Student Project Awards
Undergraduate students planning to pursue creative projects or conduct research are invited to apply for Student Project Funding.
- Fall & Spring Terms: Up to $3,000 for individuals and up to $6,000 for group applicants.
- Summer Term: Up to $6,000 for individual and group applicants.
2023-2024 Application Schedule
Up to $3,000 for an individual and $6,000 for a group.
Up to $3,000 for an individual and $6,000 for a group.
Deadline to apply is Nov. 5, 2023.
Applications Open October 2, 2023.
Up to $6,000 for groups AND individuals.
Deadline to apply is Feb. 25, 2024.
Applications open January 16, 2024.
Tehya McLeod, Fall 2022 Awardee
Interdisciplinary Studies: Drafting and Design
Mentor: Mary Beth Leigh
"This project was an opportunity for collaboration between art and science and for engaging the community. I worked to creatively share information about the landscape around us through my artwork in the form of an exhibit. I believe it is important to the ongoing relationship between people and the environment that our understanding of our landscapes continues to grow."
CEM Group Project, Fall 2022 Awardees
Seth Thomas, Ethan Hoover, Micah Vanderhart, Casey Lambries, Mechanical Engineering
Mentor: Michael Hatfield
"Working on this project has helped club members gain experience working on a hands-on engineering project. It’s a good way to provide engineering experience outside of the classroom, where students have control of all aspects of the project, such as design, manufacturing, writing proposals, and reports. "
Luke Martin, Summer 2022 Awardee
Mentor: Patricia Holloway
"[Peonies] are a successful domestic and export product for Alaska. A problem with harvesting peonies as cut flowers is predicting precise harvest times for each bud. Each plant yields tens of flowers that must be individually tested to harvest. A well-trained grower can put their thumb on the top of the bud, press down, and tell by the firmness of the bud if it is ready to be harvested. This test is inefficient, requires a lot of training, and isn’t always accurate. The cost to growers in time, especially training seasonal workers, and rejected buds, can be substantial.
"I will collect data on peonies and their growing process. In this data I will include points such as the color of a peony flower, density, and rate of bloom. With the information I gather I will create several regression models that tells farmers when to harvest their peonies."
Abigail Jensen, Fall 2022 Project Awardee
Mentor: Kriya Dunlap
Title: Boosted Anti-Inflammatory Profile of Alaskan Sled Dogs After Consumption of Acute Doses of Wild Alaskan Blueberries
"[This project gave me] the opportunity to pursue structured research outside a traditional laboratory setting. I recently applied to several different Veterinary Medicine programs, and research time is highly recommended. The award I received helped me financially create my own project that counted towards my required Biology Capstone project and also gave me the opportunity to connect more with Alaskan culture. Alaska would not be Alaska without sled dogs and the connection they have with people."
- Must be a Degree-seeking undergraduate student
Students of any year of study from any UAF-affiliated campus, working toward an Occupational Endorsement, Certificate, Associate's Degree or Bachelor's Degree in any discipline are eligible to apply for URSA funding. Graduated undergraduate students and graduate students are not eligible to apply.
- Fall and Spring Awards: Students must be enrolled in at least 3 credits at any UAF-affiliated campus for the funded semester.
- Summer Awards: Students must be enrolled for at least 3 credits during the spring application semester
and must plan to enroll in at least 3 credits for the fall semester following the
award. Students who graduate in the spring term when the Summer Award opens are not
eligible to apply.
- GPA of 2.3 or higher
Students with a GPA lower than 2.3 are not eligible.
- Must have a mentor and an idea
Faculty, post-doctoral researchers, graduate students, and staff may serve as URSA mentors. Mentors must confirm their participation via the URSA Mentor Confirmation form prior to the award deadline. Students must have an established and well-defined project to apply.
- Students may only submit one proposal for each request for proposal (RFP).
- Students are eligible to receive one Student Project Award (or be funded under a Mentor Award) and one travel award (fall, winter or spring) per academic year (Fall to Summer semester).
This policy allows for a greater number of students to receive awards with limited
- Students that have received full funding from another UAF program for the same project are not eligible for additional funding from URSA (for example BLaST, INBRE, EPSCOR, Alaska Space Grant Program, amongst others) .
- Your Mentor must complete the URSA Mentor Confirmation form prior to the application deadline.
- Students must complete a Reflection Form by the end of each award period.
