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EIU Pine Honors College

Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities (URSCA)

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

Students have presented their URSCA-funded research and creative activity at regional and national discipline-specific conferences, and at the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR).

See a list of our URSCA award winners.


  • undergraduate student in good standing with a minimum 3.00 GPA
  • 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 research or creative activity class directly related to the funded project; this includes independent studies
  • For Fall and Spring awards, students must work on an independent project under the guidance of a research mentor. 
  • Research must be completed and the summary reflection submitted to the Honors College at the end of the term for which the grant was awarded.
  • Students do not need to be part of the Honors College to apply


Depending on the availability of funds, the award for Fall and Spring applicants will be in the amount of $750 ($500 paid to the student's account; $250 given to the faculty mentor's department to help support the student's research project). Summer awards are usually higher and are enough to cover the cost of a summer course.


Spring 2021 URSCA applications: Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

Summer 2020 URSCA applications: Friday, March 12, 2021

Fall 2021 URSCA applications: Friday, March 26, 2021

Note: applications open on AcademicWorks for each round approximately one week after the previous round closes.


1. Review the proposal instructions, below. Do feel free to look at samples of prior successful URSCA proposals.

2. Complete the written part of your proposal in a Word document, and then share it with your faculty mentor to review. 

3. Your faculty mentor will receive an email requesting information in support of your application. For more info, see below.  

4. Complete and submit your application on AcademicWorks.

Note that 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 awarded. 

Note that the last question asks for a budget. Please be as specific as possible. Travel to the annual NCUR conference is funded separately from the URSCA award, so please do not list NCUR travel as a category of expense.

Proposal Instructions


You must upload a Word-compatible file (.doc, .docx, .rtf) or pdf responding to the questions below. Documents not in this format will not be accepted. Because you are being evaluated by faculty from diverse fields, please avoid jargon in your response. Respond to all questions as clearly as possible. Your faculty sponsor should review this document before you upload it. The document should be in 12-point font with 1-inch margins, and should not exceed three pages. You may include images or additional appendices if needed. 


Please name the file as follows: Your last name_Proposal_MonthYr.docx

For example: Smith_Proposal_Sept13.docx

In your document, please use your name and project title as a header. Paste the questions into the document, and respond to each. For research projects use questions R1 – R5. For creative activities, use questions C1-C5. 


R1: Briefly describe your proposed research project (e.g., purpose, hypothesis, research goals).

R2: Describe the method to be used in the proposed research project including an evaluation of the data. Include a project timeline.

R3: How will this research contribute to the existing knowledge in the field of study?

R4: What background and skills qualify you to successfully complete this project? How does this project develop/strengthen your professional skills?

R5: Indicate a budget for the project. Specify a plan for the dissemination of the results from this project. (Note: NCUR travel is funded separately from this award, so please do not include that as a category of expenditure.)


C1. Briefly summarize your intentions in this creative activity. Include a statement of what artistic or other type of ‘discoveries’ are expected from this project.

C2. What steps will you take to implement and complete this project? Include a project timeline with approximate dates during which you will carry out part of the project.

C3. Place this creative activity in the context of current and historical trends within the creative discipline.

C4. What background and skills qualify you to successfully complete this project? How does this project develop/strengthen your professional skills?

C5. Please give a budget for the project. Indicate a specific plan for disseminating the results of this project. (Note: NCUR travel is funded separately from this award, so please do not include that as a category of expenditure.)

Faculty Sponsor Information

Faculty sponsors will be asked the following questions in the email they receive from AcademicWorks.

Award Information

A reflection (guidelines) must be submitted to the Dean of the Pine 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 Pine 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.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Sandra and Jack Pine Honors College

Pemberton Hall South
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-2017
(888) 440-4664
Fax: (217) 581-7222

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