Learning Through Research

Funding Opportunities

Funding for Student Research Survey

In 2008, a handful of institutions responded to an informal survey posted over the CUR Lis-serv regarding funding for student research.  Their responses are below.

Questions:

  1. Does your institution provide money to support student research/creative activity?
  2. If so, how much money is available?
  3. What can the money be used for? (travel, supplies, student salary?)
  4. Who administers the funding program? (who takes care of the application & funding process)
  5. Who provides the funding?
Indiana University Southeast
  1. Yes                                                                                                                                                
  2. We support four students per semester (4 fall, 4 spring and 4 summer) 
  3. Students are rewarded $1000 stipend for the semester plus they can request $500 for support – the $500 support can be for any expense directly connected with their proposal
  4. We have a Research and Grants committee that reviews and makes recommendation for funding. The Dean of Research makes the final decision
  5. The funding comes from both internal IU Southeast funds and IU funds
Colgate University
  1. Yes
  2. Internal funding for 24-40 full summer research assistantships (8 weeks) each year, currently valued at $400/week.  Limited funding for academic year student wage money (for research assistants), varies. It is almost always possible to get 50 hours of research support for students during the academic year, at $7-9 per hour.  Undergraduate travel fund (maybe $10-15K/year) for presenting research at national or regional professional meetings and NCUR.
  3. Student summer research salary, academic year student wage money, travel to professional meetings.
  4. The institutional coordinator of undergraduate research normally administers travel funds. Summer research funds are administered by academic divisions. Student wage grants are administered by the institutional research council.
  5. This funding is primarily from the internal budget, but additional funds may also be provided by institutional grants, corporate grants, or endowed funds. In addition summer research is heavily subsidized by institutional and individual faculty research grants. Our summer research funding is a nearly equal blend of internal funds, individual faculty or departmental research grants (government funds), and corporate or foundation funding (institutional grants).
Willamette University
  1. There are two main programs available to students: a Science Collaborative Research Program for summer research work and an internal competitive grant for all students. The first program provides a stipend, the second provides support towards all costs (stipend included).
  2. The first program provides $3,000 per student for nine weeks of collaborative work with faculty. The second program provides up to $3,000 towards all costs.
  3. For the science program money is for stipend. The second program has no restrictions.
  4. The first program is administered by a science faculty who coordinates all efforts. The second program is administered by our Undergraduate Grants Officer who is assisted by a faculty committee.
  5. Both funds are endowed.
Westminster College
  1. Yes, but minimal.  Students can apply to the Dean for money, but a typical grant is $100-200 for the year (almost nothing in a molecular field).
  2. See above
  3. Usually supplies, but travel with regards to the research.  Note that the school has come through with much larger travel grants on an ad-hoc basis to send students to present work at meetings.
  4. Dean's office and council of chairs (3 division chairs)
  5. Dean's office
Samford University
  1. Yes
  2. $3500 per student ($2000 for student stipend, $1000 for faculty stipend, $500 for supplies)
  3. See question 2.
  4. The Dean of Arts & Sciences
  5. The University, through external gifts.
Pomona College, Claremont, CA
  1. Yes, about 50,000 per year
  2. About 50K per summer

