Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities (URSCA)

To support the University's mission to foster opportunities for student-faculty scholarship, the Honors College offers undergraduates the opportunity to apply for competitive funding to promote their research, scholarship, and creative activities.

Student research and creative activity that has been funded has gone on to be presented at regional and national discipline-specific meetings or at meetings of the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). In 2013, the Honors College sponsored 37 students' attendance at the annual NCUR meeting.

Applicant must be an undergraduate student in good standing with a minimum 3.00 GPA and enrolled full-time for the current semester AND the semester in which the research/creative activity is to be conducted: for summer awards students must be enrolled in at least one class.  Research must be completed and the summary reflection submitted to the Honors College prior to the end of the semester following the one for which the grant was awarded.

Applications for the Fall 2014 cycle of funding are now open. Review the instructions in the form and make sure that you have your Faculty Sponsor review your proposal, as he or she will be required to submit an URSCA Faculty Sponsor Form  in order for your proposal to be considered. If you would like to see samples of prior successful  URSCA proposals, please click here. Note, while the samples are from summer proposals they have the essential ingredients of all good proposals - a clear project with a detailed timeline, a plan for publicizing the results of research, and specific plans for the funds to be disbursed.

URSCA awards have been distributed since the fall of 1990. Happy 25th Anniversary URSCA. To celebrate, here is a list of all the URSCA award winners from the first awards up to now!

Award Information

All awards made by the University are first applied to a student’s account.  If a student has a balance, then the award is applied to that balance.  Award amounts not used to pay off a student’s balance will be refunded.  Direct deposit is the recommended method for receiving a refund because it will allow students quicker access to their funds.

In order to receive the award in a timely manner, even if the student is off campus, students are strongly encouraged to use Direct Deposit.

In order to sign up for direct deposit, complete the EFT authorization form, attach a voided check and send to the Student Accounts Office. Please print and return this EFT authorization form. If you have any questions, contact the Student Accounts Office at 217-581-3715.

If a refund is not issued, it must be direct deposited or you will receive an e-mail inviting you to pick up a check in the Honors College Office. 

The reflection (guidelines) must be submitted to the Dean of the Honors College by the end of the semester in which it was awarded: for example, if your award is for spring semester research, the Summary Reflection must be submitted by the last day of classes that spring semester.  If the research, scholarship, or creative activity is still not completed at this time, please submit an interim progress report addressing as many of the required topics as possible. Failure to submit a Summary Reflection may result in the refusal of future awards and may result in a hold being placed on your records. The Summary Reflection is required in order to maintain an account of past recipients and to identify the actual use of award monies.

While the Honors College has been able to internally fund undergraduate students, there are also external funding agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, which offer other opportunities to the students.  For example, the NSF-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) offers opportunities that range from paid research positions to internships.