UO unveils two new funding initiatives to support undergraduate research

Undergraduate researchers in the lab

The UO is launching two new funding opportunities for undergraduate students who are conducting faculty-mentored research, creative scholarship or work on an innovative project.

The Vice President for Research and Innovation Undergraduate Fellowship and the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program Mini-Grant Program will support undergraduate students from all majors with their scholarly activities. Both initiatives were created by the UO’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program in the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation.

The VPRI Undergraduate Fellowship awards students a $5,000 stipend to conduct research, creative scholarship or complete work on an innovative project full time during the summer. Program Manager Karl Reasoner said the summer provides an ideal time for students to fully immerse themselves in research without the commitments that take up significant time during the academic year.

“Summer undergraduate research experiences have an excellent track record as a high-impact learning practice,” said Brad Shelton, interim vice president for research and innovation. “By creating the VPRI Undergraduate Fellowship and having it open to students from all majors, we hope to extrapolate that success to other academic disciplines. The benefits of supporting these efforts are far-reaching for the student and the institution.”

The UROP Mini-grant program provides awards of up to $1,000 to support undergraduate student research, creative scholarship or work on an innovative project. The awards may be used by recipients to purchase materials, equipment, and supplies that are necessary to complete their project and assist with travel expenses related to their project.

“Often a good idea for a research project never comes to fruition because students lack the appropriate resources,” Reasoner said. “A UROP mini-grant can remove these obstacles and allow students to pursue their lines of inquiry and experience what it is like to be a scholar in their field.”

Students from every major at the UO can apply for a mini-grant as long as their project meets the definition of research, creative scholarship or innovation in their academic discipline. 

Applicants for both opportunities must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, a project proposal finalized and a faculty mentor secured prior to applying.

UROP mini-grant awards will be given out twice during the academic year, once each during fall term and winter term. Applications are available at http://urop.uoregon.edu/students/opportunities/current-uo-opportunities/urop-grants/.

VPRI Undergraduate Fellowship applications will be available in January 2016.