UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Conducting Research USE Grant

 

Funding Sources

Undergraduate Stipends and Expenses (USE) Grant

The Undergraduate Stipends & Expenses Grant is intended to assist in covering undergraduate expenses necessary to conduct research. Funds are available to purchase undergraduate research supplies including, but not limited to, small equipment, books, software, disposable lab supplies, instructional materials, and printing; to provide Financial Aid awards for undergraduates to compensate for time allocated to their projects; and to support undergraduate travel to conduct their research. Note that dissemination events (conference presentations, etc.) are funded through Falcon Travel Grants. The USE Grant is solely for monies to conduct research. 

Applications for these fall, J-term, spring, and summer competitive research grants are welcome from undergraduates in all colleges and disciplines. Grant applications can be for individual projects or collaborative projects, and in all cases should be student-authored, with supervision and guidance throughout the pre- and post-award process from the faculty mentor(s) who will be directing the research. In the understanding that good faculty mentorship requires regular meetings and ongoing leadership throughout all phases of a research project, from initial conception to dissemination, faculty mentors receive a companion mentorship award payable on the student researcher’s completion of the project.

Funding

Undergraduate researchers conducting an individual project are eligible to apply for a combined total maximum of up to $2,000 in S&E (supplies and expenses) and/or financial aid funding to support your research project. Your total request for funding in your grant proposal cannot exceed $2,000. An itemized budget and a timeline are required elements of the USE Grant application. To receive strongest consideration, your itemized budget should be specific, detailed, and justify all S&E costs; your timeline should also be detailed, and justify the time you intend to spend on this project. How do you determine whether to request S&E or financial aid, and in what amounts? Your mentor will provide you with guidance as to what will be most appropriate for your project.

  • Research Supplies and Expenses

    • For projects requesting S&E support: supplies and expenses are payable either to the mentor's department for the purchase of URSCA supplies or to cover departmental outlays for URSCA expenses, or in rare cases directly to the undergraduate responsible for purchasing. Where possible, mentor departments should complete all purchasing. In all cases, payments are receipt-based and require timely submission of receipts and necessary documentation via the state-mandated e-reimbursement system.

    • Funds may be used to purchase undergraduate research supplies including, but not limited to, small equipment, books, software, disposable lab supplies, instructional materials, printing, and travel to conduct research. Students may also request funding for a presentation poster.

  • Financial Aid Award

    • Individual researchers may request research support for their time while conducting the research project in the form of a financial aid award. If financial aid is being requested, the request must be in increments of $500 per the requirements of the Financial Aid Office. Students who are conducting their USE Grant project for course credit are not eligible to receive a financial aid payment for their time on the project (the course credit is their reward for participation).

  • Awards in the Individual USE Grant category are capped at $2,000.

Researchers in a collaborative team project are eligible to apply for a combined total maximum of up to $3,500 in S&E (supplies and expenses) and/or financial aid funding to support your research project. Your total request for funding in your USE grant proposal cannot exceed $3,500. To receive strongest consideration, your itemized budget should be specific, detailed, and justify all S&E costs; your timeline should also be detailed, and justify the time you and your teammates intend to spend on this project. How do you determine whether to request S&E or financial aid, and in what amounts? Your mentor will provide you with guidance as to what will be most appropriate for your project. There are no limits on the number of undergraduates that can participate on a collaborative research project; however, awards in the collaborative undergraduate research category are capped at $3,500.   

  • Research Supplies and Expenses

    • For projects requesting S&E support: supplies and expenses are payable either to the mentor's department for the purchase of URSCA supplies or to cover departmental outlays for URSCA expenses, or in rare cases directly to the undergraduate responsible for purchasing. Where possible, mentor departments should complete all purchasing. In all cases, payments are receipt-based and require timely submission of receipts and necessary documentation via the state-mandated e-reimbursement system.

    • Funds may be used to purchase undergraduate research supplies including, but not limited to, small equipment, books, software, disposable lab supplies, instructional materials, printing, and travel to conduct research. Students may also request funding for a presentation poster.

