Funding and Grants

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 the following funding programs:

  1. Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowships;
  2. SPUR Grants Program;
  3. Student Research Travel Grants
  4. Undergraduate Research Assistant Program, 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 

Chris Fernández Summer Research Fellow

The Undergraduate Research Council anticipates offering a limited number of Summer Research Fellowships in 2024. 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 2024. Each fellowship consists of a $4,000 student award and a $2,000 faculty award.  

*Check back for the 2024 program application*

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. 2024 or after.
  3. Student cannot be the recipient of a prior Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship award.
  4. Student cannot be enrolled in a Summer course because the Summer Research Fellowship is considered a full-time job.
  5. Fellowship must be completed by Aug. 18, 2024.


  1. Attendance at a 30 minute introductory meeting in April 2024. Each fellowship recipient will give a brief presentation describing their proposed scholarly activity.
  2. Periodic meetings with your cohort of summer research scholars.
  3. Required presentation on the results of their research at the 2025 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

The SPUR Grants Program

The Student Progress in Undergraduate Research program (SPUR) is designed to support students engaged in research with a faculty mentor to apply for up to $250 to facilitate their research projects. The SPUR grants provide funds to help defray the cost of supplies, small equipment, and travel related to collecting data collection or gathering other material required for the successful completion of the project.

The SPUR grants program aims to support original research projects in all departments and academic disciplines at the College.  While different fields of study may have somewhat different definitions of research, the SPUR grants are available for an investigation where the undergraduate student is either conducting or contributing significant aspects of a rigorous inquiry that builds on existing knowledge and makes an intellectual contribution to the discipline.

Student SPUR Application

Faculty Mentor SPUR Application

The deadlines for this program are: 

Fall Semester: TBD
Spring Semester: TBD
Summer Session: TBD

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* travel policies.  Students must have a faculty sponsor/mentor.

Awards are for travel between Sept. 2023 and June 2024. The URC will accept only one application per eligible applicant per year. In order to be reimbursed, you must have submitted your application and been approved by the URC prior to your travel. We are unable to reimburse students for travel completed without an approved application.

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* travel policies.  A complete application MUST include documentation that the student will be presenting (or has presented) at a professional and/or academic conference.

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.

Travel Grant Deadline: TBD

*Guidelines and policies regarding student travel: TBD 

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 semester or 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 2024-25 Academic year will be in April 2024.

URAP FACULTY Application

URAP STUDENT Application