Frequently Asked Questions on Undergraduate Research Grants
1. Should I still apply for a grant if my research does not require a supplies budget?
Yes. We encourage students to do so since they will be getting valuable experience in proposal writing. Should the application be successful, you will also be awarded with opportunities to present on campus in our Spring Undergraduate Research Day as well as financial support to present in either one of the following off-campus student research conference: National Conference on Undergraduate Research OR UW System Symposium on Research and Creative Activity. You should indicate a budget of '0' on the itemized budget form and the desire to receive support to present in an Undergraduate Research Conference in the budget justification. You can indicate a conference preference but conference assignment is made by URP staff and their decision is final. Presentation at NCUR is also contingent upon acceptance of the submitted abstract by the review committee of the host institution.
2. What is a thesis-like capstone project?
A thesis-like capstone project is an in-depth and ambitious project typically conducted in the senior year of a student's college career. Students who are conducting such projects and need additional financial support (i.e., beyond the normal $500 Undergraduate Research Grant budget) are eligible to apply for up to an additional $500 for each grant. However, the student applicant must address in his/her proposal why the proposed project is equivalent to a thesis project in its scope and/or deliverables and thus, merits special consideration for extra funding. The mentor must also address this issue in his/her letter of support. Students can only request one such thesis-like supplement in the course of a student's college career. The thesis or thesis-like project must result in an outcome that is significantly greater than the outcomes expected from regular UR projects. Appropriate documentation(s) for such evidence should be sent to the URP office once the project is completed.
3. How do I know if my project requires prior approval from University committees that govern the use of human subjects and animals?
Any time your project involves human subjects, it most likely requires review and approval from the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects (IRB). You are strongly advised to check with the campus compliance office BEFORE you submit your proposal. Please refer to http://uwworsp.org/Compliance/Research-with-Human-Subjects.aspx for more information. The same is true for projects that involve the use of animals. They are subjected to review and approval by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Please see http://uwworsp.org/Compliance/Research-with-Animals.aspx for more information. Please note that even if your grant application is successful, you cannot access your award until appropriate IRB or IACUC review and approval has been secured. It is best not to assume such a review and approval process is not required.
4. If I am successful in securing an Undergraduate Research Grant, when can I start accessing my award?
If you receive a Fall award, it is accessible as soon as award announcements are made. It needs to be spent by April 15th of the following year. If you receive a Spring award, the fund is available as early as July 1, and it also needs to be spent by April 15th of the following year.
5. If I am using my award to support travel expenses associated with presenting my research, what rules govern the use of my award?
The University has very strict rules on how to pay for travel expenses; see http://www.uww.edu/adminaffairs/finance/travel.html for details. To ensure proper reimbursement, you are strongly advised to make an appointment with the Director to discuss your needs and the proper procedure to pay for/reimburse your expenses. Do not use your own personal fund (e.g., credit card) to pay for reimbursable expenses (e.g., travel, lodging, conference expenses) until you have checked with the Director. You may not be eligible for reimbursement if policies enacted by the State of Wisconsin are not followed.
6. Can I use my award to help defray the cost of publication or manuscript submission?
Yes. Up to $250 can be used to help defray publication or manuscript submission charge provided that:
1) The student awardee is a co-author on the publication/manuscript
2) There is documentation that the student awardee has made substantial contribution to the research documented in the publication/manuscript
7. Can I use part of my research grant to compensate human research subjects?
This practice is strongly discouraged due to strict regulations from Financial Services. Contact the director for further information on this subject.