Research and Innovation Grants

Please note: Research and Innovation Grants (RIG) are awarded ONLY at the time of enrollment with the University. You cannot apply for a RIG; if you do NOT have a RIG, please see the Discover Grant for Summer Research OR the College Supplemental Fund application to apply for research support during the academic year.

Research and Innovation Grants can be used for the following and more:

  • Attending academic conferences
  • Traveling to and from study abroad programs, paid or unpaid internships, or paid or unpaid research experiences
  • Program fees for summer experiences
  • Providing you with a stipend for an otherwise unpaid research position or internship
  • Supplying research equipment or tools, or technology related to research or internship experiences
  • Membership in academic societies
  • Graduate school interviews

Your funds cannot be used during the regular academic year to pay for anything that is covered by tuition/financial aid or is part of student life (e.g. housing or living expenses, books and other supplies needed for classes, travel to and from campus) or anything for which you receive academic credit. You can watch this short video to see how some UR students have used their RIG funds.

Accessing Funds: please read carefully before you fill out the Request for Disbursement (RFD; linked below).


  • You must submit the RFD (link below) in advance of receiving your funds; it can take up to 4 weeks from submission to payment, so please plan accordingly.
  • You may not use your RIG during your first semester as a UR student.
  • If you are a senior or fifth-year student, you must submit the RFD by April 15 to allow sufficient time for your request to be processed while you are still an undergraduate.
  • You are allowed to use your RIG during a fifth-year project such as e5 or Take 5.
  • It is not necessary that you spend all your funds in one place or at one time.


  1. Find a faculty member who is aware of your plans and is willing to approve your use of funds. All UR-affiliated faculty are eligible approvers.
  2. Fill out the online RFD. On the RFD, you will be asked to describe your proposed project, expenses, and/or travel plans.
  3. On submission, your approver will receive an email with a copy of your request and a link to an approval form. Unapproved requests will not be processed.
  4. Once approval is received, the Office of Undergraduate Research will submit a request for payment on your behalf that will be processed through the UR Payroll Office.

What else should I know?

  • You cannot apply for a RIG; the Research and Innovation Grant (RIG) is awarded ONLY at the time of enrollment with the University. If you do NOT have a RIG, please see the Schwartz Discover Grant for Summer Research OR the College Supplemental Fund application to apply for research support during the academic year.
  • All RIG disbursements, whether for work, supplies, travel, or other expenses are considered taxable income by federal, state, and local government. You do not need an I-9 in order to receive RIG funds.
  • Award recipients will be responsible for reading these linked instructions regarding tax responsibilities and direct deposit for the grant. International students: your award may be subject to withholding. Although you are likely eligible to apply for a tax refund in the spring through the IRS, please use the instructions provided to minimize any potential withholding.
  • You will receive your stipend as a one-time payment on either the 15th day of the month or the last day of the month, depending on submission date. If you submit the RFD before the 15th day of the month, your pay date will be the last day of the month. If you submit the RFD after the 15th day of the month, your pay date will be the 15th of the following month.
  • The RIG is not an hourly wage; rather, it is support for an otherwise unpaid position as a lab or research assistant, intern, community volunteer, etc. However, to help guide you as to an appropriate amount to request, you and your faculty mentor should decide:
    • How long you are going to fill the position
    • How much time you will devote to your work
    • The amount of your request
  • You can work on your project up to 20 hours weekly during the academic year and up to 40 hours weekly during the summer. During the summer, you may request your funds for housing, travel, program, and/or living expenses.
  • You must complete a new request each semester, even for the same position.
  • If international travel is part of your request for disbursement, you must register your travel with the Office for Global Engagement. If you are traveling as a member or organizer of a University student program, please contact the Center for Education Abroad prior to registering your trip.

Where can I find the form?

Is there someone I can talk to?

Do you have questions or ideas about your RIG that you want to discuss? Come in during our walk-in hours. Visit the Office of Undergraduate Research in Dewey 4-209B without an appointment to meet with the RIG administrator on:

  • Tuesdays & Thursdays 10-noon and Wednesdays 1–3 pm

To learn more about the Research & Innovation Grant program, please see the Office of Admissions’ Research and Innovation Grants information, or read more about RIG in Rochester Review