Decide on your research area of interest.
What grabs your attention? What are you curious about? What do you enjoy studying? What questions need to be answered? Choose a research topic in which you are genuinely interested and think you will enjoy investigating. Don't try to solve all the problems of the world, but choose something that is doable in one or two semesters of part-time research.
Find a faculty mentor. If you know a faculty member with experience in your field of interest, you may contact the faculty member directly. If you don't have a faculty member in mind, browse the departmental contact list for suggestions. You can also browse the UR-Linked Database to find faculty who share your interests.
Complete a SEARCH or SUROP application.
SEARCH or SUROP grants are available for research projects undertaken during the academic year or during the summer term. SEARCH grants (Students Engaged in the Arts & Research) provide up to $1250 in reimbursable research expenses undertaken during the academy year; SUROP grants (Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity) provide students with a $2,000 tuition grant and cover reimbursable expenses (up to $1250) for projects undertaken during the summer session.
You can complete your SEARCH or SUROP application online.
The application will ask you to upload a project narrative (a PDF of no more than 3 pages) that addresses the following six areas:
• Project Description: Clearly explain the purpose of your project including pertinent literature, hypotheses, and the significance of your proposed research or artistic project to the discipline.Please review the full guidelines and instructions for completing the SUROP application carefully before beginning your online submission.
• Methods: Clearly describe how you plan to accomplish your project. Be as specific as possible. In writing-oriented projects, make sure the investigative approach or comparison you intend is part of a clearly focused discussion.
• Time Schedule: Provide a specific timetable for implementing the various steps of your project.
• Student background: Identify the courses and other experiences that will enable you to accomplish this project. Give current GPA.
• Importance to Student: Explain why this project is important to you, and what role it plays in your development—personal, academic, and/or professional.
• Budget: In as detailed a manner as possible, provide a budget to cover supplies, equipment, and other project expenses. Maximum $1250 for the project costs.
The deadline for SUROP applications is March 9, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. Applicants are STRONGLY encouraged to submit at least 48 hours in advance of the deadline so that faculty mentors have time to upload a mentor's recommendation and department chairs can endorse the application before it goes to the review board. Please know that once you hit the submit button, you can no longer revise your application.
Additional SEARCH & SUROP Grants Available to Students with Disabilities and Veterans.
Beginning Fall 2015, additional funding is available for students with disabilities and students who are veterans to participate in undergraduate research. While students with disabilities and students who are veterans are always welcome to apply for SEARCH and SUROP grants, we have additional funding from the National Science Foundation for a limited time. One of the goals of the National Science Foundation is to broaden participation in science (including social science), technology, engineering, and math, to include more people with disabilities and veterans. A UMKC grant has funding left over and decided to use it to fund more undergraduate research projects. What this means for SEARCH and SUROP is that the funding can support more students and mentors. Students do not need to be STEM majors to be eligible for this additional funding.
If you are a student with a disability, or a student who is a veteran, the application process is the same as it is for all other students. We just ask that you answer a few more questions. The questions are not criteria on which you will be assessed. Their purpose is to help us determine whether we can use the NSF funding. Please complete the include the SEARCH/SUROP Application Additional Questions, and email them directly to the Director of Undergraduate Research, Dr. Jane Greer firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Write a SEARCH or SUROP Proposal
This video presentation describes how an undergraduate researcher, scholar, or artist can write an effective proposal for a SEARCH or SUROP grant.