This award is on hiatus through July 2019 while we are implementing some changes.
The Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors Awards offer financial and academic support to Northeastern students seeking to develop and execute projects under the mentorship of Northeastern faculty members. Offering both Early and Advanced Awards, the program encourages undergraduate students from all years, colleges, and majors to deepen their experiential engagement through an original intellectual or creative contribution to their discipline. There are three award application cycles with applications accepted for Fall Research during the preceding summer, for Spring Research during the fall semester, and for Summer Research during the spring semester. Projects must be begun and completed during the appropriate research cycle, i.e., students who apply during the summer session must propose a project that will be completed during the fall semester.
Students and mentors are notified of their awards prior to the beginning of the semester when they will begin their proposed projects. Please do not contact our office regarding when notifications will happen.
All award funding is deposited in the overhead account of the project's faculty mentor. Students and faculty members seeking assistance with this award should contact the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.
As an added award benefit, students who earn the UGRCE Award should expect to attend and present at a weekly peer research/creative endeavor seminar that will be conducted during the Friday lunch hour during the fall and spring semesters and as availability permits during the summer.
Undergraduates seeking funding to present completed research at professional meetings should instead apply to the Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Conference Travel Fund.
Needs Institutional Endorsement
US Citizenship Not Required
Minimum GPA: 3.0
- Applicants should possess a 3.00 GPA and above.
- While first-year students are encouraged to apply during their second semester at Northeastern (i.e., when they will have started to have a reportable GPA at the university), under special circumstances the selection committee will consider proposals submitted during their first semester.
- While it is expected that most applicants will submit research proposals in their own field(s) of study, interdisciplinary proposals are acceptable, as long as the student is deemed qualified to carry out all the project’s components–or is part of a collaborative group whose members collectively possess the expertise necessary for the successful completion of the project.
- Applicants must be enrolled as undergraduates at Northeastern throughout the period of the award.
- Seniors may apply for spring semester awards, provided they are enrolled in the spring semester during which they plan to complete their research prior to graduation.
- Applicants must have secured a full-time Northeastern faculty member’s written agreement to serve as mentor for their projects prior to submitting proposals. The primary role of the faculty mentor is to provide the consent statement in a brief letter of support, and to offer guidance and direction to the student as the project is undertaken and completed.
- Research conducted through the University must be carried out in keeping with ethical norms and federal regulations. Proposed research involving the use of human subjects or vertebrate animals requires approval from the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), respectively. Faculty advisors are considered the principal investigator for all student (undergraduate and graduate) projects with human subjects or vertebrate animals. Advisors are therefore responsible that the research is conducted in accordance with federal regulations and university guidelines, including obtaining approvals. Applicants must submit an IRB exemption letter or IRB/IACUC approval for research alongside their proposal and BEFORE conducting the research.
- Award selection is competitive and based on the overall quality, originality, and feasibility of the project; the faculty mentor’s support letter; and the student’s academic record.
- Awards are typically granted on an individual basis.
- Groups of up to four undergraduates may apply for funding under the Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors Awards by submitting a joint proposal that clearly details each group member’s role and contribution to the overall project.
- Group proposals may be particularly appropriate for proposals that are inter- or cross-disciplinary, drawing on the distinct expertise of each member of the group.
- Students are eligible to receive one award for each academic year at Northeastern. Students may not apply for more than one award in an application cycle.
- Previous winners of an Early Research and Creative Endeavors Award may apply for an Advanced Research and Creative Endeavors Award related to the same project.
- Previous winners of an Advanced Research and Creative Endeavors Award may re-apply for another Advanced Award only in connection with projects that differ from the one(s) for which they received support in previous years (e.g., exploring a question that was raised – but not investigated – in the course of the previous research project, or by further developing their creative endeavors in a direction other than the one originally envisaged).
- In the case of awards that include foreign travel, per the university’s Policy on International Travel, students may not travel to “high-risk” destinations (as defined in the policy) without prior approval. If you are proposing to travel to, or transit through, a country that appears on the university’s list of high-risk destinations, you must review the university’s procedures for obtaining permission to travel and complete the petition process before receiving any funding.
- All university-funded travel, domestic or international, must be documented in the “My Travel Plans” tool within my.Northeastern before the commencement of travel.
- If students have applied for or received other funding for their projects, the Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors Awards will cover only those expenses that are not funded by other sources.
- Students must note in their budget if they have applied to other funding sources, and notify the Selection Committee immediately if they have had success in securing such funding.
- Students who fail to notify the Committee of having applied to or received funding from other sources will be disqualified from receiving an Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors Award in the future.
Two types of awards are available to support the execution of undergraduate research projects and creative endeavors:
- Early Research and Creative Endeavors Awards (maximum $1,000)
- These awards seek to encourage all Northeastern undergraduates, but especially first- and second-year students, to undertake research and creative endeavors early in their studies.
- Advanced Research and Creative Endeavors Awards (maximum $3,000)
- These awards seek to encourage all Northeastern undergraduates, but especially third-year students and above, to undertake advanced research and creative endeavors.
In deciding which award to seek, students should consider not only their year of study, but also their familiarity and experience with the discipline and the research methods or creative practices entailed in the project.
