Undergraduate Research at UM

University of Mississippi

Call for Proposals to Support Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship at UM

UM’s Flagship Forward Strategic Plan calls for several actions related to undergraduate experiential learning and intellectual engagement:

  • develop programs that build “bright pathways” for students to engage in intellectual pursuits with faculty, staff, and students;
  • facilitate opportunities to foster intellectual engagement among faculty, staff, students, and external partners; and
  • encourage the development of experiential learning in all undergraduate academic programs

To advance these goals, the Provost’s Office and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs are pleased to announce a new program that will facilitate and encourage undergraduate research on the Oxford campus via three tracks of competitive funding. A total of $50,000 is available in support of the program this year.

Track-1: Summer Research Fellowships

This track will support undergraduate research on campus during the summer months. The goals of the Summer Research Fellowships are to enhance opportunities for undergraduates to engage in one-on-one research projects with faculty members, to enlarge the scope of undergraduate research conducted on-campus during the summer, to provide support to enable undergraduates to extend the period over which they engage in research, and to offer some support for faculty mentoring of students over the summer. We seek Track-1 applications from a broad range of student backgrounds, disciplines, and program affiliations. All UM/Oxford undergraduate students interested in pursuing mentored research or creative scholarship are encouraged to apply.

A maximum of $4000 will be awarded ($3000 for student stipend, and up to $1000 faculty summer salary for 9-month faculty without other substantial summer salary support). Summer Research Fellowships can support faculty-mentored research in any discipline and is open to currently enrolled UM undergraduate students. Competitive priority points will be given to Provost Scholars; students whose research projects are clearly complementary to their academic program and/or their career goals; and students whose participation will add to diversity of the program in some demonstrable way.

Successful applications will propose work in which the student makes a substantial independent contribution. The proposed work should result in, or contribute to, a substantial finished product for the student, such as authorship on a publishable manuscript, or the production or presentation of a creative work. The final product should be completed within six months of end of the funded period.

Track-1 Applications will be submitted by students, and must include:

  • Student’s name, classification at the time of the application, major department/program, and faculty mentor.
  • A description (800-1,000 word limit) of the scholarly project and the activities in which the student will be engaged in carrying out the project. If the summer project is a portion of a larger piece of work such as a senior thesis, the description should address the role of the summer component in the larger project.
  • A description of the role the project plays in contributing to the student’s broader academic and/or professional goals.
  • A description and proposed timeline for completion of the anticipated product of the scholarly activity (e.g., publishable manuscript, research presentation, senior thesis, creative piece or performance, etc.).
  • A short description of how the student’s participation will diversify this program (optional).

Upon submission of the application by the student, the faculty/mentor will receive a prompt to submit, within one week, an endorsement of the student research proposal via the portal (Download Endorsement Form). This endorsement will include:

  • A brief description of the scholarly project and both the mentor’s and the student’s roles in designing the project and in carrying it out.
  • An assessment of the student’s ability to complete the work.
  • A description of the nature of the mentoring relationship planned for the student during the funded period. If the mentor is already supervising the student, the letter should include a description of the mentoring activities to date, plans to develop or continue these activities during the funded period.
  • A description of the final product of the scholarly activity (e.g., publishable manuscript, research presentation, senior thesis, creative piece or performance, etc.).

Track-2: Summer Undergraduate Research Group Grants (SURGG)

The Summer Undergraduate Research Group Grants provide financial support for an individual faculty member, or team of faculty members, to offer an intensive, 10-week summer research or creative scholarship experience for at least two and up to five undergraduate students.

This track is designed to encourage faculty to engage high-achieving UM undergraduates in innovative research projects. The primary goal of this track is to encourage the submission of grant proposals to support undergraduate research projects and allow faculty to gain experience facilitating summer undergraduate research programs. Applicants will be required to identify a target external funding opportunity for an undergraduate research program, and will be expected to work with ORSP Research Development Fellows to develop a proposal for submission within 12 months of the UM funded project.

The secondary goal of this project is to engage students in creative scholarship, and link the student experience to a larger faculty research project. While this program explicitly provides support for programs that include research or creative scholarship projects designed to take place for ten weeks during the summer, we expect this experience will encourage the development of a continuing research mentoring relationship between the team leader(s) and students.

Faculty members in any discipline are encouraged to apply. Applications from diverse faculty teams and disciplines are encouraged.

