiry, cultivating critical and creative thought across disciplines, and generating knowledge.