The funding provided through both awards may be used for expenses including, but not limited to: purchase of supplies and software; living expenses; up to 50% of travel costs directly related to data collection; and translation or interpretation fees in connection with fieldwork and interviews.
These awards do not fund conference travel. Undergraduates seeking funding to present completed research at professional meetings should instead apply to the Conference Travel Fund.
These awards do not fund stipends or wages for undergraduate researchers. All awards are deposited into the accounts of faculty mentors.
The application consists of seven components: an online application, PDFs of a narrative proposal (see elements below), an annotated bibliography, a line-item budget, résumé(s), transcript(s), and a statement of support from the project’s faculty mentor. Each of these components is described in detail below and will be complete separately. Students should use our online application to submit their proposals and budgets and to solicit the letter of support from their mentor. The elements of the application are:
The Online Application Form
This section will contain:
- Title of project.
- Name(s) of the student applicant(s).
- Major(s) and degree(s) sought.
- Year(s) of graduation.
- Project dates.
- Amount of funding requested.
- Faculty mentor’s name, email address and department.
- Brief project summary that details for a general audience the purpose, significance, methods, and anticipated outcomes, including dissemination, of your research or creative endeavor.
- Other details.
DO NOT INCLUDE THIS INFORMATION OR A COVER PAGE IN THE PROJECT PROPOSAL — we collect all of this information in the ONLINE APPLICATION.
The Narrative Project Proposal (2-3 pages)
The proposal should be both concise and intelligible to an audience of individuals within and outside the student’s discipline (i.e., write for an audience of educated non-specialists). This portion should be 2-3 pages. Do not include a cover page. The proposal must contain the following elements:
Purpose and Outcomes
This section must contain:
- A brief but specific statement of the original question, problem or artistic area that the student seeks to explore.
- Relevant background information for the project, with proper citations, to contextualize the project within the student’s disciplinary field(s).
- A list of objectives for the proposed research or creative endeavor.
- A list of expected outcomes from the proposed research or creative endeavor.
Significance and Originality
This section should:
- Clearly and concisely convey why the project is important, both within the student’s field and more broadly.
- Address how the project is expected to contribute to the generation of new information, scholarship, knowledge, or creative work.
Methods and Project Design
This section should contain:
- A specific description of the research or creative methods being applied in the project.
- An assessment of resources required for project planning and implementation.
- A consideration of potential project challenges.
- An explanation of when and for how long the various stages of the project will take place. (While a separate timetable is also required, please be sure to explain the timing of your project narratively here.)
- Human Subjects: If the project involves human subjects or personal data, there should be clear evidence of the Institutional Review Board’s approval, waiver or anticipated approval. (IRB approval must occur before project begins.)
- Vertebrate Animals: If the project involves working with non-human vertebrates, there should be clear evidence of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee’s approval, waiver or anticipated approval. (IACUC approval must occur before project begins.)
This section should describe your plan for sharing the results of the project. The plan should include a list of potential venues in which the student will seek to share her/his work — both within and outside Northeastern (e.g., Honors Research Showcase Event, Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Fall Research Symposium, the Research, Innovation, and Scholarship Expo (RISE), a discipline-specific conference, a scholarly or specialized publication, etc.).
This section should describe how you plan to evaluate the project’s progress and outcomes. This section should specify milestones, benchmarks, and criteria that will be used both to assess and, if necessary, adjust the project while it is in process, as well as to evaluate the final outcomes.
Timetable (1 page)
Prepare a detailed, week-by-week timetable outlining the specific steps and duration of your proposed course of action for carrying the project to completion. Please note when your project begins and concludes. All projects must be carried out during the term for which the applicant is applying. While projects can continue beyond the award term, applicants should describe a completable portion of the project to be tackled during the award duration. (Recall that project timing should also be discussed in the project narrative.)
An Annotated Bibliography of at Least Five Disciplinarily Relevant Peer-Reviewed Articles or Books (1-2 pages)
Including works cited in the proposal and other key sources. An annotated bibliography provides a brief synopsis of each listed work, also explaining its relevance and applicability to your project and clarifying your works positioning within your field of inquiry or creativity.
Budget (1 page)
Students must include a detailed, itemized budget of estimated project expenses and available resources, prepared using the Award Budget Template. Only budgets prepared using the template will be accepted.
This award covers up to 50% of travel costs directly related to data collection; therefore, the Award Budget Template automatically adjusts expenses entered in the “Travel” section to comply with this standard.
These awards do not fund travel to present completed research at conferences. Do not include conference travel in your budget.
These awards do not fund stipends or wages for undergraduate researchers. Awards are deposited into the overhead accounts of faculty mentors. Please print this to PDF sideways!
Résumé (1 page)
Include a current résumé for the applicant, or for each group member (if applicable).
Include the most recent academic transcript of the applicant, or of each group member (if applicable). Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.
Students must arrange to have a statement of support from their faculty mentor submitted by the proposal deadline, indicating their thoughts on the merit, feasibility, and safety of the project, as well as their willingess to mentor and guide the student(s) during the duration of the project term.
The online application system will prompt you to enter your faculty mentor’s contact details and solicit a letter from them; be sure to do this sufficiently far in advance of the deadline to allow your mentor to submit the letter.