Participating undergraduates must be first-, second- or third-year students at the time of application (fourth-year students are ineligible). All undergraduate participants will receive a $3000 stipend and the mentor(s) will each receive up to $1,000 for salary (for 9-month faculty without other substantial summer salary support) and up to $2,500 for itemized, associated research expenses.

Track-2 Applications must include:

  • Biographical and Contact information for all team supervisors. Biographical and Contact information for any currently identified student participants.
  • Targeted Funding Opportunity for Undergraduate Research Programs
  • Proposal (2-page limit): include statement of importance, background, hypotheses, methodology and continued research plans.
  • Description of undergraduate research mentorship plan (500-word limit): detail specific ways in which undergraduates will be actively mentored, with special attention given to student learning outcomes and scholarly products resulting from the research experiences of the students. Include formal advising roles and undergraduate mentorship.
  • Explanation of team rationale (500-word limit): describe how individuals will work together to provide a collaborative research environment.
  • Plan and Timeline for leveraging this award into an external funding submission to the Targeted Program, with an emphasis on how to sustain and expand the program.
  • Budget (1-page limit): detail supplies, non-faculty salaries, travel expenses or equipment costs essential to the research.

Faculty members may then review applications and conduct interviews prior to selecting the students they would like to include on their research team.

Project proposals will be evaluated by a faculty committee designated by ORSP and selected for funding based on conceptual clarity, level of feasible involvement of undergraduates in the research plan, potential for continued student involvement, and especially potential to sustain and expand the program through competitive external funding. Projects involving 3 or more undergraduates will be given priority.

Awarded investigators will be required to submit a final report within one month of project completion. All student participants will complete the Survey of Undergraduate Research Experiences assessment. (SURE Partner Form)

Participating undergraduate students will be encouraged to present a research poster at an on campus research event, submit their research results as a manuscript to the UM Undergraduate Research Journal, and submit a summary suitable for posting on ORSP’s website. The summary should describe the project’s goals and content, what the student learned through the research experience and how participating in this research project contributed to the educational experience.

Track-3: Undergraduate Travel Grants

            Through this track, undergraduate students may request up to $500 in competitive funding to defray travel and other costs associated with presenting their original, UM-conducted research or creative scholarship at regional or national Conferences. Priority will be given to students participating in the Track-1 program (above) or other recognized UM student experiential learning programs, including those involving externally sponsored projects for which such student travel grants can be a demonstrated form of institutional support

These travel grants are designed to provide undergraduate students with the valuable opportunity to present their research and scholarship and more fully integrate with the community of scholars in their field.

Track-3 Applications must include:

  • Student and Research Mentor Contact Information.
  • Confirmation of the acceptance of a paper for presentation at a regional or national research conference.
  • Statement of how attending this conference will allow the student to more fully integrate with researchers in their field, and aid in the professional development of the student.
  • A detailed travel/expenses budget and schedule
  • Evidence of co-funding from other sources, if necessary, to cover any portion of the costs in excess of $500.

Application Instructions

All proposals must be submitted via the Ole Miss InfoReady Review portal at https://olemiss.infoready4.com, according to the schedule below. Late proposals will not be considered. Proposals with missing elements may not be considered. All awarded moneys will be transferred by ORSP to an account controlled by a designated Faculty Sponsor—the faculty member in department or program hosting the students, who will be administering the program/funds. The Faculty Sponsor will be responsible for administering any payments to undergraduate students themselves (travel reimbursements, stipends, etc.), in accordance with all applicable university policies and practices.

Submitter Payment
Track-1 April 9;
Endorsement April 16
April 23 Student Internal Transfer to Faculty Mentor
Track-2 April 9 April 23 Faculty Internal Grant to Faculty/
Program Director
Track-3 No Deadline Rolling Student Internal Transfer to Mentor

Questions about the program or application process should be e-mailed to ugresearch@olemiss.edu, and addressed to Dr. Jason Ritchie, who is serving as Undergraduate Research Development Fellow in ORSP for the 2017-18 academic year. Please be sure to check UMToday regularly for any updates related to this program, or go to http://ugr.olemiss.edu, which will be coming online later in the spring semester.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Can Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College students apply for Track-1 summer research Funding?

Yes, We seek Track-1 applications from a broad range of student backgrounds, disciplines, and program affiliations. All UM/Oxford undergraduate students interested in pursuing mentored research or creative scholarship are encouraged to apply. Honors College students will not be penalized

How should Undergraduate Research Grants be acknowledged on research publications and presentations?

See the Acknowledging UGR Grants in Publications page on this site.