Undergraduate Research uses three main grant programs to facilitate student projects. Use this guide to determine the right grant program for a given situation.
The Departmental and Faculty Grants Programs are intended to support students who are embarking on their early-stage research or creative experiences. These students will be exposed to the techniques and ways of thinking in the relevant discipline, and will use the experience to build a toolkit enabling more independent work later in their undergraduate careers. The projects students join with the help of these grants are conceived and designed by faculty or other advanced research staff (sometimes including graduate students). Funding proposals are generally authored by faculty.
In contrast, the Student Grants Program is specifically intended for students who are beginning to assume some "intellectual ownership" of their projects. The grants require students to author their own project proposals (with thoughtful feedback from an array of mentors), and as a result the best candidates are students who have:
- started exploring and critiquing peer-reviewed work in the field
- helped refine and justifiy some of the project's central goals
- helped design or select the theoretical, empirical, analytical, and/or creative methods to be employed
To summarize, a student undertaking their first research experience is best supported with a Departmental or Faculty Grant, while a student working on an honors thesis should apply for a Student Grant instead.
As described above, the Departmental and Faculty Grants Programs support similar kinds of students and projects. Departmental Grants are for clusters of mentors within a department, interdisciplinary program, or research center who aim to help create a cohort of students within a discipline, each working on a project with their own mentor.
In contrast, the Faculty Grant program supports mentors who do not have access to a Departmental Grant. Our goal is that these individual mentors will subsequently recruit colleagues to the undergraduate research fold, and that the program will "graduate" to a Departmental Grant once faculty interest reaches a critical mass.