Overview of Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) Program

Undergraduate Research Assistantships offer highly motivated undergraduate students the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member on his/her research, scholarship, or creative activity.

Faculty and students in all academic disciplines at ASU are encouraged to submit proposals. Faculty members, in consultation with their selected student, complete an on-line application due by the deadline dates listed. The proposals are reviewed by a faculty committee, with the quality of the proposal as the primary selection criterion. Students must be enrolled full-time (minimum of 12 credit hours) in the fall or spring semesters. They must take at least one summer session class (for summer URA's) to be eligible for the URA program. It is the Faculty Mentor's responsibility to make sure the student meets this requirement prior to applying.

Students can earn up to $2,000 ($1,000 per semester in two of the following terms: Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020) and must present their work at ASU's Celebration of Student Research and Creative Endeavors meeting held each spring. Faculty may only apply for $1,000 per semester cycle. They may reapply with the same student or a new student (but not both) for continued URA funding (not to exceed a total of $2,000) but must submit a new application and be selected for funding by our review committee.  A second consecutive semester application for the same URA student with the same Faculty Mentor is not guaranteed and is contingent upon the proposal reflecting continued need and revised outcomes.

URA money must be used to support students who are collaborating with an ASU Faculty Member's research/creative endeavors. URA money can not be used to support those student's individual research.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum G.P.A. a student needs to have to be eligible for a URA?

  • Students supported by a URA must have at least a 2.70 G.P.A. at the time of the application.

Must the student be enrolled full time while completing the URA?

  • Yes. A student must be enrolled for 12 hours or more while applying and/or carrying out a Fall/Spring URA. For summer URA's, a student must be enrolled for at least one 3 hour course in either summer school session. It is the Faculty member's responsibility to make sure that the student they are applying for has met the minimum semester hour enrollment requirements.

How many total students can a faculty mentor support through the URA program in a given academic year?

  • A given faculty mentor may request support for one student a semester and/or summer. At this time, Faculty may only apply on a semester-by-semester basis for $1,000 total. If budget approval is granted for the following semester, Faculty must reapply and go through the same application/award process they did previously (not to exceed $2,000).
  • Consecutive semester URA's are not guaranteed and would require evidence regarding progress on previous semester URA and updated goals.  

Can a faculty mentor use URA funds to support a student as part of their large, on-going research program?

  • Yes, the URA program supports a variety of projects, including those from faculty members who have large on-going research programs. It is incumbent upon the Faculty member to clearly delineate the role a student will play in the overall project as well as the skill development of the student(s).

When are URA proposals due?

  • Proposals are typically due in the semester before the work will begin. For example, Summer support is submitted in April. Fall support is submitted in August, and Spring support is submitted in November. Note: Funding for the URA program is made on a semester basis with calls for new applications going out in the last month of the semester.

What is the stipend amount of a URA?

  • Students are paid a $1,000 stipend for a given funding period (summer, fall and spring semester).
  • Students are expected to work with their faculty mentor for 6-8 hours per week (100 hours total) during a given funding period.

If you have additional questions, call OSR at 828-262-7655 or contact Dr. Becki Battista at battistara@appstate.edu.

Review Process for a URA Application

After you submit your URA application online, OSR electronically forwards your proposal to a faculty committee from the OSR Advisory Board. Each member of the committee reviews the proposal independently and assigns the proposal a score. After each member assigns the proposal a score, the committee comes together to discuss the proposals and decides which proposals to fund. The primary criteria is the quality of the proposal.

Proposal Requirements

A proposal can receive a maximum of 20 points based on the following:

1. Project goals (Max 5 points)

  • Please explain how this is a scholarship for your academic discipline. Include the general design of the project or creative endeavor. (Max 2000 characters)

2. Role of the faculty mentor (Max 5 points)

  • Briefly explain what role you will play as the faculty member in mentoring this student, also discuss any previous experience you have in mentoring undergraduate students. (Max 2000 characters)

3. Role of the student (Max 5 points)

  • What do you expect the student to gain from this experience? What is the student's involvement in the project? Please provide a summary as to what specific tasks the student will be engaged. (Max 2000 characters)

4. Demonstrated outcome. (Max 5 points)

  • Why do you think the student is deserving of this assistantship? How will your research program benefit? (Max 2000 characters).

If a URA proposal is missing a given section, the proposal receives a score of ZERO for that section.

To Apply

Submit the Undergraduate Research Assistantship formOnly faculty may complete this URA application. 

The deadline for Spring 2020 URA applications was Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 11:59 pm. A Summer 2020 deadine will be posted by late spring, pending funding approval. 

Because this application requires a great deal of information, we suggest you prepare your answers in advance in a word processing application such as Word and cut and paste your answers into the application.

Award Notifications

A deadline for Fall 2020 will be posted in mid-late August, pending funding approval.  Notification of availability of funds will be sent via campus news, our website and the Google Research group.