We are glad to hear of your interest in applying for a URECA grant!

Below are some questions to contemplate before applying for a URECA grant.   If your questions are not answered below, please contact the URECA Program Manager: Dr. Jamie Burriss (Jamie.Burriss@mtsu.edu).

I want to apply for a URECA grant.  What are my options?
There are four levels of funding: Assistant, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.  To determine which option is best suits your research idea, please reference the chart below.  Experience level, duration of project, and the number of hours required will be good indicators of which level best suits your project and desired timeline.

Type Assistant Silver Gold Platinum
Experience Level Beginner Experienced Experienced Experienced
Proof of Experience None required Prior completion of URECA project or mentor letter Prior completion of URECA project or mentor letter Prior completion of URECA project or mentor letter
Duration 1 or 2 semesters 1 or 2 semesters 2 semesters Full time summer
Typical # of Hours Required 60* 100* 240* 350*
Time Reporting Email to URC from mentor Email to URC from mentor Timesheets signed by mentor Timesheets signed by mentor
Class Credit Must justify that URECA hours are outside the scope of class credit
Length of Proposal 2 pages 3-5 pages 5 pages 5 pages
$$ of Student $500 (up to 2 payments) $1,000 (up to 2 payments) $2,400 (up to 4 pages) $3,500 (up to 4 payments during summer)
$$ for Faculty Mentor N/A N/A $500 $500
$$ for Supplies $300 max - justification required $300 max - justification required $500 max - justification required $500 max - justification required
$$ for Travel $400 domestic or $500 international -
justification required
Accountability

Project Summary (Brief report or questionnaire)
Presentation at Fall Open House or Scholars Week
Availability to help the Undergraduate Research Center with events
Attend Spring Celebration Luncheon

Project deadline

Project can remain open for a maximum of 3 semesters. Your current URECA
project must be completed prior to beginning a new project.

 

When are URECA proposals due?  There are three deadlines:

Thurday, September 5th for projects starting in fall

Thursday, January 30 for projects starting in spring

Thursday, April 9th for projects starting in summer

All proposals are due by 3:00 PM of the deadline date. Completed applications must be submitted electronically as PDF documents to the URECA submissions website.

What is the difference between the Assistant and the Scholar application?
There are a couple of differences between an assistant and scholar application. 

First, an assistant level URECA is intended for students who are new to research.  Students who have already completed an Assistant level project, or who have previous research experience, may advance on to a Scholar level project. 

Second, an Assistant application is limited to (2) pages in length.  A Scholar application ranges from 3-5 pages, depending on the level (Silver, Gold, or Platinum).

And finally, when filling out an Assistant application, $300 is the maximum request for budget items.  On a Scholar application, Gold and Platinum levels may request up to $500 in supplies.   

What is a reasonable budget request? 
As part of your URECA application, you can request up to $300 in budget items needed to complete your project.  Talk with your mentor about what supplies might be needed as they often know what you will need to complete your research, what vendor is the cheapest, and the quantity needed.  Be sure to include justification for your requested items in your budget.  You can view a sample budget request here.  

Do I need IRB approval before I start my project? 
If your project requires IRB or IACUC approval, the URECA Committee strongly recommends that you begin the approval process before you begin your proposal. Please visit MTSU's IRB website to find out if your project will require IRB approval. If your project involves animals, please visit the MTSU IACUC website to learn about filing your protocol.
 

Can I work with another undergraduate (or two) on a group research project?  
Yes, but you would still need to complete individual applications.  Within your application, be sure to specify how you will individually be contributing to the project, which should be different from other members in your group.  If submitting an application as part of a group, each student must include the Group Application Cover Sheet so the committee is aware your application is part of a group project. 

Can a student be on a summer teams and receive an individual URECA award? 
No. A student can only hold one (1) URECA grant at a time. If you are part of a summer team, you cannot also have an individual summer award.

Can I travel as part of a URECA Grant? 
Yes.  If travel is essential to your research, please fill out the travel request section of the application.  URECA can fund up to $400 for domestic travel and $500 for international travel. Travel must be justified by including details as to why it is necessary to complete your research. If you would like to request travel reimbursment for presenting at a conference, this is a seperate process.  Please contact the URECA coordinator with this request: Wendi.Watts@mtsu.edu. 

Why do I need a mentor? 
Working alongside a faculty mentor is one of greatest benefits of the URECA program.  Generally, undergraduate students are novices at doing research or creative work. Therefore, you need to learn the process of research from an experienced scholar. A member of the faculty (tenured or tenure-track) will be able to guide an undergraduate student through this learning experience.

How do I find a mentor? 
Check out our Selecting a Faculty Mentor resource page for recommendations and suggestions.  

Contact information for the Undergraduate Research Center:  
Dr. Jamie Burriss, Program Manager
Email:  Jamie.Burriss@mtsu.edu
Phone:  (615) 494-7669