Apply for funding to broaden your research experience.

Illinois students are conducting cutting edge research on campus, but funding is sometimes lacking. The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) at the University of Illinois offers the following funding opportunities. You can also talk to your college, department or faculty mentor about other possible sources to support your undergraduate research project. Available funding opportunities include:

Non-OUR Funding Opportunities:



Conference Travel Grant

OUR runs two conference travel competitions every academic year to subsidize the presentation of undergraduate research at professional conferences. Students can apply for awards of up to $350 to travel to professional conferences to present their research posters, papers, or creative works. Please note, the Office of Undergraduate Research does not provide funds for conference travel for attendance only; grants are meant for students who will present their work. Conference travel grants are not designed to cover the entire cost of student participation (some departmental or college contribution is encouraged). Questions should be directed to ugresearch@illinois.edu

Eligible Travel Periods

  • For the fall competition, travel must take place anytime from the beginning of the previous summer to the beginning of the following spring term.
  • For the spring competition, travel must take place anytime from the beginning of the previous fall term to the end of the following summer.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Students must be in good academic standing during the term the award is received.
  • Students graduating in December can apply for and may receive an award for travel during the following spring semester. Students graduating in May may also apply for and receive an award for travel in the summer.
  • Students may only receive one Conference Travel Grant award per academic year.
  • Students must include in the application: conference dates and location, evidence that conference participation has been confirmed, estimated expenses (or actual expenses for recently completed travel), and possible (or actual) support from mentors and departments.

Award Amounts

Miles from Champaign

Zone

Award

< 200

1

Up to $150

200-699

2

$200

700-999

3

$225

1000-1399

4

$250

1400-1899

5

$300

1900-2199

6

$325

> 2199

7

$350

Award amounts are based on the distance from Champaign, IL to the conference location. Award amounts may be modified at the discretion of the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Application Timeline

Fall 2019 Competition:
  • September 3 - Application Opens.
  • October 2 at 11:59pm - Deadline for applications.
  • October 17 - Awardees of fall competition will be notified.
  • Disbursement of funds for awards granted: within 30 business days of travel receipts received by Office of Undergraduate Research. Awards given to international students may take longer.
Spring 2020 Competition:
  • January 27 - Application Opens.
  • February 26 at 11:59pm - Deadline for applications.
  • March 12 - Awardees of spring competition will be notified.
  • Disbursement of funds for awards granted: within 30 business days of travel receipts received by Office of Undergraduate Research. Awards given to international students may take longer.

Application

To apply, students will need to provide conference dates and location, evidence that conference participation has been confirmed, estimated expenses, and possible support from mentors and departments. Students who meet the eligibility requirements above are encouraged to apply at the following link:

The Fall 2019 application cycle is now closed. The Spring 2019 application cycle will open on January 27, 2020. Please check back and subscribe to our social media for updates.


Research Support Grant

The Research Support Grant (RSG) provides students from all disciplines with the funds necessary to conduct research or creative projects during the academic year both on and off campus (including summer terms). Awards will be up to $2,000 and are meant to cover research travel costs, living expenses incurred during academic breaks (i.e., winter break and summer terms, NOT regular semester living expenses), and materials or other ancillary costs. PLEASE NOTE: This grant is for the support of research; grants for conference travel are a separate competition and may be found at: Conference Travel Grant. There will be two application cycles every academic year – one at the beginning of the Fall semester, and one at the beginning of the Spring semester. To qualify for the RSG, you must meet the eligibility requirements described below and submit a completed proposal below by the application deadline.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applicants must be current UIUC undergraduate students in good academic standing.
  • Applicants must have faculty/research staff support or mentoring for the duration of their proposed research.
  • Funding is provided for students pursuing their own research projects, or to those working on their own project within a larger faculty-led project.

Proposal Document

All applications must include a project proposal. We encourage students to work with their research mentors on this proposal, but the document MUST be written and submitted by the student. The proposal should include:
  • A statement of the research problem: A clear statement of the work to be undertaken including research questions and objectives. Creative projects are also expected to lay out research questions and objectives.
  • A research plan: Student must include a research plan specifying how the students will spend their time on the proposed project. Students should be able to elaborate what they want to do, how they plan to do it, their research timeline, and why they want to do it (importance to your field/discipline; importance to your professional development, etc.).
  • A detailed budget: Budget costs should be reasonable and credible; if funds for materials or equipment are requested, for instance, students should be able to justify the expense (i.e., not already available on campus, etc.). When exact monetary figures cannot be provided, applicant may use reasonable estimates as long as these estimates are justified in the text. The RSG can provide funding for living expenses only if the proposed work will be conducted over winter or summer breaks. We also do not pay ‘per diem,’ but rather students should estimate weekly food costs based upon their experience.
Proposal Formatting Requirements: Proposals that do not conform to the formatting requirements below will be disqualified:
  • Proposal cannot exceed 5 pages; double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 11- or 12-point font (references DO NOT COUNT toward this limit).
  • The top of the first page of the proposal should have the student applicant’s full name and title of the project. All remaining pages of the application must include page numbers and the last name of the applicant in the page header. 
  • The document must be uploaded as one PDF (i.e. not .doc, .docx, .pages).

Letter of Support from Research Mentor

A letter of support must be provided by a faculty/research staff member at the following link: https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/8629519. For students doing independent research, the letter should come from a faculty mentor familiar with the student’s research plans. For students doing research as part of a larger faculty-led project, the letter must come from the faculty member directly involved in the project who will supervise the student.

Funding Restrictions

  • Funds used to conduct student research must meet all UI employment and safety standards, including Office for Protection of Research Subjects approvals, if applicable
  • Funds may not be used to cover tuition or student fees.
  • Applications made during the Fall semester may be used for the full academic year in which applying (including winter, and summer term immediately following). Spring applications may be used for the Spring semester and summer term immediately following.

Application Timeline

Fall 2019 Competition:
  • September 3 - Application Opens.
  • October 18 at 11:59pm - Deadline for applications.
  • November 18 - Awardees of fall competition will be notified.
Spring 2020 Competition:
  • January 27 - Application Opens.
  • March 12 at 11:59pm - Deadline for applications.
  • April 12 - Awardees of spring competition will be notified.

Application:


Image of Research Competition

The Image of Research is a multidisciplinary competition celebrating the diversity and breadth of undergraduate student research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. All undergraduate students are invited to submit entries consisting of an image and brief text that articulates how the image relates to the research.

Entries will be judged by a multidisciplinary panel for:

  • Connection between image narrative and research
  • Originality
  • Visual impact

For more information, please visit Image of Research - UR Edition.
To view all of the entries and winners, check out the Image of Research Omeka collection.


Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program

Established on the campus in 1990, the Illinois TRiO Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair Scholars Program) is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The program provides research, mentoring, advising, and graduate school preparation opportunities for eligible sophomores, juniors and seniors from underrepresented populations to promote their academic excellence and pursuit of a PhD.


Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP)

This program brings talented undergraduate students from across the US and its territories, such as Puerto Rico, to Illinois as an introduction to graduate study, research, and the admission process. The total monetary award of participating in the SROP program at the University of Illinois is approximately $9,500 per participant.