Funding, Grants and Scholarships

The URC is pleased to provide financial support in the form of grants and fellowships for SUNY Cortland undergraduate students to promote research and creative projects and for travel to present at conferences.  Currently, the URC oversees three funding programs:

  1. Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowships;
  2. SPUR Grants Program;
  3. Student Research Travel Grants. Additionally, the URC has a program (URAP) in which faculty can apply for a Work Study eligible student as a research assistant to advance their research/scholarly activities.

Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship Program

The Undergraduate Research Council anticipates offering a limited number of Summer Research Fellowships in 2020. These prestigious fellowships will provide a stipend to permit students to conduct primary research or creative activities with faculty mentors. Proposals from all academic disciplines will be welcome.

The fellowships provide an opportunity for undergraduate students and their faculty mentors to engage in eight weeks of full-time scholarly activity during the summer of 2020. Each fellowship consists of a $4,000 student award and a $1,000 faculty award.  In addition, the Residence Life and Housing Office has partnered with the URC to offer eight weeks of on-campus housing for student fellows. The cost of housing will be paid in full by the Residence Life and Housing Office.

The deadline for this program is Friday, March 13, 2020

Eligibility Requirements

1.   Faculty mentors may receive funding for only one fellowship.
2.   Student must be a sophomore, junior, or a senior graduating in Dec. 2020 or after.
3.   Student cannot be the recipient of a prior Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship award.
4.   Student cannot be employed or enrolled in course work during their Summer Research Fellowship.
5    Fellowship must be completed by Aug. 25, 2020.


1.   Mandatory attendance at an awardee reception meeting in late April or early May, 2020 at which time each fellowship recipient will give a brief verbal presentation describing their proposed scholarly activity.
2.   Required presentation on the results of their research at the 2021 SUNY Cortland's Transformations student conference.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed by the Undergraduate Research Council. The evaluation criteria will include:

  • the intellectual quality of the project; and    
  • merit of the research/creative experience

Download Application: (PDF) (Word

The SPUR Grants Program

SUNY Cortland’s Undergraduate Research Council (URC) announces a new program of grants supporting research efforts throughout the year by students and their faculty mentors.  In this program, titled Student Progress in Undergraduate Research (SPUR) grants, students and their mentors will apply for access to funds to facilitate their research projects.  SPUR grant projects are expected to require one full semester or more of work.  In many cases, students will be enrolled in independent study or independent research courses during the project, although this is not required. The SPUR grants provide funds to help defray the cost of supplies, small equipment, and research-related travel required for the successful completion of the project.

The SPUR grants program is aimed to support original research projects in all departments and academic disciplines at the College.  Each field of study may have somewhat different definitions of research but for this program we recognize undergraduate research as involving an investigation conducted by an undergraduate that builds off of existing knowledge and makes an original intellectual contribution to the discipline.

A SPUR grant, if awarded, will provide the student and faculty mentor with access of up to $400, reimbursable through receipts for eligible expenses.  The SPUR grants are not intended (i) to provide salary or stipends for students, faculty, or other persons; or (ii) to support travel to attend or give presentations at professional conferences or meetings. Students wishing to give presentations at conferences may apply for funds through the URC program titled Student Research Travel Grants. SPUR grants are not intended to support projects that are a part of standard coursework, nor to support all of the students enrolled in any particular course.  However, collaborative projects with multiple students may be eligible for support with one grant per project. 

The deadlines for this program are: 

Funding, Grants and Scholarships - SUNY Cortland

Fall Semester: Friday, Sept. 27, 2019
Spring Semester: Friday, Feb.21, 2020
Summer Session: Friday, April 3, 2020

Download Application: (PDF) (Word)

Student Research Travel Grants

The Undergraduate Research Council’s Student Research Travel Grant Program is designed to assist with reimbursing travel costs of SUNY Cortland full-time undergraduate students who travel to present the results of their research at regional, national, or international conferences*.  Students must have a faculty sponsor/mentor.

Awards are for travel between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. The URC will accept only one application per eligible applicant per year, either during the fall or spring semester. The application must be submitted during the semester in which the travel takes place, or in the case of summer travel (after June 30), in the following Fall semester. The application may be for travel that has already taken place (e.g., before the application deadline) during that semester or at a later date in the semester in which the application is submitted.

Should the application be successful, the actual award amount may depend on available funds, number of applicants, and the distance/costs necessary for travel. Awards will typically be less than $500. Travel awards can only be applied for actual expenses incurred, and award recipients must submit original receipts to receive travel reimbursement*.  A complete application MUST include documentation that the student will be presenting (or has presented) at a professional and/or academic conference.

The URC encourages faculty sponsors to attend the conference with their presenting student(s).  To this end, the URC may be able to offer limited funds towards faculty travel when other funding sources (e.g. faculty grants, school allotment, College Research Committee grants, UUP/IDA grants, and Faculty Development Center Small Grants Program) are exhausted or insufficient.

Contact Dr. Peter Ducey (Biological Sciences Department) in the Undergraduate Research Council office at ext. 2900 with questions about or for assistance in completing this application.

The 2019-20 deadlines are:

Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 (for travel between July 1-Dec. 31, 2019)
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 (for travel between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2020)

Download Application: (PDF)  (Word

Undergraduate Research Assistant Program

The Undergraduate Research Council in partnership with the Financial Aid Office is pleased to support the Undergraduate Research Assistant Program (URAP) through which faculty members from across the College may request a Work Study eligible student as a research assistant to advance their research/scholarly activities. Students selected for this opportunity would be paid to assist faculty in their research and can gain valuable research skills and experience. Responsibilities will vary depending on the position. In general, the work may be more task-oriented (e.g., literature searches, grant proposal support, data entry, or routine lab work) than research undertaken through independent study or summer fellowship. Several faculty within a department or across disciplines can and are encouraged to jointly apply for a single student research assistant position. Work Study students are assigned for a full academic year, unless they cease to have financial eligibility, maintain good academic standing or drop below full time undergraduate enrollment

This is a pre-matched program—Faculty are required to identify an eligible student as part of their application. In advance of the URAP application, it may be helpful for faculty members to post a “job announcement” to recruit potential students. Financial aid decisions and awards to students are made by the Financial Aid Office based on submission of the FAFSA data for the appropriate academic year. Eligibility for work-study cannot be determined until the Financial Aid Office has received the student’s FAFSA data and positions under this program can only be made to students who qualify for the federal Work Study program (as verified by the Financial Aid Office). Student participants will receive an hourly salary for hours worked during the academic year and are expected to work for 5 or 10 hours a week (based on eligibility) for the entire academic year until their award is exhausted (calculated on a per semester basis) or their eligibility status is revoked.

Expectations for faculty:

  1. Faculty agree to supervise and mentor work-study students and submit appropriate paperwork (e.g., time sheets) during the entire academic year.
  2. Duties assigned to work-study students must be directly related to and advance the faculty’s own research/scholarly agenda.
  3. At the completion of the award (end of academic year) faculty are required to submit a report to the Undergraduate Research Council

The deadline for the 2090-20 Academic year is April 2020

Download Application: (PDF)  (Word

*View guidelines and policies regarding student travel (PDF)

Important Deadlines

Travel Grant Applications

Fall: Nov. 1, 2019
Spring: March 25, 2020

Student Progress in Undergraduate Research Grant Application

Sept. 27, 2019
Feb.21, 2020
April 3, 2020

Summer Research Fellowship Applications

March 13, 2020

Undergraduate Research Assistant Program

April, 2020 (for 2020-21 Academic Year)