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 funding opportunities--the Research Impact Awards and travel grants. 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  and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above 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.

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 online application is now open, and the completed application will be due on October 14, 2019. Questions concerning the Research Impact Award  may be directed to .


Application Available August 30
Application Deadline October 14
Colleges Review Applications and Select Semi-Finalists October 28
URCI Committee Selects and Notifies Finalists November 15
Finalist Interviews Late November
URCI Committee Selects and Notifies Recipients December 15

Please note: applicants from the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics must also submit the FCSM research grant application by September 20, 2019.

application form

To apply for a Research Impact Award, you must complete the online application form. Before completing the form, you should prepare the items listed below. 

  • 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.

faculty recommendation

Your faculty mentor must submit a confidential letter of support to  by the published deadline date. This date will be announced on T3 and on this page. 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. 

finalist presentations

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.


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 $300 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 (if there are co-authors, only one of them is the presenter of record), and must have a confirmation letter from the conference organizers verifying that the presentation was accepted.

travel grant funding

How much will I receive?

Unfortunately, URCI funds do not allow the university 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

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.
Apply by notification by
1st of the month 15th of the month

award conditions

  • 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

2019 Research Impact Award Recipients

The Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry Committee is pleased to announce the 2019/2020 Research Impact Awards.  Every college was represented in the highly-competitive applicant pool, and the following projects were selected because of the impact of the research on an significant disciplinary topic and the impact of the student's work on the university's scholarly community. 

college of business & economics

  • Kierstin Ekstrom '20 - Project Title: Conflict Migration and Shocks Decrease Government Trust in the DRC. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Seth Gitter (Department of Economics). Kierstin has a minor in History and she is also a member of the Honors College.
  • Kai Johnson '19- Project Title: Determinants of College Student Consumption. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Melissa Groves (Department of Economics). Kai is also a member of the Honors College.
  • Alexandra Rakus '19 - Project Title: Free NARCAN in Schools: Saving Students. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Seth Gitter (Department of Economics). Alexandra has a minor in Spanish and she is also a member of the Honors College.

College of Education

  • Julie Mangano '20 - Project Title: Preservice Teachers’ Beliefs Regarding Science Teaching. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Deepika Menon (Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences).

college of fine arts & communication

  • Madeline Gorman '19 - Project Title: ADDICT: Dance of Addiction. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Hyang-Sook Kim (Department of Mass Communication). Madeline is also a member of the Honors College.

College of Health Professions

  • Marisa Bennett '19 - Project Title: Impacts of Sleep Duration and Fatigue on Substantial Postpartum Weight Retention. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Adriane Burgess (Department of Nursing). Marisa is also a member of the Honors College.
  • Emily Fornatora '19 - Project Title: Impact of Applied Electives in Sport
    Management Education and Career. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jaime DeLuca (Department of Kinesiology).
  • Kevin Hamidi '19 - Project Title: Greater Forearm Blood Flow is Associated with Better Walking Economy and Gait Speed in Older Adults. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nicolas Knuth (Department of Kinesiology).
  • Abigail Poindexter '19 - Project Title: Lactation and Metabolism in Postpartum Women. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Adriane Burgess (Department of Nursing). Abigail is also a member of the Honors College.
  • Julia Tenbus '19 - Project Title: Using Video Modeling to Enhance Social
    Communication Skills in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kaitlyn Wilson (Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology). Julia is also a member of the Honors College.

college of liberal arts

  • Sarah Elsayed '19 - Project Title: The Interaction of Anxiety and Heart Rate Variability on Executive Function. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jared McGinley (Department of Psychology).
  • Sarah Rowan '19 - Project Title: Analyzing Collaborative, Culturally Inclusive Reproductive Healthcare & Education in Guatemala. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Alison McCartney (Department of Political Science). Sarah is also a member of the Honors College.
  • Teresa Tran '20 - Project Title: Influences of Parenting Styles on the Subjective Well-Being of Young Adults from Diverse Cultures. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Maria Fracasso (Department of Psychology).

fisher college of science & mathematics

  • Derek Margulies '20 - Project Title: Sports Analytics for Towson University Men’s Basketball Team. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Alexe Kolesnikovi (Department of Mathematics). Derek is also a member of the Honors College.
  • Danielle Reifer '19 - Project Title: Investigating the Relationship between Furin Cleavage and Cytotoxicity in a RecombinantImmunotoxin Based on Pseudomonas Exotoxin A. Faculty Mentor: Dr. John Weldon (Department of Biological Sciences). Danielle is also a member of the Honors College.