Undergraduate Student Research (USR) Grant Program

Program Purpose and Qualifying Criteria

The Undergraduate Student Research (USR) Grant Program was established by the Office of the Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs to promote student research endeavors at the University of Illinois Springfield. The Program provides matching funds, up to a maximum of $500 per student, in support of approved research activities that will promote the development of students as active learners and scholars.

Students may apply for one grant to support data collection. A second grant application for travel funds to present findings for eligible venues is permitted, provided that the Undergraduate Student Research Grant limit of a maximum $500 per student is not exceeded for the combination of applications. USR Grant requests may receive partial funding based on review. Grants made under this program will be one-time funding awarded on a competitive basis.

Qualifying proposals will represent independent, student-led, research projects that are not associated with a regular course assignment. Proposals for research in any academic discipline at UIS are eligible for funding consideration under this program. Special consideration will be given to proposals that are interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary in nature.

When a qualifying project has been or will be jointly conducted by two or more students serving as co-investigators, each student may separately request USR Grant Program funding to support the research activities or conference presentation of research findings.

Application Deadlines

There are no application deadlines for this program; applications will be accepted year round. However, limited funding is available, so student researchers are encouraged to submit their applications as early in the academic year as possible.

Use of Funds

The Undergraduate Student Research Grants Program is designed to assist students in covering expenses incurred in conducting approved research (support for data collection and analysis) and/or presenting their research findings at professional conferences or scholarly meetings (support for presentation materials and travel grants). Proposals may request support for a variety of activities within the scope of the qualifying criteria, including expenses related to the collection of data as well as the development of posters, papers, and presentations accepted for delivery at professional conferences or scholarly meetings. Examples include, but are not limited to, expenses associated with purchasing necessary equipment and supplies, postage, printing and duplicating, copyright permission fees, software, conference registration fees, and usual travel-related expenses such as transportation, lodging, and per diem. University travel regulations apply.

Travel to attend a conference or meeting without presenting research findings is not reimbursable under this program.


To be eligible for this program, applicants must:

  • Be currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at UIS
  • Have obtained sophomore status or above
  • Have a declared academic major
  • Be in good academic standing at the time of application, with no incompletes and a minimum cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0
  • Have developed an independent research project proposal that has the endorsement of a UIS faculty mentor who will serve as the research supervisor
  • Provide evidence of endorsement and funding from the major academic department or college

Matching Commitments and Evaluative Criteria

One indicator of the merit of proposed research activities is the extent to which the college of the academic major is willing to commit resources in support of successful completion. Therefore, a written commitment for 25% matching funds is required to submit a request for funding from the Undergraduate Student Research Grants Program. Student researchers are encouraged to consult with their faculty mentor or research supervisor about the process by which applications for endorsement and support can be sought from the appropriate college.

In evaluating student research proposals for funding, it is expected that academic department- and college-level reviewers will consider the following criteria:

  • the clarity and specificity of the student’s proposal
  • the extent to which the proposed activities and goals are realistically achievable
  • the intrinsic merit and scope of the proposal
  • the scope of probable contributions to student learning and scholarship
  • the adequacy of available funding relative to resources needed

Students who are thinking about submitting proposals for the USR Grants Program are strongly encouraged to consult with a faculty mentor before writing and submitting a research proposal.

Reporting Obligations

Grant recipients are expected to share their research findings with the campus community. Students will need to work with their faculty mentors to determine the most appropriate forum for this activity. In addition, the names of students who receive funding under this program and their faculty supervisors, and the titles of their research projects and conference presentations, may be listed on the UIS Office of Grants & Contracts web pages.


The procedures for submitting an application to the Undergraduate Student Research (USR) Grant Program can be found at the program website. Only those proposals that are endorsed by the student’s academic department and college are eligible for funding under this program.

  1. Consult with your faculty mentor about your research proposal and the preparation of your USR grant application.
  2. Double-check the completeness and accuracy of your application before submitting it to your faculty mentor and major department chair for signature. (If you are being mentored by a faculty member in a department outside your major, submit the application to the Chair of your academic major department.)
  3. Submit the application to your College Dean’s Office. (If you are being mentored by a faculty member in a department outside your major, submit the application to the Dean of the College in which your academic major resides.)
  4. The Dean’s Office will forward funding recommendations for USR funding to the Provost’s Office, where final funding allocations will be determined.