Undergraduate Research Experience and Creative Activity (URECA)
- Review Criteria
- Reporting Requirements
For a comparison of all award types, click here.
These awards will be available to students who may be collaborating with one or more
faculty members, but who will have more ownership of or take the lead role in their
project (from design to implementation to report writing/presentation). The Scholar
award is for students who have successfully completed an URECA Assistantship or other
similar research or creative experience as documented by a letter from their faculty
mentor. The amount of the stipend should be determined in consultation with the faculty
mentor(s) based on the number of hours the scholar will contribute to the project.
During the academic year, the stipend award amount may not exceed $1000 per semester
(100 hrs @$10/hr) or $2,400 for 2 semesters (240 hr @ $10/hr.). Summer project stipends
can be requested for up to $3500 (350 hr). An additional award of up to $400 ($500
for international travel) may be used to cover costs associated with travel integral
to the conduct of the project. Costs of materials, supplies, library/studio charges,
or technical documents connected with the discipline may be supported up to $300 .
The size of this award will depend critically upon the justification of need.
Projects can remain open for a maximum of 3 semesters. Stipends not claimed past that
time period will not be paid. Projects completed during that time period will earn
$500 extra compensation for the mentor.
- A student must have a well-focused project to work on, with a reasonable likelihood
of significant outcomes, and one or more faculty mentor(s) willing to collaborate
on that project.
- Faculty mentors must have been consulted prior to submission of the proposal because
they are expected to collaborate with the student to the degree necessary for the
successful completion of the project. Faculty mentors must have a shared interest
and a high degree of expertise in the subject area of the project, because they will
be mentoring the student throughout the project.
- A final report must be submitted before final payment will be issued or before more
URECA funding is requested.
- If the student's project is directly related to the work of the faculty mentor(s),
two things may take place: a) the student may develop his or her own spin-off project
from a faculty project, to which URECA funding will be applied, or b) the student's
involvement with the faculty project should be at a level such that published/presented
works resulting from the collaboration would include the student as co- and preferably
first-author or lead role artist/producer. In either case, students are expected to
play a primary, not an assistant role.
- The faculty mentor(s) will be familiar with the expenses, including equipment, supplies,
publication costs, library, studio, or laboratory fees, copy costs, travel or other
expenses that are allowed in the program and should be consulted in the preparation
of the budget portion of the application. Supplies are limited to $300 at the Silver
Scholar level and $500 at the higher levels of funding.
The proposal is the heart of the application packet and due thought and reflection
should be devoted to its preparation. It must clearly state the intended goal of the
project and must contain sufficient background and documentation to permit a rigorous
assessment of the potential for success.
Also please note:
Students applying for Scholar funding who have not completed an URECA assistantship,
but who have other similar experiences that will prepare the student to engage in
a research or creative problem at the Scholar level, must provide evidence/documentation/verification
of that experience.
- Be aware that the reviewers of the proposal will be drawn from a broad cross section
- Proposals should not exceed five typed, (12 pt. font) double-spaced pages, excluding
figures, tables, and references.
- Proposals must be written by the student.
Although parts of the Application form are to be completed by the faculty member(s),
the student must write the statement of the proposed project. When two or more students
will assist on the same project, each student should prepare separate applications
and write his or her own statement of the proposed project. The specific elements of the proposal will depend on the discipline, but proposals
might include the following elements:
Introduction: The Introduction should begin with a brief description of the project in layperson's
terms before the more technical aspects of the project are discussed. Provide a statement
of the objective(s) of the proposed work, and the anticipated significance of the
Background: As appropriate for the discipline, either provide a brief review of the work that
has already been done in the project area (together with complete references in the
appropriate professional style) or provide a description of the context within which
the project fits. This section should also include any personal information about
the student, which would indicate to the reviewers the student's qualifications to
successfully complete the project. A resume or curriculum vitae (as appropriate for
the discipline) may be attached to the proposal to supplement this section.
- What problem(s) will be investigated?
- What hypothesis/hypotheses will be tested?
- What will the artistic endeavor explore?
- What is the overall concept/treatment and significance of the project?
Purpose: Tell what the project will entail and describe the expected outcome.
Methods: Provide a detailed description of the research methods or creative process that will
be used in the project. This description should include a justification for the specific
approach that will be used.
Time Schedule: Provide dates for the initiation and completion of each phase of the project. Propose
a detailed timeline taking into consideration all phases of the project and the writing
of the final report.
Collaboration with Faculty Mentor(s): Provide a description of the way the student and faculty mentor(s) will collaborate
on the project. The faculty mentor(s) should play a significant role in responding
to ideas, providing advice for new directions and resources, discussing the implications
of the results, and reading drafts of the final report. Will there be regularly scheduled
meetings between student and faculty mentor(s)? Explain how the project relates to
the on-going work of the faculty mentor(s), if this is the case.
Each application packet should include: (Please Type all sections-Fronts only!)
- application checklist (page 1 of application forms)
- student application (page 2 of application forms)
- faculty mentor section (page 3 of application forms) plus
faculty mentor recommendation letter
- project budget with budget justification (page 4 of application)
- project proposal (5 pages maximum, excluding figures, tables, and references)
- timeline (1 page maximum)
- academic transcript (unofficial OK. You may print from Pipeline)
- travel authorizations if applicable
Incomplete applications will be returned unread. Use the application checklist to
make sure that your application is complete. The original application with all signatures must be submitted electronically to Julie.Gannon@mtsu.edu by 4:00 pm on the deadline date.
Application packets must be complete to be considered. Incomplete packets will be
returned for possible resubmission in the next request for applications. The applications
will be evaluated and ranked on the basis of how well the instructions are adhered
to and the degree to which the application meets the outlined criteria. These criteria
include the following:
- Thoroughness of application and adherence to guidelines in the request for applications.
- Clarity of the project proposal.
- Quality of the project.
- The strength of the faculty mentor endorsement.
- Assessment of student transcript.
- Potential for successful completion of the project.
The award is made with the expectation that broad dissemination of the outcome is
a high likelihood and that the student will play a significant part in the preparation
of the product to be presented. It is anticipated that the project will result in
a presentation, publication, exhibit, or performance in a forum with greater-than-regional
audiences. Should a student's work result in a publication, conference presentation,
exhibit, recital, etc., support from the URECA program should be acknowledged, and
the VPR's office should be notified. URECA scholars will submit a final report describing their project. If publication
of a report is standard practice for a scholar's discipline, then a report conforming
to the appropriate style manual will be expected. This report should be suitable for
submission for publication in whatever outlets are standard for the discipline. For
disciplines in which publication is not a traditional requirement, the scholar should
submit a reflective summary of the goals of the project and of the extent to which
the project has met those goals as well as the completed project, a project portfolio,
or other documentation as is appropriate for the discipline. In all cases, the final
report will be from five to ten typed (12 pt. font) double-spaced pages. At some point(s)
during the project the student will also be expected to share his/her work with a
campus audience. The report should be submitted within one semester of the completion
of the project. Final award checks will be disbursed when the completed report is
submitted. Funding for any new projects will not commence until after a final report
for a previously funded project has been received in the URC office.