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Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate Research Center

Enhancing the Undergraduate Experience Through Collaborative Research

covid-19 update re: summer research grants

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

The Writing Center recorded a webinar version of the "How to Write a Research Proposal" workshop and included a link to a Q & A form and a follow-up consultation for those who want to make one. The webinar recording can be found here and will be available all quarter online.

We will be able to issue summer research grants this year. However, the University has made the decision that to protect your safety we can only fund summer research that will happen remotely and respecting current social distancing requirements.

  • 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: only essential personnel are allowed in labs, and only essential research laboratories and facilities remain open. If you are proposing to work in a lab, you will need to show evidence that you have permission to be in the lab and will need to discuss your lab's plan to respect social distancing requirements before the URC can disperse funds.

At the end of your proposal, please include your Research Compliance determination letter and/or a discussion of how you will conduct your research so that you comply with social distancing restrictions.

If you have a project that can be conducted according to these guidelines, then we would be delighted to receive your applications by May 4th.

More information on how to apply can be found here:

For those of you who had been hoping to do research that cannot be conducted at a distance, we understand that this is very frustrating. We are hoping to be able to offer a second round of research grants connected to a stipend in the fall for students to be able to conduct research over Winter break. (This would be in addition to the PinS grants which do not allow you to pay yourself a stipend.) We will keep you posted as we hear more about the feasibility of this option.

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.