Undergraduate Research Educational Stipends

Goal of Undergraduate Research Educational Stipends

The purpose of Undergraduate Research Educational Stipends is to provide support for undergraduate students to engage in research and creative scholarship under the guidance of a faculty mentor; research assistants for faculty are not funded through this program. Only those requests that present undergraduate students as the primary conductor of the research will be considered for Undergraduate Research Educational Stipends. This program is supported through Intentional Learning Plan funding** and administered by the Committee to Institutionalize Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship (CIURCS). Undergraduate research and scholarship at WCU are defined as: An inquiry, investigation, or significant creative achievement conducted by an undergraduate student with a faculty mentor and designed to make an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline with an expectation of dissemination. In some fields this work may consist of a discovery-based research project while in other disciplines this may consist of the demonstration of creative achievement through public performance, juried exhibition or demonstration . Undergraduate Research Educational Stipends require students to make connections and synthesize their learning at WCU. Results of any undergraduate research project completed remain the intellectual property of WCU.

General Requirements

  1. Funding is provided to support student-driven research or scholarship. It is not intended to support students working for a faculty member as a research or project assistant unless there is a self-contained project that the student can see to completion.
  2. Each student researcher (apprentice), with guidance from a faculty mentor, will develop a project proposal to be reviewed by CIURCS and recommended for support.
  3. All projects will involve a project definition phase, a work phase, and a dissemination phase. Plans for dissemination should consist of presenting or publishing in an institutional, regional, state, or national venue (including publication or conference).


  1. Students must be enrolled full time during the semester of application and/or completion of the research.
  2. Students should have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher unless an exception is requested by faculty mentor (subject to approval by CIURCS).
  3. Faculty mentors must be full-time instructional faculty from any academic program or department at WCU.

Awards Available

Undergraduate research educational stipends are designed for up to 50 hours of involvement during a given academic year.

Student Support

  1. A total of up to $500 for 50 hours of research (paid in three equal installments).
  2. Following the first check, funding for the second check is contingent upon a satisfactory interim report from the faculty mentor. Funding for the third check is contingent upon documented dissemination of the results.
  3. Students who receive financial aid need to check with the Financial Aid Office for information on how Undergraduate Research Educational Stipends may affect their financial aid.

Application Process

The applications will consist of the following:

Application Form (PDF)

1) Student Section including:

  1. Completed Student Section of the Application Form
  2. Unofficial WCU academic transcript
  3. A 1/2 page letter of interest in the experience including a description of career/further education goals (single spaced, Times New Roman or Arial font 12pt)
  4. A (1/2 page maximum) project description (double spaced, Times New Roman or Arial Font 12 pt)
  5. A paragraph explaining how the project will support one or more of the Quality Enhancement goals, e.g., solving complex problems, integrating information from a variety of sources, etc., for student learning. Details available at the following link /WebFiles/PDFs/Intentional Learning Plan_Outcomes__Metarubrics_27Oct09.pdf
  6. Signed release for publicity (attached)
  7. Any documentation required for use of animals or human subjects (from the Office of Research Administration), if appropriate
  8. Plans for dissemination of results of the research.

2) Faculty Section including:

  1. Completed Faculty Section of the Application Form
  2. A statement of the significance of the project, likelihood of success (1/2 page, describes the role of the student, included faculty time commitment), and a discussion of the role of the student in the research.
  3. A paragraph explaining how the project will support one or more of the Quality Enhancement goals for student learning available at the following link /WebFiles/PDFs/Intentional Learning Plan_Outcomes__Metarubrics_27Oct09.pdf

Selection Criteria

The criteria to evaluate proposals include:

  1. the academic achievement and potential for success of the student
  2. the quality and potential contribution of the research
  3. the anticipated quality of the student learning experience

NOTE: Only complete applications will be considered for this employment opportunity. Students (and faculty mentors) who are selected for this employment opportunity will receive instructions about completing the Non-Work Study Contract process through Student Employment in Career Services.


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