Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities (URCO)

Fund your curiosity with an URCO Grant!

What is an URCO 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. Since it's inception, more than 1,000 grants have been awarded, funding projects in every discipline. You can learn more about what recipients have done with their funding by reviewing the projects of past URCO winners.

The URCO guidebook answers frequently asked questions and offers sample proposals for potential applicants. Students should review proposal instructions as they develop their projects and prior to applying.

undergraduate researcher in the lab

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Application Windows
There are three application windows throughout the year that correspond to each semester:
  • Fall: June 1-15
  • Spring: October 1-15
  • Summer: February 1-15

Additional Opportunities

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.

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.

money icon  Research Funding

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

people icon   Mentorship

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

key icon   Access

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

road icon   Head Start

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

book icon   Credentials

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

rocket icon   Discovery

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

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