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Office of Undergraduate Research

Discover Primer Proposal Submission

FACULTY:  Proposals for funding are accepted according to the schedule below, except in extraordinary circumstances that require faster action.

Term of Use

Application Deadline

Anticipated Notification Date


April 15

May 5


August 17

September 6

Winter Break

December 10

December 17


December 10

January 10

Please note: This grant money cannot be used to pay a student for work for which they are receiving academic credit; in general, requests for student pay during the academic year will be denied. Grant money may be used as a stipend for UR matriculated, degree-seeking undergraduate students ONLY; all other requests for pay will be denied.

The program is funded currently at a level of $150,000 annually. Awards will vary in size. Generally, the bias in the program will be 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.

All student pay will be calculated in accordance with the policies of UR Student Employment.

The Office of Undergraduate Research administers the program. Proposals are reviewed by a group of faculty with expertise in disciplines scattered representatively throughout the College. This group makes recommendations to the Director of Undergraduate Research and the Dean of the College, who make final funding decisions.

Please consider the following questions and criteria when drafting a Discover 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 not 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 UR (directly or indirectly), i.e., does it support opportunities for student(s) now, does it enhance future possibilities, does it create an opportunity where there has not been UGR historically?
  • Degree to which cost is realistic and maximizes the program’s impact in terms of creating more and better opportunities for undergraduate research, i.e., lower cost allows us to fund more projects, though a high cost project that creates many opportunities will be judged favorably.  The committee will attempt to maximize opportunities per dollar.
  • Degree to which the funding is essential to make the experience happen
  • Originality/quality/importance of proposed work
  • Likelihood of proposed work to be practical/successful in terms of being a good experience for a student i.e., mentorship plan, research plan, safety
  • Extent of buy-in on the part of the mentor/department/student
  • Timing of the request and funds available at the time

N.B. Only current, matriculated UR undergraduates are eligible for pay from the Discover Grant fund. Expect a strong bias against funding proposals that request money to pay a student for research during the academic year when the opportunity to do the work for credit is 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 of proposing authors and students involved (if different)
  • Informal copy of transcript for each student involved in work (if known at time of proposal)

Please submit all materials to the Office of Undergraduate Research: