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Research Awards (Project Funding)

The Office of Undergraduate Research through the Division of Academic & Student Affairs will provide funding to support your project. This funding, known as Research Awards, are open to all disciplines for students pursuing undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activities.

View the table below for award cycles and specifics. You must be a degree-seeking undergraduate student at NC State to apply and cannot graduate before the end of the award term of application.

At the bottom of the page, find the submission space.

Summer 2023 Help Sessions

The OUR provides help sessions on writing your proposals. Students who attend help sessions are more likely to score higher on their proposal review, increasing their chances of being funded.

  • TBA

Research Award FAQs

Research Mentor and Feedback – You are required to work with a faculty or professional mentor. The mentor must submit answers to 3-4 questions regarding your proposal and their support of you as a mentor.

Research Proposal – You are required to develop a proposal with the components listed below. Proposals can be a maximum of 4 pages (strong proposals are often 3-4 pages; one page proposals will be insufficient) and can only be submitted as a PDF. Click here for the Research Proposal Template. You MUST use the template provided; using a different format might result in missing pieces from the rubric and receiving a lower score or not having your submission reviewed.

  1. A background/description – situates your work in the field, motivates it, and provides credibility
  2. The question, hypothesis, problem, or creative work being explored
  3. Methodology or process
  4. Projected timeline
  5. Significance and implications for advancing knowledge within the discipline or field
  6. Link between the research and the student’s curricular interests (project does not need to be in the student’s major)
  7. Appropriate references
  8. Brief explanation/justification of budget

Project Budget – You are required to submit a proposed budget outlining the use of award funding. You must use the budget template provided below. You will need to include the following information (be specific):

  • Total amount requested
  • Total amount broken down into expense categories (ex: test tubes, paint brushes, mileage reimbursement) with detail (e.g., estimated amounts, unit prices x units)
    • Too vague – “supplies”, “gas”, “chemicals”, “materials”
  • Fall and Spring Awards: If the award is disbursed to an NC State faculty mentor, you will need to submit the following:
    • Ledger 20 or 21 or 25 Account Number
    • 6-digit Departmental OUC Number
    • Bookkeeper Name
    • Bookkeeper Email
  • Summer Awards – Funding can only be disbursed to the student. It cannot be disbursed to a mentor.

To submit your budget, you must use our template. Click here for the Research Budget Template

Approvals – If your project includes either of the following groups, you must have approval prior to receiving an award.

  • Teams must select one team lead to submit on behalf of the team
  • All team members must be listed in the award application
  • The maximum award amount is the same for teams during each award cycle
  • Teams will have their award money disbursed to the lead student; unless written notice is provided requesting the award be split evenly among all members (ex: if a 2-person team receives a $500 award, each member will get $250)
  • Each team member is required to complete the contractual requirements if the project is awarded
  1. Click on the Submit Your Proposal button below to go to the proposal portal
  2. Sign in using your Shibboleth login
  3. Complete the form, including your mentor’s name and contact information
  4. Upload your Proposal (4 mage maximum, PDF only)
  5. Upload your proposed budget (use the template provided above)
  6. Click submit

Your mentor will receive an email with a link, giving them access to your proposal and requesting they complete 3-4 questions regarding their support for your project.

Prior to submitting an application, we recommend attending a help session in order to obtain feedback on the process and your proposal in order to support your chance of being funded.

Students who receive project awards and their mentor(s) are required to sign a contract outlining the following obligations:

  • Appropriate Expenses – funds will be spent according to the chart above
  • Unused Funds – any unused funds must be returned to OUR
  • Revised Budget – if changes from the project proposal occur, you must notify OUR
  • Submission of a Final Report Survey – a link is provided to all award recipients toward the end of the award period with a survey (includes questions about the experience and a final budget)
  • Project Presentation – you must present your work at one of the following:
    • NC State Spring Undergraduate Research & Creativity Symposium (April)
    • NC State Summer Undergraduate Research & Creativity Symposium (July/August)
    • State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research & Creativity Symposium (required for fall graduates)
  • Professional Development Experience – you must attend at least two professional development activities in the semester and submit a report on each (accepted experiences will be listed to you). One must be done through the OUR (i.e., an OUR seminar).
  • Supplies, materials, technology – purchased items are property of NC State and must be returned to the department/entity at the end of the awarding period

Students are also required to sign a statement indicating additional sources of project funding. In some instances, this may not be permitted. Students enrolled in an REU cannot receive project funding. Summer awards are paid to students and will not be paid to mentors/PIs.

