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 funding. The 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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:
Limited funds may be available for faculty members accompanying student presenters. Please contact ourci AT_TOWSON 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.
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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 ourci AT_TOWSON.
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 ourci AT_TOWSON 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.