Funding Opportunities

Funding is awarded in multiple ways on a competitive basis to undergraduate students engaged in research and creative activities under the mentorship of TU faculty members.

The Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry (URCI) Committee is guided by the definition of undergraduate research and creative inquiry given by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) to determine which projects are eligible for fundingThe CUR defines undergraduate research as “an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.” 

funding faq

What funding is available?

URCI offers two main funding opportunities--the Research Impact Awards and travel grants. In addition, a new Summer Research Grants for Undergraduate students program will be offered in Summer 2020. A description, timeline, and information about the application process for each award is provided below.

Who is eligible to apply for funding?

Undergraduate students at TU who are enrolled in a degree-seeking program full-time are eligible to apply for funding that supports undergraduate research and creative activities. 

What projects are eligible for funding?

All original scholarly and creative activity appropriate to any discipline at our university is eligible under this program. This includes but is not limited to, for example, research in natural and social sciences, humanities, artistic performances, and works of art.

  • The project must be mentored and supported by a full-time TU faculty member to be eligible for URCI funding.

 Summer Research Grants

These grants are designed to provide undergraduate students with an opportunity to propose and pursue advanced undergraduate research projects during 12 weeks of the summer months, with or without credit, within their majors/minors or on other topics. The awards program seeks to emphasize individual curiosity and initiative, intellectual ambition, and scholarly work conducted individually or in groups. Each project requires a Towson University faculty mentor.  Stipends of $5,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis to students whose applications demonstrate a sound conception of the proposed work and evidence of the interest and ability to complete the project successfully. Faculty mentors will receive a stipend of $500 for their work in advising a student and overseeing the project.

Please note: Our office will make every effort to ensure that the program runs successfully this summer. If there are any changes that will affect the program, we will let the TU community know. While this is not a formal requirement, it is a good idea to describe whether the project can be completed “from a distance”.


Any student may apply for the awards who is:

  • A currently enrolled undergraduate student who will continue working toward a bachelor’s degree at Towson University in the fall semester following completion of the summer project.
  • A student who completes and submits all portions of the application by the due date, which shall be April 24, and agrees to meet all responsibilities of the award.
  • If the student is working as part of a group, the individual student’s role, expected contributions, and benefits as compared to what faculty and other students on the project are doing must be clearly delineated. An additional paragraph describing each member of the group’s role, including faculty if a faculty-led project, must be submitted with the application.
  • The project may not be part of a regular class for the major or minor, though it could build from a project which originated in a regular course offering.


  • Application cover page 
  • A one-paragraph summary statement of the project on a separate page;
  • Narrative description of the project to be undertaken, indicating sources, data, materials, or strategies to be used; the student’s background or preparation for the project; the schedule of work planned, and the form of report on the work that will be provided at the end of the project. Limited to 1,000 words. This description should be written for the general audience (not experts in the field of your research);
  • A letter from a faculty mentor assessing the project and the student’s ability to complete it;
  • Evidence of IRB or IACUC approval or status, if applicable.

The summary statement and the narrative description are the most important parts of the application; please take time to compose them well with the guidance of your faculty mentor.


Please, note that the committee will consider only complete application that include ALL the material listed above. Consideration of complete applications will begin after Friday, April 24; applications received after May 1, 2020 will not be considered. The complete submission is a single PDF file of assembled materials sent to .


The students are expected to devote at least 300 hours to the project during the summer; there are some reporting requirements as well. For a full list of conditions, please see the Award Description document 

Travel Grants

An important aspect of the professional life of a scholar is the presentation of results in a professional arena.  In recognition of this, students can be awarded any amount up to $500 to attend a professional meeting or conference at which the student will present an oral seminar or a research poster. To be eligible to request a travel grant, the student must be the main presenter of the work. Group presentations will be supported, but possibly at a reduced rate. Each member of the group has to submit a separate application, and must have a confirmation letter from the conference organizers verifying that the presentation was accepted.

travel grant funding

How much will I receive?

URCI may not be able to fully support every student who is eligible. This means that your request to URCI may be only partially funded; and this is subject to the availability of funds.

When granting a travel award, there are three factors the committee considers:

  • Applicant’s financial aid need;
  • Distance to the conference or meeting; and
  • Cost of the conference or meeting registration

Limited funds may be available for faculty members accompanying student presenters. Please contact  for information. 

Please be sure to apply for a travel grant as soon as you have the confirmation that your presentation has been accepted and students are eligible to receive travel funding only once per academic year.

application process

  • Please fill out the online application form. You will need the following information: proof of presentation acceptance as a PDF file, amount of conference registration (student rate),  and the conference website.
  • You and your faculty mentor will be notified of the status of the award via TU email according to the schedule below.
1st of the month 15th of the month


  • Within a month of your return from your travel, you must submit (to ) two photos from your conference presentation experience. These photos will be used to promote undergraduate research and creative activity via social media.
  • You are also required to present a poster at the next Research & Creative Inquiry Forum

Research Impact Award

These $1000 awards are highly competitive. Applicants must meet all of the funding eligibility criteria outlined above and the application deadline. The annual application process opens at the beginning of each fall semster. Questions concerning the Research Impact Award  may be directed to .


  • A plain-language abstract of no more than 200 words that describes the project for those unfamiliar with your research or discipline;
  • A project impact statement concisely stating how your project benefits the academic or creative field, or serves the broader community;
  • A concise list of specific goals and brief timeline;
  • A description of your methods to achieve the stated goals and milestones, and;
  • A statement explaining how your research connects to your future personal/professional goals;
  • A copy of your resume/CV. 

For items 2 through 5, write no more than 400 words. These are the most important parts of the application; please take time to compose them well with the guidance of your faculty mentor.


Your faculty mentor must submit a confidential letter of support to  by the published deadline date. You should ensure that your faculty mentor will submit a supporting letter on your behalf. Faculty mentors should note the information about faculty responsibilities if the application is successful. 


A small group of the finalists will be notified by the URCI Committee in late fall. Each finalist will be asked to conduct a short in-person presentation before committee members; the expected timing is late November.




2018-2019 Research Awards