Student Belonging and Community Awards

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity (URSA) has funding available for up to $5,000 for projects focused on cultivating a culture of respect, connection, belonging, and community for undergraduate students at UAF and UAF-affiliated campuses.

Priority will be given to proposals that align with UAF-wide initiatives for improving the experience for undergraduate students, promoting student success, and fostering a sense of belonging and community while advocating for fair treatment of students.

Applications will open on July 15, 2024 and close September 8, 2024 at 11:59pm.

Awardees will be notified on September 30, 2024.

All funds must be spent by June 1, 2025. 

Group of UAF students with mentors and Nook Bear

Application Schedule

A strong sense of belonging has a significant impact on student success and well-being. One of the key reasons that students consider leaving a university is because they lack a sense of belonging. Belonging and social integration also correlate with many of the things that drive student success and lifelong fulfillment, including academic success and motivation, self-efficacy, a greater sense of self-worth, and overall mental wellbeing. Further, students who feel like they belong on campus are also more likely to use support resources like academic advising and financial aid.

Students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to apply to fund applied research or scholarly/creative activities that support priority areas including, but not limited to, one or more of the following:

  • fostering connectedness, belonging, and sense of community;
  • embracing both commonalities and diversity within the human experience;
  • cultivating kindness, compassion, and gratitude toward each other and ourselves;
  • highlighting connections between community/personal identities and sustainability in the UAF community/environment;
  • sparking dialogue about environmental and social issues that have a disproportionately negative impact on communities of color;
  • providing opportunities for project-based and applied learning for the UAF community.