In addition to presenting at NC State symposia, students are encouraged to publish in a professional journal and/or present at:

  • State of NC Undergraduate Research & Creativity Symposium (SNCURCS) in November
  • National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in April
  • A disciplinary conference held nationally or internationally
  • Proposals are reviewed by the project mentor’s department/college
  • Scores are provided based on a pre-defined rubric with assigned points. Click here for the Research Award Scoring Rubric
  • These scores, along with any associated comments, are then considered within and across all colleges
  • OUR prioritizes funding as many proposals as possible during each award cycle
  • Applicants are notified approximately one month after the proposal deadline
  • Students already receiving funding from OUR are not eligible for additional funding during the same semester(s)

Do I have to complete a project from initial concept to dissemination to receive an award?

No! Project funding is provided for a semester. In many cases, it is not feasible to complete a project from initial idea to dissemination. Be clear in your timeline what you plan to finish — this could be the literature review portion, a pilot study, one experiment in a series of experiments within a study, etc. — and support/motivate your work and the greater study with all of the knowledge you have or what you can predict based on previous knowledge. You can also indicate how your work would progress over time.

I’m planning to conduct my research while studying abroad. Can I still apply for an award?

Yes! Please contact OUR prior to submitting your application so we can discuss which expenses are allowable.

If I’m working on a team, can we get more funding?

Unfortunately no, teams have the same maximum funding as individuals.

I wasn’t able to work on my project during the time I received the award. Can I keep the award and work on the project next semester?

No, this is not possible. As outlined in your contract, you must utilize the award during the time period you received it. If you do not, you are expected to return the award to OUR. We encourage you to re-apply for funding.

Why can I only get $500 in the summer if I’m enrolled full-time in classes?

This rule is in alignment with our awards offered during the academic year, which are a maximum of $500 and have the requirement that students be enrolled in courses. OUR will verify enrollment status prior to award decisions. If you are taking fewer than 6 credits, you are considered a part-time student and are therefore eligible for a maximum of $2,000.

Will my award impact my financial aid?

No, your award will not impact your financial aid. When OUR distributes funding to students, it is sent through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OFSA). OFSA will verify the award is not intended as salary/stipend and will then process the award for payment.

Will my award be reported on my 1099 or W-2?

No, your award will not be reported. This does not mean these payments are not taxable. It simply means the university does not have a reporting or withholding requirement. In most cases, the IRS will consider these “non-qualified scholarship” payments which are taxable according to the IRS. Award recipients should refer to IRS Publication 970 and the Form 1040 instructions. For further information on what amount is reportable and how to report it when filing your tax return, students should contact a tax professional.

 FallSpringSummerSummer
TimelineOpens in Spring (February), due in SummerOpens in Fall (September)Opens Spring (February), due in MarchOpens Spring (February), due in March
Maximum Award
Amount
$500$500$2000$500
Eligibility*• NC State Undergraduate
• Enrolled for the fall semester
• NC State Undergraduate
• Enrolled for the spring semester
• NC State Undergraduate
• Enrolled in 0-5 credits for summer
• NC State Undergraduate
• Enrolled in 6+ credits for summer
Disbursement• Student
• NC State Mentor
• Student
• NC State Mentor
• Student Only• Student Only
Acceptable
Use of Funds
• Project Supplies + Materials
• Travel costs related to completing the project***
• Project Supplies + Materials
• Travel costs related to completing the project***
• Project Supplies + Materials
• Travel costs related to completing the project***
• Living Expenses (rent, utilities and food only, does not include other personal expenses)
• Project Supplies + Materials
• Travel costs related to completing the project***
Unacceptable use of funds• Stipend/Salary
• Living Expenses
• Overnight stays (hotels, Airbnb, etc.)
• Participant Incentives/Pay
• Giveaways or Prizes Faculty Travel
• Student Travel to Present Research**
• Tuition and Training
• Stipend/Salary
• Living Expenses
• Overnight stays (hotels, Airbnb, etc.)
• Participant Incentives/Pay
• Giveaways or Prizes Faculty Travel
• Student Travel to Present Research
• Tuition and Training
• Stipend/Salary
• Overnight stays (hotels, Airbnb, etc.)
• Participant Incentives/Pay
• Giveaways or Prizes Faculty Travel
• Student Travel to Present Research
• Tuition and Training
• Stipend/Salary
• Living Expenses
• Overnight stays (hotels, Airbnb, etc.)
• Participant Incentives/Pay
• Giveaways or Prizes Faculty Travel
• Student Travel to Present Research
• Tuition and Training

*Must be an NC State Undergraduate. If you have graduated, you are not eligible.

**The OUR funds student travel to present via Travel Awards. Apply at any time!

***Based on university travel policies at time of travel request.

Proposal Submission Website

A graduate student works in the lab of Dr. Rob Smart on Centennial campus. Photo by Marc Hall
A graduate student works in the lab of Dr. Rob Smart on Centennial campus. Photo by Marc Hall