Guidelines for Undergraduate Research Applications
Undergraduate Research Grant applications provide faculty of University of Mary Washington with an opportunity to guide degree-seeking, undergraduate students in the skills of conducting a specialized research project or experience and should be treated in that pre-professional learning context. Students are expected to participate significantly in writing the application and the project report.
While grant projects are usually completed within one semester, it is possible to make a request in the Fall semester application period for a project that will be completed by the end of the Spring semester. An interim progress report is required for all approved two-semester projects and is due by the deadline for final reports for fall semester projects (see below under “Required Report”).
Required Application Materials:
Applications must address all points stated on the undergraduate research grant application. Grant applications lacking the necessary signatures on the cover sheet will not be considered.
The application MUST include a description of the proposed activity. This description must outline the goals of the project, present a brief case for the project’s significance, and explain the activity’s relevance to the applicant’s scholarly and professional development. This description should be written clearly and in non-technical, jargon-free language appropriate for a general audience. The application must also indicate the frequency and nature of the interaction during the project between the student and the sponsoring faculty member.
As part of the application, the proposal must include a budget on which all requested funds are listed with costs provided.
NOTE: If you are planning to request funds to travel out of the country, you will be required to enroll in Medical Insurance with Center for International Education (CIE), for the time you are abroad. ALL students who travel internationally for their research will work with UMW’s CIE and follow the steps for Research Abroad. Please contact CIE at firstname.lastname@example.org or (540) 654-1434 for assistance.
Finally, the faculty sponsor must provide a short “rationale statement” explaining why the student and the proposed project merit consideration for funding.
Role of the Student:
- Complete Grant Proposal Cover Sheet
- Participate significantly in writing the application and the project report
- Explain activities relevance to scholarly development
- Indicate the frequency and nature of the interaction during the project between the student and the sponsoring faculty member
- A project report is due in the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office by the first day of classes in the semester following the grant period
- Interim progress report is required for all approved two-semester projects and is due by the deadline for final reports for fall semester projects
Role of the Faculty Sponsor:
- Work with the student on the supported research project
- Serve as the student’s main point of contact regarding the procedures required for spending the awarded grant funds.
- For research supplies – help the student understand required purchasing procedures or may instruct the student on who to see in the department (e.g. the department office manager) for assistance.
- For travel –will create a travel pre-approval (request for travel) and/or an expense report (reimbursement) in Chrome River for their student(s). However, if the faculty member may delegate out to a designee, that faculty member will need to approve the request before it will route to the next approver in line. If you cannot find the student in Chrome River, the student will need to complete a COVW-9 (NOT the Vendor Registration Form) and submit the completed form to Accounts Payable (the State will not accept electronic signatures, it must be hand-written).
- Provide a short “rationale statement” explaining why the student and the proposed project merit consideration for funding.
A brief end-of-semester project report is due in the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office by the first day of classes in the semester following the grant period. The report should describe the project’s achieved objectives, summarize the budget expenditures made, and provide brief overall commentary about the outcome of the undergraduate research project. Dr. Elizabeth Lewis will email you a link to a form for this report near the end of your funding period.
General guidelines for decisions on grant proposals:
- Applicants for Undergraduate Research Grants must be enrolled as degree-seeking, undergraduate students at UMW during the period in which the grant project is to be initiated and conducted.
- All purchases of goods and services must follow Commonwealth and University regulations, such as using mandatory sources and observing bidding requirements. Direct questions before purchasing any items to Faculty sponsor and / or Department Office Manager. For more information, the Procurement Services web pages and contact information is available.
- All purchases of non-consumable items made with UMW grant funds (such as equipment, software, books, DVDs, and the like) are the property of the UMW because they have been purchased with Commonwealth of Virginia funds.
- Proposal requests for travel funds must either be for the student(s) presenting at a conference, actively engaging in a guided, experiential project, or conducting field and/or specialized library research that is integral to completion of a final, tangible research project the student is preparing. Undergraduate Research funds are not provided for students to attend meetings as attendees/listeners/observers or for students who wish to attend such meetings for “networking” purposes.
- The student(s) must be centrally involved in framing the problem, developing a research strategy, and conducting the project. Undergraduate Research Grants do not support a student’s passive involvement in a faculty member’s project.
- Undergraduate Research Grants may not be requested to cover the costs for a student to take credit-earning courses at UMW or at another college or university.