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:
- College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Research Funding
- Grainger College of Engineering Undergraduate Research Funding
- College of ACES Undergraduate Research Funding
- College of Media Undergraduate Research Funding
- Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program
- Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP)
Office of Undergraduate Research Grants
Conference Travel Grant
As part of its mission to support and foster undergraduate research opportunities, OUR offers grants subsidizing the costs for students presenting their work at national and international conferences. Academic and professional conferences provide students the opportunity to gain valuable experience presenting their work, engage with other researchers, and expand their understanding of the scope and nature of academic research.
Through OUR's Conference Travel Grant (CTG), undergraduate students can apply for grants of up to $400 to subsidize costs associated with presenting their research posters, papers, or creative works at in-person and virtual professional conferences. The CTG does not provide funds for conference travel for attendance only; grants are meant for students who will present their work.
Research groups with more than three students looking for funding for conference travel should contact OUR prior to applying for the CTG to ensure availability of funds and to ensure fair distribution of funding among multiple groups.
New Deadlines & Application Structure
Applications will now be accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year until budgeted funds are exhausted. Students must apply prior to the conference taking place (i.e., no retroactive funding) but cannot apply until their presentation has been accepted by the conference.
- Grant cannot be retroactively applied to a presentation that has already occurred.
- Students must be accepted to present at the time of application.
- Students must be in good academic standing during the term the grant will be issued.
- Students graduating in December can apply for and may receive a grant for a conference taking place the following spring semester. Students graduating in May may also apply for and receive an award for a conference taking place in the upcoming summer.
- Students may only revise and resubmit their application one time following a rejection within the academic year.
- Students may only receive one Conference Travel Grant award per year (i.e., 12-months from receipt of any previous funding by OUR).
- Travel during the COVID-19 pandemic must be in accordance with University and State of Illinois guidelines.
Conference travel grants are not designed to cover the entire cost of student participation and we encourage students to also request funding from their research mentor, department or unit, and college.
Miles from Champaign
Up to $200
Up to $200
Award amounts for conferences requiring travel are based on the distance from Urbana, IL to the conference location. Award amounts may be modified at the discretion of the Office of Undergraduate Research.
Application Submission & Timeline
Students can apply for the Conference Travel Grant upon their acceptance to present at a conference. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until available funds for a semester are exhausted. Granting decisions will be made within two weeks of submission.
Students will be required to complete two brief surveys to remain eligible for reimbursement: one prior to the conference, and the second after return from the conference. These surveys will ask for information in order to help OUR better advise other students and assess the impact of these presentation experiences.Submit a CTG Application Here.
Research Support Grant
The Research Support Grant (RSG) provides funding for faculty/staff mentored research or creative projects from all disciplines. This includes research projects both on- and off-campus. Students, with the support of their mentors, can apply for awards of up to $2,000 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, equipment, supplies, or other ancillary costs. Materials, equipment, and supplies purchased shall remain property of the University of Illinois following completion of the project.
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, students must meet the eligibility requirements described below and submit a completed proposal below by the application deadline.
- 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 DocumentAll 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 must 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 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). Proposals submited in any format other than PDF will be disqualified without review.
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. Non-Illinois research mentors can submit their letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 TimelineSpring 2024 Competition:
- January 22 - Application Opens.
- March 11 at 11:59 p.m. - Deadline for applications.
- April 11 - Awardees of spring competition will be notified.
- September 2 - Application Opens.
- October 18 at 11:59 p.m. - Deadline for applications.
- November 18 - Awardees of fall competition will be notified.
- Application portal for the Spring 2024 competition will close on March 11, 2024 at 11:59pm. Submit your RSG application here.
Other Illinois Sources to Fund Your Research
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Research Funding
*For LAS Students Only* The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (LAS) offers Get Experience scholarships to support student engagement in hands-on learning experiences that enhance and compliment their academic coursework. Scholarships are available during the fall, spring, and summer terms. The maximum award amount is $5,000.
Grainger College of Engineering Undergraduate Research Funding
*For ENG Students Only* The Grainger College of Engineering (ENG) offers numerous grants, awards, and scholarships to support undergraduate researchers.
College of ACES Undergraduate Research Funding
*For ACES Students Only* The College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences (ACES) offers ACES Undergraduate Research Scholarships to support undergraduate researchers. Approved projects are funded up to $1,500, based on a project budget sheet submitted with the application. Students whose projects are approved are also awarded a $500 merit scholarship for the academic term during which the research project is conducted.
College of Media Undergraduate Research Funding
*For Media Students Only* The College Media offers several scholarships and awards to support undergraduate researchers. Scholarships are awarded on a yearly basis and applications are due in the Spring.
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.