Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate Research Council

The purpose of the Undergraduate Research Council (URC) is to encourage research and creative activity by UNK students. Several support mechanisms have been developed  with this purpose in mind, and the student programs are described in the next section.  The URC is particularly interested in encouraging and supporting student-faculty collaboration in the research enterprise.

All proposals must adhere to the URC guidelines described in this document.  Proposals not meeting the detailed guidelines, including the budget limitations, will not be given consideration by the Undergraduate Research Council. It is absolutely necessary that proposals be submitted by the published deadline. Students and mentors are encouraged to discuss the proposal with the Director of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity before submission.

Student grant recipients are expected to participate in UNK Student Research Day (SRD), held in the spring. SRD highlights student research and provides an opportunity for students to enhance their presentation skills and prepare for professional meetings. It is also an opportunity for the academic community to recognize student researchers and their Faculty Mentors.


The URC’s student programs are intended to support student-originated and student-conducted research and creative activity. Faculty serve as mentors on these projects and are responsible for the financial components. Students must be enrolled at UNK during the grant award period. The URC is interested in promoting activities that encourage student-faculty collaboration, involve several students working on a single problem, or are interdisciplinary in nature.

Undergraduate Student Research

Awards are competitively selected. A request for up to $400 may be made for operating expenses, supplies and travel. Partial support is expected from the department and/or student participant(s). Students may also receive partial support to present their results at national or regional meetings through the Student Conference Presentation Program.

Summer Student Research Program (SSRP)

The SSRP is a program to develop scholarly skills and knowledge among undergraduate students.  Participating students work one-on-one with full-time faculty to develop and implement original research and creative projects during the summer, and they gain broad understanding of scholarship across the disciplines through group activities.  These activities include a research methods seminar, weekly meetings, field trips, a fall symposium to present papers, and presentations at national academic conferences.  To be eligible, applicants must be enrolled full time in the Spring and Fall of 2015, not graduate before December 2015, and be eligible to work in the United States.

Information Sessions:  October 7, Sisler Room MSAB, 2:30 – 3:15 p.m.
Application Deadline:      January 30, 2015 Submission details can be found in "Student Proposal Guidelines".  

Student Conference Presentation

Funds are provided to assist undergraduate student presentations of research and creative projects at scholarly meetings. Partial funding will be provided up to a maximum of $300, with the remainder expected of the student or department. Documentation must be provided that the project has been accepted for presentation and the student is presenting. Students supported through this program are also expected to participate in the UNK Student Research Day held during the spring semester. Support for multi-authored presentations may be reduced accordingly or limited to the first author.

The application for travel funds must include:

1.    The abstract or paper submitted for consideration as a presentation.
2.    The acceptance letter for the presentation.
3.    A description of the student’s role in the presentation (paper presentation or poster).

Please submit cover page form to the Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity – Conrad Hall 115 – at least one month prior to the conference.  

Students may also apply for Travel support through SET fee funds administered by the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (FNDH 1000).  Contact the SVCAA’s office for details.


The UNK Student Research Day is designed to give students the opportunity to present the results of collaborative research and creative activity conducted with faculty members.  Student research accomplishments and the important role faculty play as mentors will be highlighted. Results from research and creative activity from all disciplines in the UNK academic community are encouraged, and participation may be in poster or oral presentation format.

Any undergraduate UNK student engaged in collaborative or independent research is eligible to participate. Students need not have received funding from a grant program to participate in the UNK Student Research Day. Student awards and the Faculty Mentor awards are announced at the SRD Reception.

Application forms are available from the Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity and on our website, unk.edu/ugr. UNK Student Research Day will be April 15, 2015. Application for participation must be submitted by February 27, 2015.


General Instructions

In preparing a proposal, applicants should realize that the URC is multidisciplinary and that reviewers may not have expertise in the applicant’s field. Please avoid jargon whenever possible, and explain clearly any technical terms and procedures that are critical to the proposal.

All information requested must be provided in the format specified. For this reason ALL STUDENTS MUST MEET WITH THEIR FACULTY MENTOR TO THOROUGHLY REVIEW AND DISCUSS THE PROPOSAL.  Applicants are also strongly encouraged to contact the Director of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity to review the proposal before submission. Please call 865-8497 to schedule a time. This should be scheduled before the program deadline in order to provide adequate time for any necessary revisions to the proposal.  

Proposals not adhering to the published URC guidelines will not be considered for funding.

Student Proposals

The URC funds research and creative activity proposals from undergraduate students. Individual students may receive no more than one research award and one travel grant per fiscal year. Requests for materials, supplies and other expenses related to the conduct of the proposed activity will be considered.

Proposals must include the URC Cover Page, Abstract, Budget Section page, and Project Description. Accompanying the proposal should be the required Faculty Mentor Statement, which should include:

1.    Statement indicating how student project relates to on-going work of mentor or whether the student initiated the project.
2.    Analysis of viability of project objectives and methodology.
3.    Verification of budget – needs and costs.
4.    Description of mentor support being provided.
5.    Description of student’s background and preparation for project.

The Project Description section of the proposal should not exceed five double-spaced pages (please number) and must include:

1.    Statement of purpose and objectives (student should include a brief personal statement describing how he/she became interested in the project).
2.    Methodology and work plan.
3.    Description of the activities and expected results/product.
4.    Timetable for completion of the project.
5.    Itemized budget and justification of funds requested (use budget page and attach narrative justification/explanation of budget request).

Students may also request, through separate application, partial support for travel to professional meetings for the purpose of presenting the results of research or creative activity. A maximum of $300 will be provided. See “Student Conference Presentation” for program description and details.

Submission of Proposals

While this packet includes the URC proposal form, you may use the electronic forms available on the URCA website. This form includes the cover sheet, mentor statement, budget, and budget narrative. In a separate document the student should prepare the 150-word abstract and the full project description according to the guidelines above.
Upon completion of the proposal, the student should ask their mentor to insert a Mentor Statement (with signature) and then get signatures from their department chair and dean. The proposal should then be delivered to the URCA Office (115 Conrad Hall), by 4pm on the deadline date.


       o    Cover Page
       o    Abstract
       o    Faculty Mentor Statement
       o    Project Description
       o    Budget Section
       o    Signatures