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Undergraduate Research Primer Proposal Submission – Faculty and Staff

This grant money cannot be used to pay a student for work for which they are receiving academic credit; further, requests for student pay during the academic year will be denied. Grant money can only be used as a stipend for matriculated, degree-seeking undergraduate students at the University of Rochester.

The program is funded currently at a level of $150,000 annually. Awards vary in size. Generally, the bias in the program is toward many smaller awards rather than a few large ones. There may be instances, however, where the scale of increased undergraduate research opportunities enabled by a single proposal is sufficient to warrant funding even though the requested funding is relatively large.

The Office of Undergraduate Research administers the program. Proposals are reviewed by a group of faculty with expertise in disciplines from across Arts, Sciences and Engineering. This group makes recommendations to the director of Undergraduate Research and the dean of the College, who make final funding decisions.

Grant Criteria

Please consider the following questions and criteria when drafting a grant proposal:

  • Does the proposed funding provide a new quality learning experience for one or more students?
    • It should be a strong project with mentorship and should go well beyond simply washing dishes or acting as a receptionist for a study.
    • It should make sense given the training and goals of the student(s).
  • Does the proposal enhance opportunities for quality undergraduate research at Rochester (directly or indirectly)?
    • Does it support opportunities for student(s) now?
    • Does it enhance future possibilities?
    • Does it create an undergraduate research opportunity where there has not been one historically?
  • Is the cost realistic and does it maximize the program’s impact in terms of creating more and better opportunities for undergraduate research?
  • Is the funding essential to make the experience happen?
  • What is the likelihood of the proposed work’s practicality/success in terms of it being a good experience for a student?
  • What is your mentorship plan or research plan?
  • How much buy-in do you have from the mentor/department/student?
  • When do you need the funds to be available?


Your Discover Grant proposal must include:

  • Names of personnel involved in the proposed research (including mentor, if proposing author is not faculty)
  • Contact information for proposing authors
  • Overview of the research proposal (one page or less)
  • Supporting links and documentation
  • Estimated cost/budget (along with justification/estimates/quotes)
  • In a page separate from the overview, provide brief answers to the questions below where applicable:
    • How does this proposal increase and enhance undergraduate research opportunities for undergraduates at the University of Rochester?
    • To what extent will this work go forth without this funding?
    • To what extent is this work financially supported by others (department/program, PI support, outside grant funding, student contribution)?
    • Describe potential safety issues that might arise with this work and the extent to which training and preventative measures will be taken to prevent accidents and/or injury.
    • How will the undergraduates working on this project be supervised/mentored?
  • CVs/résumés of proposing authors and students involved
  • Informal copy of transcript for each student involved in work (if known at time of proposal)


To apply, submit all proposal materials to the Office of Undergraduate Research at