Research and Creative Opportunities Grant Program for Undergraduate Students

Call for Proposals.

Program Description.

This program provides grants of up to $750 to support undergraduate students engaged in research/scholarly/creative work with faculty. The Undergraduate Committee of the Research and Creative Activities Council reviews all proposals and makes funding recommendations to the Vice Provost for Research.

Eligibility.

This program is open to any registered undergraduate student in good standing performing independent research/creative activity/scholarship under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Team Projects.

This program supports both individual and collaborative (team) proposals. Collaborative projects may request funding via two mechanisms: (1) multiple students may be listed as co-authors on a single proposal, or (2) separate proposals may be prepared by each team member for distinct aspects of a single project. Proposals submitted via mechanism (2) should be separately authored (no sections of any two proposals should be identical) and will be independently evaluated based on their own merit. Team projects should clearly define the individual contributions and role of each participant. In all cases award size is limited to $750 per proposal.

Solicitation of Proposals and Duration of Grants.

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP) solicits proposals three times a year, fall, winter, and spring quarters. The grant period is for up to12 months or until the student either graduates or leaves the university, whichever comes first, and funds become available immediately upon award notification. Unspent funds are returned to RSP at the end of the grant.

Evaluation of Proposals.

Proposals will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the Research and Creative Activities Council. The evaluation is based on the following criteria and the advisor’s comments:

  • Has scholarly and / or creative merit that benefits the field
  • The proposed work is well-defined and the proposal is clearly presented
  • Significantly impacts student's educational goals
  • Is manageable within the proposed timeframe with the funding available
  • Describes an appropriate dissemination plan
  • The budget is well justified

Use of Funds.

  • Funds may be used to support travel, equipment, supplies, and other costs necessary forperforming the proposed work.
  • Expenditures must adhere to the proposal budget; significant deviations from the budget must be approved in advance by RSP.
  • Funds must be expended within one calendar year following award notification.
  • Reimbursement must be supported by receipts/purchase orders and must be submitted to departments.
  • Any non-consumable items or equipment (e.g. cameras, software, tablets, glassware, cables, costumes, etc.) acquired using award funds remains the property of the university.
  • The program is unable to support student stipends.

Required Dissemination of Results.

The proposal must contain a plan for dissemination of the results of the work. Some examples include: a Scholar's Week poster presentation, workshop, presentation at a conference, publication in conference proceedings or a journal, a performance, creation of literature, display at a gallery or other venue. The Faculty Advisor will review the work prior to this proposed activity.

Submission Procedure.

  1. Fill out the Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities eSign Form and attach a single pdf file containing the above listed elements. Submit the eSign Form to your faculty advisor.
  2. Faculty advisors should review the application, complete rubric and comment sections, and approve the application onto their department chair.
  3. Department chairs should approve the application onto research@wwu.edu.

Proposal Preparation Guidelines

These guidelines are intended help you prepare your proposal. Throughout the process you should work closely with your faculty advisor, who can help guide you in framing your problem, identifying relevant prior work, designing methods and approaches, and refining drafts of your proposal. It is ultimately your responsibility however, to write the proposal.

The proposal must convince the multi-disciplinary members of the review committee that the proposed project is:

  1. Worthwhile and relevant. You need to pose the research question or creative project in the context of background information on the subject. This should include a brief overview explaining why the proposed project is important to the field and the anticipated impacts. Be sure to include a bibliography citing your sources. Consult closely with your faculty advisor. You need to justify why the proposed work should be performed. Avoid technical jargon wherever possible.
  2. Feasible. The proposal should convince the review committee that the outcomes are reasonably achievable within the proposed timeline and with the resources available.

Suggested Proposal Format.

  1. Project Narrative (2 Page Limit)
    1. Abstract: The abstract should contain a brief statement of objectives, methods to be employed, and the significance of the proposed activity to the field of study (one paragraph).
    2. Introduction: How does the proposed project benefit the existing body of knowledge about the field or contribute to your field of study? How does the proposed project affect the greater community? How does the work relate to your educational goals?
    3. Background: literature review. How well is the project supported by the background knowledge on the subject? The literature cited indicates how well you are aware of the previous work in your field of study.
    4. Proposed work: Convince the review committee why the work should be done. Clearly state your individual research or creative activity objectives. If applicable, define the individual contributions of the collaborators and/or team members.
    5. Plan of action: How will you conduct the proposed work? You should provide a clearly defined set of tasks which will accomplish your objectives. Describe procedures, experiments, and the design of appropriate items needed for your individual project. A timeline or project schedule for your individual proposed work is required.
    6. Dissemination: how will the results of the proposed work be disseminated? Who will be responsible for reviewing your work?
  2. Bibliography (New Page): Make sure you include the complete citations for the literature sources referenced.
  3. Budget (New Page): Provide an itemized list of supplies and equipment requested for your proposed individual project, including the cost, supplier, and catalogue number (when available) of each item. In a separate paragraph, include a budget justification describing how each requested item will be used for your project. It should, especially, include clear indication of the need for the funding requested, equipment, why any travel is essential, etc. Requests for travel funds must support direct research efforts.