Undergraduate Research Program
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The UW-Whitewater School of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education, in partnership with the Undergraduate Research Program; awards up to four Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships in Community Based Research (SURF-CBR) of $3,500 each to support community-based research in the state of Wisconsin.  In addition, up to $500 funding for supplies, services and travel expenses may be available.  Mentors of selected research fellows will receive a summer stipend of $2,500.  Stipend amounts are taxed. 

The SURF-CBR grants provide opportunities for students to develop research projects that apply their academic skills, experiences, and ideas to real world problems.  All academic fields are eligible.  These grants are designed to give students the time and resources needed for meaningful reflection and in-depth inquiry into a problem or issue in collaboration with a faculty mentor and community organization that addresses a documented public need. Community-based research is defined as "a partnership of students, faculty, and community members who collaboratively engage in research with the purpose of solving a pressing community problem or effecting social change."  Successful proposals should therefore :

  • Exemplify collaborative, reciprocal processes that respect and value the knowledge, perspective, and resources shared among partners.  Community members or agencies must play an integral role in defining the research question and objectives as well as how to manage the research project. Students must demonstrate an on-going collaborative relationship with the community partner that began prior to the proposed fellowship and that will continue during the 2017-2018 academic school year.
  • Serve a public purpose and assist in building the capacity of each group or organization involved to understand and collaboratively address issues of public concern.
  • Demonstrate that the UW-Whitewater faculty mentor and student researcher are committed to utilizing their expertise to develop and implement a successful project and clearly articulate what student researchers will learn in the process.
  • Plans to evaluate the impact of the community based research project.
  • Disseminate the results of the project to the community agency or group involved in the study.

Video: How to Submit Proposal

For more details, please consult the FAQ section. For suggestions on how to compose a successful proposal, please consult this guide.

For additional content on Community-Based Learning and opportunities, please visit the following site by clicking HERE.

Note:  This page provides information on the SURF CBR program. You may apply to both the SURF UWW and SURF CBR programs, but be aware that each program has different requirements, so be sure to adjust any application materials accordingly.

  • UW-Whitewater Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors as of Fall 2018 who are enrolled full time through Spring 2019
  • Students do not get course credit for their summer projects
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in major and minor (exceptions may be made on a case by case basis; mentor's letter must address the reason for an exemption)


  • 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.


  • Award eligible for Biology majors conducting Biological Sciences research.  Applicants must be at least of sophomore standing and maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or above.  A total of six awards are available per academic year, and each award request can be up to $500 in research budget (on top of any other grant budget request).  Applicants are selected among eligible and successful undergraduate research proposals that show high quality of research and justification for increased research budget.

Birch and Aspen Scholarship


  1. The candidate must be an accepted registered student at UW-Whitewater and maintain an overall academic GPA of at least 3.0.
  2. The candidate may be a sophomore, junior, or senior at the time of application and must be in good standing
  3. The candidate must have applied for, and been accepted by, the Undergraduate Research Program, and must have an approved faculty mentor as part of that program, and must be conducting academic research
  4. The candidate must submit a completed application the school year preceding that for which the scholarship will be awarded.


  1. The selection of the candidate(s) will be made by the Director of the Undergraduate Research Program, with input from deans or other appropriate persons with regard to finalist candidates and the criteria below must be adhered to.
  2. All candidates must be a native of Wisconsin. After finalist candidates are selected, should there by a candidate from Wautoma (Waushara County), that candidate will receive the scholarship.
  3. To be considered as a finalist candidate, student(s) must have a superior research project proposal; provide prior evidence to suggest high-caliber work will be completed; and have a demonstrated passion for research.


For more information, click here.

EvaluateUR is an assessment tool designed to evaulate learning outcomes of students participating in summer research. One of the primary goals of this assessment tool is to obtain a reliable assessment of the program's impact on participating students that goes beyond the student survey data that has so far been the principle source of impact findings reported in the literature. The project requires a series of students' self-reflection, mentors' assessment of the students' learning, and dialogues between the mentee-mentor pairs throughout Summer 2018. Those who are interested in participating in this project should indicate so on their SURF application. Each team who satisfactorily complete the evaulation project will receive an additional $500 in research budget.

If your research will entail or entails human or animal subjects, you must hold or obtain approval from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP).  Undergraduate Research Program award funds will not be disbursed to you until you provide the appropriate protocol number from ORSP to URP.  If you do not have a protocol number assigned to your research and need to apply, please be aware that the approval process may last three to four weeks for finalization.  This is especially important when planning travel arrangements. 

