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Office of Undergraduate Research

Discover Grant Proposal Criteria for Evaluation

The 2017 application is now CLOSED. 

Current University of Rochester undergraduates can apply for funding to support summer research*:

  • On campus
  • At the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC)
  • With a research advisor at another institution
  • In private industry
  • As part of an independent project under the guidance of a faculty mentor

Only current, matriculated first-year students, sophomores, juniors, and non-graduating seniors can apply. Any research experience after graduation is ineligible for a Discover Grant.

In certain exceptional circumstances, Discover Grant money can be used to pay for things that help make the proposed research happen, such as equipment, necessary travel for research, survey prizes, etc.

Since these awards are meant to increase and enhance undergraduate research opportunities, preference is given to proposals that demonstrate clearly how the funding enables a research opportunity to happen where it would not otherwise occur.

*If you are applying for Discover Grant funding that will be used during the regular academic year, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Research at (585) 276-5306 or


You will not be able to save an incomplete application and return to it later, so please read the following guidelines carefully before you begin.

Creating a Strong Application

As with any important application, we encourage you to put reflection, time, and effort into your funding application. The following tips can help you prepare a strong application.

  • Use the application checklist worksheet (.doc /.pdf) to compile all the information you will need for the online application. You must complete the application in a single sitting; using the worksheet will reduce errors and help you keep track of information.
  • We encourage you to use the Writing and Speaking Center’s services to review your budget justification and career impact statements prior to the deadline. Be concise but complete with your statements.
  • Check the application scoring rubric to understand how applications are evaluated.

In addition, applications with the following have a higher likelihood of receiving funding:

  • Budget justification:
    • Clearly describes how each budget line was researched and estimated
    • Describes how you will maximize your budget for the summer
    • Explains how receiving Discover Grant funding is important to your ability to complete the research experience
  • Career impact statement:
    • Describes your motivation for undertaking the research experience
    • Makes strong connections between the research experience and your academic or career goals

Award amounts are based on budget submitted and typically range from $500 to $2,500.

Please note: If you are a Research and Innovation Grant (RIG) recipient, you will be expected to use your RIG before you may apply for funding from another source. For more information about how to request a disbursement from your RIG, see the RIG page.  

Application Process

The application process for summer research funding is as follows:

  • Search for and secure an internship/research opportunity (opportunity must be secured before applying for funding; your research supervisor will receive a request to confirm your research experience and provide words of support)
  • Apply online for funding (application period opens March 1)
  • Complete all the pages of the application
  • Submit completed application

Your application is not considered complete until you see an on-screen confirmation message stating, “Your submission was saved successfully.”


Application deadline is Monday, April 10, 2017. All applications will then be reviewed, and funding decisions will be returned to applicants during the week of April 24.