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Undergraduate Research Scholarships (URS) - Summer

Find information about UCSD's undergraduate research scholarship (URS) program. Several different scholarships are available (for various research areas).

Application Cycle:

The application cycle for 2016 Summer will open in mid-November. Please note the deadline for all applications will be in early February at 11:59pm.

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Project requisite

The research project must be work above and beyond the normal course of study and should not be part of Fall, Winter, or Spring 199 series coursework. However, Summer 199 series work will be accepted. The subject matter does not have to be related to the student's major, minor, or other coursework, although preference may be given to those that do have a major related to specific scholarship goals, depending on the scholarship(s) the student is applying to.

Eligibility

All current UC San Diego undergraduates in any major who will be enrolled the following school year are eligible to apply.

Students who plan on graduating mid-year may also apply, provided the project and final report are completed before graduation.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or eligible under AB540 "California Dream Act".

The project must be completed while the applicant is a UCSD undergraduate. Students will not be eligible if they will have graduated before summer. Students also cannot be part of a BS/MS program during the award period. 

Applicants submit one research proposal per scholarship. The same proposal may be used for multiple research scholarship applications, as indicated on the application form. If chosen for more than one scholarship, a student may only accept one scholarship during the summer research period.

Please note that if awarded, students will not be allowed to take additional courses or get paid through an alternate job during the duration of the scholarship. We would like all awardees to be able to focus on the research full-time. 

For more information about Undergraduate Research Scholarships (URS), contact Sophia Tsai, (858) 534-9014.

Available scholarships

Chancellor's Research Scholarship for Students with Financial Need

Gives consideration to proposals in all majors, regardless of area of study. Applicants will be required to demonstrate financial need for consideration in this scholarship. 

  • Area of study: ALL fields.

David Marc Belkin Memorial Research Scholarship for Environment and Ecology

Gives consideration to those proposals designed to pursue special studies and projects in the general areas of environmental and ecological issues.

  • Area of study: environmental and ecological

David Jay Gambee Memorial Research Scholarship for Governance and Social Impact projects

Gives consideration to those proposals which involve the student as an active citizen in university governance, the local community, or national and international affairs. Also receiving preference are projects which lead to a heightened awareness of the relationship between the environment and society. Service in the community through volunteer activities or participation in programs related to the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation are encouraged.

  • Area of study: as an active citizen in university governance, local community, or national and international affairs

Doris A. Howell Foundation Research Scholarship for Women's and Family Health

Gives consideration research proposals designed to improve women’s and family health. Preference is given to applications that study disease prevention in, for example, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Proposals may describe an approach to examine biological, medical, cultural, economic, behavioral, psychosocial, or cross-cultural influences.

  • Area of study: women's and family health

Eureka! Scholarship for Biological Sciences majors

Promotes engagement in basic and translational biology by facilitating students' participation in research opportunities both at the UC San Diego campus and at research facilities on the San Diego Mesa (located north of UCSD). Successful proposals will show evidence that the scholarship will provide the students with an opportunity to have a significant research experience.

  • Area of study: basic and translational biology; student must have a declared major in the Division of Biological Sciences

Frances Hellman Research Scholarship for Physics 

Gives consideration to those proposals designed to pursue special studies and projects in physics. Preference is given to students with a physics major.
  • Area of study: physics

Julia Brown Research Scholarship for Health and Medical Professions

Gives consideration to students whose career objectives are in health care, medicine, medical research, pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, or public health. Preference given to students with extenuating circumstances or financial need. 
  • Area of study: health care, medicine, medical research, pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, or public health career objectives

Ledell Family Endowed Research Scholarship for Science and Engineering

Gives consideration to proposals designed to pursue special studies and projects in physical science, biological science, or engineering. Must be a US Citizen.

  • Area of study: physical science, biological science, or engineering

Robert C. Dynes and Ann Parode Dynes Research Scholarship for Physics

Gives consideration to those proposals designed to pursue special studies and projects in physics. Preference is given to students with a physics major. 