Human Research Compliance Policies and Process

Animal Research Compliance Policies and Process

In order to apply for the SURF Program, you will need to apply via our online submission process.  The application link can be found near the bottom of this webpage.  Please note that a complete application consists of:

  • A completed application form
  • A copy of the student's Degree Progress Report
  • Summer Research Fellowship Proposal (no more than 15,000 characters)
  • Timetable of project activities.  Click HERE for template.
  • Proposed itemized budget for supplies, services, and travel with a justification of how you will spend these funds and why they are necessary on a separate page. All anticipated supplies should be listed with their estimated costs.  All travel costs need to comply with University travel reimbursement requirements.  Click HERE for template.  (Note that the budget should not exceed the needs of the project, normally up to a maximum of $500/grant).  
  • Two Confidential Letters of Recommendation
    • At least one Letter of Recommendation should be from the proposed UW-Whitewater faculty mentor. This letter should address their assessment of the student's project and ability to complete the project, the mentor's commitment to supervise this project, and the experience of the mentor in supervising student research and/or creative inquiry projects.
    • The second Letter of Recommendation must be from the proposed community partner and should clearly state the willingness of the partner to collaborate in this research project as well as the students' prior collaboration with the community partner.

The proposal should be as specific as you can make it as it will be read by the School of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education and the URP Council members with some knowledge of your field. It must outline what you plan to do, and why it addresses important research questions in your field or why it addresses important public concerns. The outline consists of the research design (what you propose to do, the methodology for the research, how you will analyze the results, etc.)

  • How the work meets the need of your community partner, how you will accomplish this project during the summer and how you will evaluate its results (this last section should align with your proposed timetable of project activities).

Your proposal should also address how, and if, this project will continue during the 2016-2017 school year and how it fits into your future career or post-graduate studies plans.

For further example guidelines on writing an excellent proposal, please consult at your discretion the 'SURF Proposal Writing Guidelines.'

Below we list a couple of examples of past SURF-CBR projects:

  • Fellows will devote 10 weeks of full time effort (40 hours per week) to their project. If they hold any other employment or take any courses during the period of their fellowship they must submit a separate document by May 15th detailing their summer obligations and how they will fulfill the goals of their fellowship. This document must be approved by their project mentor(s) and the director of URP.
  • Fellows and their mentors will commit to continuation/extension of their summer projects during the 18-19 academic year.
  • Fellows will prepare and maintain a research portfolio for the duration of the fellowship and submit it to the Undergraduate Research Program by Aug, 2018 (exact date to be covered in orientation meeting).
  • Fellows will complete an evaluation of their fellowship experience by Aug, 2018 (exact date to be covered in orientation meeting).
  • Students will also be expected to present the results of their research at Fall 2018 Undergraduate Research Day and Spring 2019 Undergraduate Research Day.

Applications will be reviewed by members of the Undergraduate Research Program. The review committee may ask select applicants to provide revised proposals before further evaluations are made. Up to 30 finalists will be invited to a 20-minute interview with the selection committee.  The selection committee will evaluate fellowship applications on the following criteria and will also consider representation of different disciplines among the supported summer fellowships:

CriteriaNumber of Points
Applicant demonstrates that the project is feasible and meets identified community needs. 20 points
Applicant demonstrates that they will acquire significant new skills or experiences as a result of this project. 15 points
Applicant presents a clear and compelling case for how the fellowship will allow them to continue their Undergraduate Research during the 2015-2016 academic school year and how this summer fellowship will contribute to their career or post-graduate study plans. 15 points
Applicant demonstrates that they can successfully complete the 10 week fellowship. 10 points
Applicant is prepared for the fellowship (coursework, experience, understanding of community based research principles). 10 points
Letters of recommendation are strongly supportive of the applicant's merit for this fellowship. 10 points
Mentor letter demonstrates enthusiasm, appropriate experience and time commitment to supervise this project. 20 points

Please address any questions of proposal content to Seth Meisel, Associate Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education, meisels@uww.edu.  If you have questions about grant troubleshooting, please contact the Undergraduate Research Program, urp@uww.edu.   

Any interested SURF-CBR applicants are strongly encouraged to attend Information Session with Seth Meisel, which is scheduled for:
Feb. 21 at 3:30pm-4:30pm in McCutchan Hall 12

Technical questions on the grant application software?  Grant technical workshop scheduled for:
Feb. 19 at 11am-3pm in McCutchan Hall 11B
Feb. 20 at 9am-10:30am in McCutchan Hall 11B
Mar. 6 at 9am-10:30am in McCutchan Hall 11B
Mar. 7 at 11am-3pm in McCutchan Hall 11B

SURF CBR Application
NOTE: Form Currently OPEN
Due March 9, 2018 @3pm

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URP information
  • McCutchen Hall, Lower Level
  • Common Office Hours:
  • M-F, 9 A.M. - 5 P.M.
  • Campus E-mail:  urp@uww.edu
  • Campus Phone:  (262) 472-1296
RAP information
  • McCutchen Hall, Lower Level
  • Campus E-mail:  rap@uww.edu
  • Campus Phone:  (262) 472-1484

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