- Final products to be submitted with the reflection form include:
- A poster representing your project
- 2-3 high resolution pictures
- Completion of an approved URSA-outreach activity:
- Complete a mid-award blog post/student spotlight for the URSA website (Q&A format)
- Host an event related to your project (i.e. public presentation; art exhibition; public performance; workshop; tour of project site for prospective students; etc.)
- Students completing this option will be required to work with the URSA Coordinator for publicizing and documenting the event.
- Provide 2 photos and updates for URSA’s Social Media pages (Facebook/Instagram)
- Attend an URSA Event as a Student Ambassador (Event examples: URSA open houses, URSA seminars, Tabling Events; etc.)
- Create an URSA Outreach Video for YouTube
- Record an URSA PSA/Ad with KSUA (91.5 FM)
- Other: Must be discussed and agreed upon with student mentor and the URSA Coordinator.
- Students must present their project results at URSA's Research & Creative Activity Day in April of the awarded academic year.
- *Summer students will be expected to present the following April.
- IMPORTANT: Failure to submit a final evaluation, to submit final products, or to participate in Research & Creative Activity Day will make the student ineligible to receive future URSA funding.
Fellowship payments may be used to pay the awarded student a stipend.
Students must be degree-seeking and registered for per the award eligibility requirements.
Fellowships are paid by UA direct deposit. The fellowship is taxable and students will be responsible for payment of any taxes owed.
For those currently holding campus employment: In order to receive a fellowship, campus employment tasks and URSA Project tasks must not overlap. Fellowship eligibility will be determined by a final HR review of the student employment and URSA Project descriptions. If you have concerns, please contact the URSA Office.
To cover up to 4 credits maximum UAF registration costs for courses directly related to the funded project (course fees not included).
To support the purchase of supplies for the undergraduate research project or creative activity. Funded supplies will remain property of the awardee's UAF Department. For this reason, personal supplies (i.e. personal technology, clothes, etc.) are considered ineligible expenses and their inclusion may impact an application’s eligibility for review. Technology purchases for departments should be submitted with the URSA ITE Award application and are not eligible for Student Project funding. Supply and service funds MUST be spent by June 15 of the awarded fiscal year.
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT TRAVEL
To exclusively support undergraduate student travel needs associated with the funded research or creative scholarship project.
*Travel to attend a conference is NOT eligible for funding through a Student Project Award. Students wishing to PRESENT, COMPETE, PERFORM at an event must submit a Travel Award application.*
For any given round of URSA funding, 25–70 proposals are submitted.
With limited funding we award between 8 and 12 proposals in each call. The competition is high.
- When an application period ends, proposals are distributed anonymously and randomly
to four members of the URSA Faculty Review Board. These faculty members come from all disciplines in the arts/humanities/social sciences
and natural/life and engineering sciences. One of the reasons that we request that
students write their proposal for a broad audience is because there is a high probability
that several of their reviewers will not be in a similar discipline as the proposal.
Please see the Scoring Criteria section for more information regarding URSA’s review
- The reviewers evaluate and score the proposals and provide comments using an established
- URSA funds submitted proposals in ranked order until the allotted amount of funding is distributed.
Evaluations are made by a minimum of four faculty members on the URSA Faculty Review Board using the scoring criteria detailed below.
Each of the following are evaluated on a scale from 1 (high/exemplary) to 5 (low/insufficient):
- The purpose of the student's proposed project:
- to conduct a research/creative project
- to compete in a scholarly competition
- to participate in an internship/immersion
- to attend a workshop or acquire training that will facilitate an ongoing project
- not clearly expressed
- The explanation of the intellectual merit of the proposed project/travel
- The explanation of the proposed project's contribution to a scholarly discipline or real-world outcome
- The potential for the proposed project to affect student learning or scholarly development
- The written quality of the proposal
- The feasibility of the proposed project
- The articulated goals and/or expected outcomes of the project
- Through articulate writing and inclusion of details, the student makes a compelling case for the funding
- The applicant proposes an appropriate budget for the proposed project
- The faculty mentor's role and/or participation in the project
Proposals are also evaluated based on:
- Written quality of the proposal (written for a general audience) and quality of the work plan
- Intellectual merit and scholarly/creative contribution of the project and its potential outcomes
- Student learning outcomes articulated in the proposal
- Adequate involvement of an approved mentor as demonstrated in the mentoring plan
- Feasibility of completion within the given timeline
- Submission of the formal URSA Budget and Timeline file uploads.
Get a head start on your project proposal today! Click here to download the Request for Proposal (RFP) questions for the current award cycle.