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Undergraduate Research Assistantships

Qualified undergraduate students wishing to be engaged in an intensive, faculty-mentored research experience are eligible for a competitive Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA).  URAs provide the student with a bi-weekly stipend intended to provide financial support for the student while they are conducting research.  Faculty mentors identify a student (or students) and the faculty mentor completes and submits the application.  There are three levels of Assistantships:

  • $1000 Assistantships (for fall, spring, or summer) have the expectation of 6-8 hours each week engaged in research or research-related activities (funds can be requested for the fall and spring semester; however, a second application must be submitted for spring funding along with a report of progress made during the fall).
  • $2000 Assistantships (for summer only) have the expectation of a 10-week research experience and the equivalent of 3-4 hours each day engaged in research or research-related activities (~20 hrs per week).
  • $4000 Assistantships (for summer only) have the expectation of a 10-week research experience and the equivalent of 6-8 hours each day engaged in research or research-related activities (~40 hrs per week).  Students accepting the $4000 summer URA should not be taking summer classes or be employed in another position (on or off campus). 


Before applying, please review the following requirements carefully.

  • Student must be an undergraduate and enrolled full or part time (for summer URAs, the student should be enrolled either for summer or following fall). 
  • It is our recommendation that students considered for the $4000 URA should not be working or taking classes during the summer because 40 hours of research are expected per week for the 10 week period.  Students should recognize this as a full time job. However, it is up to the faculty mentor to discuss with the student if additional work or classes will interfere with this position. 
  • Student must have at least a 2.8 overall GPA at the time of application.
  • A faculty mentor can apply for one $4000 URA per academic year, or multiple $1000/$2000 URAs for a total not to exceed $4000 per academic year.

Application Process:

The faculty mentor (not the student) must prepare and submit the application form (Word 2007 required to complete form) to Dr. Russell Pfau at Box T-0100 or Science room 203. Documents without original signatures will not be accepted.

  • URA Application form (if you wish to apply for a Faculty Mentor Stipend (summer only), submit the FMS form attached to the URA application)
  • For fall 2014 URA's, the application deadline is 5 PM, Friday, July 25th.  Applications received after the deadline will not be accepted.

Review Process:

Undergraduate Research Assistantships are competitive awards.  Applications will be reviewed by members of the OSRCA Advisory Committee, and decisions will be based on quality of the following five criteria:

  • Clarity and completeness of the project proposal narrative
  • Contribution in terms of benefit to the faculty member's research program (i.e. how will it increase the chance of producing a scholarly work).  It must be obvious that having a URA will increase the faculty member's productivity as a scholar in their discipline.
  • Role of the faculty mentor (details regarding the specific strategies the faculty mentor will employ to help the student be a successful researcher)
  • Role of the student researcher (specific tasks/duties that the student will be expected to perform along with the time commitment)
  • Overall completeness and attention to detail

Proposals ranking high on the criteria listed above will receive priority for funding.  Proposals not clearly addressing each of these criteria will not be funded.