The Undergraduate Research + Creative Opportunity Grant

The Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities (URCO) Grant Program, funded by the Office of Research, was established in 1975 to support worthy independent student projects. As we near the 46th anniversary of the program, we have awarded over 1,000 grants to fund projects in every discipline.

Be a part of the next 1,000 grants: Apply for an URCO to fund your curiosity!

View past and current grant recipients here.

URCO Grants will continue to be awarded for research or creative work that can be conducted safely and responsibly within the current COVID-19 framework and policies as outlined by national, state, and local governments, and by USU’s Infections Disease Policy.

The URCO guidebook will have a definition of this feasibility that is regularly reviewed and updated as the situation progresses.


The Office of Research is pleased to announce that a special opportunity for Summer and Fall 2021. This scholarship adds $500 to the standard URCO award in recognition of projects that exemplify how research connects USU to communities at a local, statewide and global level.

Students can apply for regular URCO grants or put together additional materials to qualify for the URCO Impact Initiative.

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What is an URCO Grant?

Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunity (URCO) awards provide a one semester, $1,000 scholarship, to support original research, scholarship, or creative work by USU undergraduates with the guidance of a faculty member. Proposals may also include requests for additional funds to cover the costs of equipment, supplies, and project-related travel.

URCO Information Sessions will be run each semester in conjunction with the Science Writing Center. The SWC has resources for students in any discipline to strengthen their technical writing skills as they prepare application materials for a grant proposal. More information on upcoming information sessions will be posted closer to the events.

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Fall 2021 Applications

Apply Now

Applications open on June 1 and close at 11:59pm MST on June 15

URCO Writing Workshops 2021

Schedule an appointment with a Science Writing Center tutor to help with your application.

Why apply?

URCO grants provide an opportunity for undergraduate researchers to fund their own projects. The application process provides direct experience in project design, grantsmanship, and technical writing and communication; funded students gain additional experience in managing a grant budget, compiling research reports, and in running independent projects.

“The URCO grant was a keystone in my education and undergraduate research experience. The process of having to write a full grant, work with professors, create budgets, setting up and conducting a full, novel experiment and being able to present my research in a professional environment was unparalleled with anything I had done before in my education. When applying for graduate schools this last year, the URCO grant experience made it possible for me to say that not only had I been involved in undergraduate research, but that it was my own original experiment. It allowed me to say that as an undergrad, I’ve had the opportunity to present my research at three different research symposiums. Most importantly though, it gave me the opportunity to network with many professionals across different fields and resulted in many lasting connections. “

–Alex Braeger, Summer 2018 URCO Recipient

An URCO experience helps students become more competitive for future scholarships and fellowships, graduate school programs, or career opportunities. Not only will successful students receive a scholarship to support the time and effort they pour into their research projects, they will also gain practical skills that help them stand out among their peers and demonstrated outcomes of these skills.

Evan Millsap Memorial URCO Grant

Beginning in 2020, the Office of Research and the Geosciences Department would like to announce the first named URCO grant. In remembrance and celebration of an exceptional student, researcher, and person, the Evan Millsap Memorial URCO grant will be awarded to proposals in Geosciences that meet the standard of excellence that Evan embodied in his own URCO proposal.

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Research Funding

Research requires resources and URCO grants fund up to $1,000 for costs related to conducting research for your project.

Head Start

Get started on your interests, not just coursework. Customize your education with an independent, mentored, project.


URCO grants provide a meaningful opportunity to be mentored by faculty members specific to research of your choice.


Build skills to make a stand-out resume or graduate school application.


Use the ownership of a project to build your portfolio and gain access to conferences, showcases, and networking opportunities.


Feel what it’s like to create or discover something new.

How do I apply?

To apply for an URCO grant you will submit a proposal the semester before you would like to receive funding. There are two criteria for award: project quality and student qualification. You must submit all sections of the proposal in order to be considered.

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When do I apply?

There are URCO grants available for Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.  Applications are due the semester before you would like to receive funding.

June 1 – Application opens
June 15 – Application closes
August 3 – Recipients notified
1st day of Fall Semester – Funding available
1 year from notice of award– Reports Due

October 1 – Application opens
October 15 – Application closes
December 4 – Recipients notified
1st day of Spring Semester – Funding available
1 year from notice of award – Reports Due

February 1 – Application opens
February 22 – Application closes
April 5 – Recipients notified
1st day of Summer Semester – Funding available
1 year from notice of award – Reports Due

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What is required?

There are four requirements for URCO grants. You must:

  1. Submit a complete application
  2. Attend an URCO orientation (after receiving the grant)
  3. Present your research (after completing the project)
  4. Submit a report (after completing the project)

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