Undergraduate Research & Creative Opportunity (URCO) Grants
The URCO Grant Program, funded by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, was established in 1975 to support worthy independent student projects.
Undergraduate research is an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to their discipline. Thus, undergraduate research is broadly defined and encompasses all types of scholarly and creative inquiry, including creating a sculpture, composing a piece of music, doing archival scholarly work and conducting experiments in the laboratory.
All undergraduate students in good academic standing may apply for an URCO grant. The application must designate a faculty advisor.
The URCO program is undergoing a substantial revision in the 2016-17 academic year. For specifics, please see the URCO website.
Deadlines are as follows:
- Spring application due: October 15 at 11:59 p.m.
- Summer application due: February 15 at 11:59 p.m.
- Fall application due: June 15th at 11:59 p.m.
Engineering Undergraduate Research Program (EURP)
EURP is designed to involve outstanding undergraduate students in research projects and encourage students to consider graduate school.
Students selected for the program are paid a minimum of $1,500 a semester for up to three semesters and are expected to work at least 10 hours per week, present research results at a professional venue and apply for the “Undergraduate Research Scholar” designation on their transcripts.
The Office of Research and Graduate Studies partially funds student travel to national undergraduate research conferences, including NCUR and Posters on the Hill. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
USUSA Academic Opportunity Fund (AOF) for Travel
The USUA Academic Opportunity Fund (AOF) for Travel has had a dramatic increase in undergraduates at Utah State presenting at professional conferences in their fields of study beyond NCUR and CUR events signaled a need for financial support. Fortunately, ASUSU stepped up to the challenge and created a fund specifically for undergraduates, which parallels the one for graduate students. About $20,000 annually is set-aside for this purpose, and funds tend to run out before the end of the year.
How to apply:
- Complete all parts of the application
- Attach a copy of your original acceptance letter
- Submit a copy of your research abstract
- Submit a cover letter and explanation of the conference and the benefit to USU of your presentation
- Applications will be accepted up to six months prior to the conference date
- Receive notice of your application status
Apply early for support when submitting the abstract/paper to the conference, rather than waiting until the invitation arrives.
Applications that feature matching funds from a faculty grant, the department, or college are viewed more favorably. Funds for summer travel must be secured during the academic year, as the oversight committee does not meet during this time.
Honors Research & Study Abroad Fund
The Honors Research and Study Abroad Fund are designed to give Honors students access to direct funding for activities that will academically enhance their undergraduate experience.
- Students may apply for awards with a minimum amount of $50. Maximum award per year from each fund is $1000
- Applications are considered on a rolling basis
- Only active Honors students on track to graduate with Honors are eligible to apply
- Students must apply for Honors Research or Study Abroad Funding before the project or event occurs. Honors will not award retroactive funding
Examples of learning opportunities eligible for Honors Research and/or Study Abroad funding:
- Research, scholarship, and artistic activities or materials
- Research trips to archives, libraries, or remote sites
- International service opportunities
- International or domestic internships
- Participation in academic conferences
- Enrollment in a non-USU course that would prepare the student for his or her capstone project
- Partners in the Parks fees and travel expenses
- Study abroad
- Matching funds for URCO grants
Examples of ineligible expenses:
- Personal equipment purchases (iPods, digital cameras, computers, or any equipment that would remain the property of the student)
- Non-professional or educational travel (personal trips, vacations, social events)
- USU tuition
How to apply:
The application form asks students to describe their needs, to develop a budget, and to identify other sources of funding for which they have applied. Students attending a conference, studying abroad, or traveling for a specific service opportunity must provide proof of acceptance to the program. Applicants must be Honors students in good standing and on track to graduate with Honors. Please download the application below, and submit a TYPED application form, a one-page budget, and a letter of support from a faculty member to the Honors Program in LLC Building A, Room 112 (or email to Amber Summers-Graham at email@example.com).
National and International Scholarships and Fellowships
The National and International Scholarships and Fellowships is for students who have engaged in research as undergraduates, a number of scholarships and fellowships may be appropriate for consideration to support research during the undergraduate years or in graduate school. The Honors staff is available to consult on applications. Many of these awards are extremely competitive, and it is wise to plan early. For any award, first do the homework yourself; review the foundation’s website and pay particular attention to such items as, “Are you a candidate for a Truman Scholarship?” which cue applicants to the appropriateness of their pursuit.
The Truman Foundation, for instance, seeks students who want to be “change agents” and who will pursue public service. A strong service record is important for Truman candidates; on the other hand, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship seeks the best researchers in science, technology, engineering, and medicine. The Morris Udall Scholarship supports a diverse array of majors that have interest in the environment, ranging from the expected Natural Resources majors to nature writing, from environmental engineering to landscape architecture.
The most prestigious awards are considered to be the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships. Utah State has had seven Rhodes Scholars, the earliest in the 1921 and the most recent in 2004. Honors prepare students to be competitive, offering dry runs of the interview process and social events, through its fall scholarship prep course.
NSF Graduate Fellowships are natural awards for students at research universities, and the Colleges of Engineering and Science have a particularly strong track record in their students winning these. NSF includes not only the sciences but also many of the social sciences.
Applications are made on-line and are typically due in the late fall of any year. www.nsf.gov offers more information. USU’s investment in the Undergraduate research program is also an investment in students who will seek these prestigious awards.