  3. Student stipends at 4k each

  4. The admin asst for Associate Dean of the College,
  5. College employment funds, including work study but not all work study.
California State University – Monterey Bay
  1. Yes. Through grants like the National Science Foundation's LSAMP grant and the Department of Education's McNair and CCRAA grants.
  2. Varies based on grant / funding cycles.  
  3. Student salary, supplies, travel, and training. Note: there are separate, but related funds, to offset the mentor / research supervisor's time.
  4.  
  5. See above. We are also exploring private funding options.
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
  1. Yes
  2. Funds for symposia, research activities, travel; Projects and research related travel: total per student is $2,000. $1,000 per application; Conference travel: $1200 if giving a paper and $600 if just attending a professional conference
  3. Funds available for all of these
  4. IUPUI has a central office - the IUPUI Center for Research and Learning which administers a grant program and coordinates ten summer research programs. Formal research programs are supported by funds from federal agencies (grants to the center and to other individuals and schools) and by general funds supplied by the campus. Faculty members support undergraduates through federal grant supplements and then students participate in campus programs related to undergraduate research (symposia, award celebrations, special field trips, participation in the annual National Conference for Undergraduate Research, activities provided through the Preparing Future Faculty program supported in the Center for Research and Learning)
  5. See above
University of Utah
  1. We do provide money for student research/creative activity.
  2. We pay students $1200 for a first semester and $600 for a one-time renewal. The money is paid out as an hourly wage at $10/hour.
  3. The $1200/$600 is used exclusively to pay students for work on original research. However, students can also apply for up to $150 for supplies. We don’t pay for travel but we do pay for registration fees for conferences such as NCUR.
  4. The assistant director and administrative assistant of our Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) take care of these things. The assistant director and I make the final decisions on which applications are funded and the administrative assistant in conjunction with the assistant director enters the students into the payroll system.
  5. UROP has a base budget of $115,000. I beg additional money during the year from the vice presidents for research and health sciences. We also have named assistantships that come from private donor individuals and organizations.
University of South Alabama
  1. Yes, through a competitive application process for summer funding, maximum for supplies and salary $2500
  2. Through various sources our budget was ~$97,000 last year which included not only salary and supplies, but funds to run the program
  3. We limit supplies to $500, we only award travel funds after the completion of projects - fall and spring term ~$150 per student
  4. We have a committee with a program director - the full committee reviews all applications and considers additional large expenditures, the director oversees the budgeting and small expenditures.
  5. We use a combination of external (grants) funds, funding from each college (allocated by number of student participants) and our academic affairs (a match to external funds).
University of Maine
  1. Not really -- there are some funds available to our Honors College thesis students.  There is also some money to be had through the University's "Work Merit" program.  Of course, some researchers will have money to support undergraduate research.
  2. For our Honors students, we have $200/student available through University funds -- supported mostly by us, but in part by the Vice President for Research.  This could come to as much as $20K/year, but usually is only half that (many students don't use their funds).  We also have some gift money dedicated to this area -- about $5,000/year which we have available in grants of up to $500/thesis student.  Note all of this is only available to Honors students.  Work merit awards -- designed for students working in "academically rewarding" ways are up to $1000/year. Many of these do support undergraduate research, but many of them also go to students actually doing work (for instance, in the Honors College we use it to support some student facilitators and some student editors).
  3. The Honors money can be used for travel, supplies, printing (surveys), mailing, rewards for survey participation, small equipment purchasing, etc.  Pretty much anything that supports the student's research endeavor. Not for salary.  The Work Merit money is precisely money paid to students for "work" done.
  4. We (Honors College) do the administration of the $200 grants and have a small committee that determines the $500 grants.  The Work Merit is administered through Student Employment.
  5. Our (very modest) money is from our budget and that of the VP for Research and from a very generous donor. The Work Merit money is federally supported, I think.  Of course, another avenue -- which I don't have data for – is money from external grants around the University. For instance, we have a pending NIH grant (we're part of a VERY LARGE grant) which will provide 6 $1000 grants for juniors, 7 $2500 grants for senior Honors College thesis students (and $1000 for each of their mentors) and 2 $8000 summer grants (including room and board) annually for 5 years.
CSU-Pueblo (College of Science and Math)
 
The college (not institution) provides $250/student per semester for research and can be used for supplies, travel, etc., as it's fairly unrestricted. The money cannot be used for student stipend or salary, however. The student is required to sign up for at least 1 credit hour of research (we have courses titled "Research") and funding is contingent on a summary report and satisfactory grade each semester.
 
There is no application form as student who complete the above are awarded. Funding is done via journal entry from the college to the departments at the end of the semester. This means that funding takes place after the student is done (and theoretically after the expenditures) but faculty have been pretty good about judging students and have not overspent. Each department is responsible then for the budgets. Faculty members who have research students also get to count the research credit toward their overall workload (at least in theory).
 
Funding comes mostly from the college's portion of Indirect Costs recovered from grants (central admin "black hole" gets 50%, College gets 25% and Dept gets 25%).
 
In addition to the semesters, the college has been fortunate enough to support a summer undergraduate research program for the past 4 years which provides a student stipend of $2000 for a 10-week project with a faculty member. Faculty members also are eligible for $1000 stipend if they are not supported any other way. Joint faculty-student applications are taken and awards are made based on the amount of money available and on the basis of merit as judged by a Scholarly Activities Board (a campus-wide committee but faculty who are applying can't participate in judging).
 
As our indirect funds are likely to be cut in the near future due to a major grant expiring, I'm not sure how well we'll be able to support either of these programs, but to date, they seem to be working pretty well (we were able to get a Merck/AAAS proposal funded for supporting undergraduates in interdisciplinary chemistry/biology research, partly using the data from these programs as a basis for improvement).
 
Northeastern Illinois University
 
Here at Northeastern Illinois University we have a number of small internal grants to fund faculty research, and those faculty often include students in their projects.  Another way we’ve gotten additional funds in Psychology is through our Foundation.  The NEIU Foundation allows departments to set up specific accounts.  We have one for Psychology Student Research.  We get tax-deductible contributions from faculty and from alumni, and all funds go to support student research in some way (either paying for supplies, or paying for students to go to conferences to present their research).
 
Central Washington University
 
Our Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) offers two fellowships for undergrads three times a year.  One is a research fellowship which covers supplies.  The other is a travel fellowship which covers travel expenses.  The max allowed is $500 for each.  You can find the specifics on our website: http://www.cwu.edu/~our - click on the links for travel and research grants on the left.
 
This is our only source of support, but some individual departments offer their own grants.
 
The OUR office administers the funding.  We have a committee of faculty and staff who meet after the applications are due to award the grants.