  • Financial Aid Award

    • Researchers in a collaborative team project may also request research support for their time while conducting the research project in the form of financial aid awards. If financial aid is being requested, the request must be in increments of $500, per the requirements of the Financial Aid Office. Students who are conducting their USE Grant project for course credit are not eligible to receive a financial aid payment for their time on the project (the course credit is their reward for participation).

  • Awards in the Collaborative USE Grant category are capped at $3,500.

Faculty/staff mentors who direct successful individual or collaborative USE Grants receive funds for their own research or professional development. Mentor awards will be paid on a 1-3 ratio based on the undergraduate proposal award.

Students cannot simultaneously receive funding through multiple programs or credit for the same budget items and/or the same phase of a previously-funded or for-credit research project (i.e. No “double-dipping” or “double-counting”). Students may apply for a USE Grant if they are requesting funding for a new phase of a previously funded project, or if they wish to expand and further develop a previously funded project, or a project for which they have previously received course credit. In such a case, the student’s research question, methodology, timeline, and budget should reflect the way(s) in which this project is new or different from what they did before. Students applying for funding through the Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity Office are required to disclose funding (and applications) from all other sources, including McNair, NSF, etc.

Addtional Information

  • Application to the USE Grant does not guarantee funding.
  • Undergraduates may apply for up to three USE Grants per year. If funding is limited, priority will be to undergraduates who have not already been awarded a USE Grant this fiscal year.
  • Undergraduates receiving a USE Grant must be degree-seeking UWRF undergraduates.
  • Acceptance of a USE Grant award is an agreement on the part of all undergraduate recipients to present findings on-campus at the UWRF Fall Gala within one year of the award. Graduating seniors may present at the UW System Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity as an alternative.
  • Brief online project updates are required at the end of each term from undergraduate award recipients and their mentors.
  • All purchasing must adhere to university policy, with equipment and non-disposable materials becoming property of the mentor’s department on completion of the project.
  • Per campus guidelines for differential tuition funds, grant monies cannot be used to purchase food, beverages, or incentives for human research subjects or participants.
  • Projects and all requests for payment must be completed within one year of the award, or prior to graduation, whichever comes first.

If you are a student research or mentor who plan on using animals or humans as test subject, your research will need to file an IACUC (animal) or IRB (human), please check with the Office of Grants and Research. Guidelines on these processes can be found on their website, or follow the links below. 

IACUC: https://www-auth.uwrf.edu/GrantsAndResearch/IACUC.cfm

IRB:  https://www-auth.uwrf.edu/GrantsAndResearch/IRB.cfm

  • Applications are submitted
  • Applications are reviewed by URSCA Council using a blind review process
  • Reward letters are sent out via email after six weeks of application deadline
  • Sudents must accept or decline grant
  • If accepted, students and mentors may begin their research
  • Students and mentors conclude their research
  • Students present their project at an URSCA event of their choice

COVID-19 Reference Guide 

For the full guide, click here

  • Research laboratory environments will be individually evaluated by Facilities Management to apply the physical distancing principles.
  • Goal is to maintain 6’ distancing between individuals.
  • Goal is to maintain contact between individuals to less than 15 minutes per session.
  • The sharing of a work surface should be discouraged, allowing the exhaled air from one individual to not be more easily inhaled by another.
  • Individuals should maintain distancing side by side and avoid being across from each other.
  • A “one person up at a time” practice should be put in place, whenever individuals need to obtain supplies from a central point. 
  • Mouth contact instruments or other saliva involved equipment should only be used when assigned to a specific person, i.e. a pipette, etc. and proper hygiene to clean the device is employed.

Examples include: Library, University Center, department study lounges

  • Facilities Management will evaluate and arrange furniture in student study areas.
  • Non-overlapping 6’ distancing (12’ separation) should be maintained between nonhousehold unit (roommates) in common areas.
  • Those that share a household (i.e. roommates) should maintain 12’ separation from others whenever possible.
  • Common area surfaces should be wiped down by individuals prior to and after utilizing.
  • Refrigerators, coffee pots, microwaves, etc. should be removed from all lounges.
  • Where possible, implement QR codes for the Centralized Attendance Tracking System (CATS).

Information

Terms and Conditions

Proposal Information

2020-21 Round 1 Application:

Sept 13, 2020 - Oct 18, 2020

Apply Here

Reimbursement Forms

URSCA Forms