  • Area of study: physics

Please apply for any of the above scholarships at: http://ucsd-research.academicworks.com

Award terms and amounts

The research project should be completed during summer. Receipt of an award does not disqualify students from applying in future application cycles, so long as they maintain eligibility as an undergraduate student. 

The amount of the research scholarship was established to recognize and encourage undergraduate research, and can cover project costs, and/or any education-related expenses, including summer living costs. All research scholarships are summer awards up to $4,000.

Awards will be paid by early July and will not replace academic-year financial aid. This award is considered a budget add-on to cover project-related costs.

A final report and faculty appraisal must be submitted at the conclusion of the project (see below for details).

Research proposal and personal statement

Each scholarship application (opportunity) will require a research proposal to be submitted. Please follow the following guidelines:

Detailed description should include: (1000 word max)

  • Title
  • Research question
    • the goal of the work
    • the potential significance of the project
  • Preliminary work accomplished and/or relevant experience
  • Methods or theoretical/critical frameworks you will use, with appropriate citations
  • Timeline of the work you expect to accomplish over three months (Summer 2015)
  • Statement noting if IRB approval is needed or not
  • List of references cited (not included in the 1000 word maximum)

Personal statement:(500 word max)
What is it?

  • A resume in narrative form
  • Your introduction to the selection committee

What must I include?

  • Who am I?
  • Who do I want to be?
  • What kind of contributions do I want to make?
  • How this research will advance your academic and professional goals?

What may I include?

  • Role models, influences (related to your field)
  • Challenges

Recipient selection

The scholarship selection committee may include: the Faculty Committee on Undergraduate Scholarships and Honors, department faculty, program affiliates, or judges selected by sponsoring donors. The scholarship selection committee is chosen based on criteria set forth by sponsoring donors associated with each individual scholarship. This committee selects the winners, who will be notified by e-mail or letter in late April.

Note:

  • Students not awarded will not be notified.
  • Students will not receive more than one research award.
  • Students cannot be part of a BS/MS program during the award period.
  • If the student's project changes significantly between the application and the award period, the review committee reserves the right to request and review an updated proposal. 

Final report

Upon completion of the project, the recipient of a research scholarship must submit a summary report, minimum of 2 pages, via online submission. Directions for this will be emailed to the student at the start of the Fall Quarter. If there are any problems with submission, please e-mail Sophia Tsai (stsai@ucsd.edu) with any questions you may have. Please note these reports may be shared with your donor(s). 

The final report is due in mid-October following the award and must include:

  • 2 page (minimum) report on the research done this summer (late June - mid-September)
    • Your name, PID, name of the scholarship in the header section of Word
    • Title of the project
    • Summary of your research over the summer including any results, and how things may have changed since the last proposal submitted
    • A brief statement of the purpose of the project, the benefits to the project and/or the benefits of your participation in the project
    • A short summary statement of how the funds were used (exact amounts and receipts are NOT required)
    • A statement that indicates the approximate hours spent doing research per week (average). 
  • Will be submitted via Dropbox (link to be sent in an email to the student)
  • Must be read and approved by the student's lab mentor (if applicable) and PI before final submission in mid-October.

Note:

Failure to submit a final report will result in billing the recipient for all funds received. Failure to repay the scholarship will result in future registration and transcript holds.

Faculty appraisal

Upon completion of the project, the faculty sponsor of the student receiving the research scholarship must submit a faculty appraisal via online submission, which will be sent to the student to forward to their faculty member. If there are any problems, send an e-mail to Sophia Tsai (stsai@ucsd.edu). Please note the faculty appraisal may be shared with the student's donor(s).

The faculty appraisal is due in mid-October following the award and must include on department letterhead:

  • The student's name, ID#, and name of scholarship. 
  • A brief statement confirming the project was completed as proposed.
  • A brief statement confirming the faculty sponsor read and approved the final report written by the student. 
  • A few statements on any of the following:
    • value of project
    • value to student
    • comments on student’s performance.
  • A statement about the approximate hours the student spent doing research per week (average).
  • A statement confirming the funds were used appropriately (research-related expenses)
  • If the student's project has changed significantly from the proposed work, a statement regarding the circumstances surrounding that change. 
  • The faculty member's printed name and signature.

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