Program Overview

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The Undergraduate Research Academy encourages students to expand their education beyond the classroom through participation in research and creative projects mentored by UCCS faculty. The Academy objective is to support collaborative efforts between the student and faculty member, where both members benefit from the experience. Academy students act as research assistants on meaningful projects identified by their faculty mentor. The faculty member is responsible for providing significant and meaningful guidance and mentorship. Through this opportunity, the student gains valuable experience, while being paid, and the faculty member’s research program goals are furthered. Students may identify faculty mentors or vice versa.

Funding Possibilities:

The student and faculty member can apply for funding from the Undergraduate Research Academy Summer Program to support their research project. For this call, the maximum total award available is $3500. This call is meant to support summer research (e.g. students may work May 18th -August, 21st, 2020). Although the dates of the research internship are flexible, students are expected to dedicate ~200 hours towards research over the summer[1]. Students must attend all summer URA workshops held during the 2020 summer semester.  


Awards cover budget requests for student pay, project related supplies, travel, or a faculty honorarium. Students will be paid as research assistants. Mentors should use the criteria determined by student employment to determine the appropriate pay level.

  • The majority of the budget must go directly to the student, therefore a maximum of $1000 can be used for expenses other than student pay. Please note that the entire award can be used for student pay.
  • If a portion of that $1000 will be used for a faculty honorarium, it is limited to $750.
  • The review committee may suggest a reduced budget. The Faculty Mentor can appeal the committee’s decision to the URA director. The URA director will determine if a research proposal will be funded at the reduced rate.
  • If Faculty Mentors require an extension for unused funds at the end of the summer period, they must contact the URA director for an extension by August 28th, 2020. Funds may be extended into the fall semester if there is a legitimate research purpose.

Review Criteria:

Proposals will be evaluated based on the overall quality of the application submitted and available funding. Keep in mind that reviewers come from a variety of disciplines and the proposal should be tailored to a broad audience. The applications are scored based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of the student applicant’s essay
  • Quality of the mentorship plan
  • Quality of the project proposal
  • The impact of the project on the student’s academic success and Faculty Mentor’s research agenda/professional goals

Other Information:
The awards are made to neither the student nor the faculty member but rather to both. If for some reason this team dissolves, the remaining award money must be returned to the URA.


Before applying, please review both the eligibility requirements and program expectations:


  • Student applicant must be a junior or senior standing in summer 2020*
  • An overall grade point average of 3.5 or above
  • Project and faculty mentor identified
  • Previous URA mentees in good standing are eligible to reapply, however, preference will be given to student and faculty pairs that have not previously received funding from Undergraduate Research Academy.
  • Mentors must be tenure-track, tenured or research appointment faculty

*Don’t meet these eligibility requirements? Contact the Center for Student Research to find other ways you can get involved in research at or visit us in Main Hall 316.


Student expectations:

  • Attendance and participation in the Welcome and URA 101 meeting in May 2020 (multiple meeting options will take place during the weeks of May 11th and 18th) and all Summer URA workshops (the weeks of June 8th, June 22nd, July 13th and July 27th) and the URA Undergraduate Showcase (to be held early in the fall 2020 semester)

  • Attend weekly meetings with mentor
  • Dedicate ~200 hours towards research over the summer (flexible schedule conditioned to the between May 18th -August, 21st, 2020)  
  • Poster presentation at Mountain Lion Research Day (MLRD) Fall 2020 or the Colorado Springs Undergraduate Research Forum (CSURF) in Spring 2020. Note: students graduating in fall 2020 must participate in the Mountain Lion Research Day in fall 2020.
  • Completion of an Exit Survey

Faculty expectations:

  • Write and submit the proposal for the URA Summer 2020 cohort research proposal
  • Research mentoring
    • Help student researcher achieve clearly defined expectations
    • Meet weekly with the student researcher
    • Mentor the student researcher on developing their posters/presentations for the Undergraduate Showcase and MLRD or CSURF
    • Attend the Undergraduate Showcase and MLRD or CSURF
  • Track expenditures for the URA funding and ensure compliance with university policies (e.g. student employment)
  • Submit a 1-page write-up to the URA director in September 2019 on the accomplishments of the research team and budget summary of money exhausted on the research project
  • Notify URA director of all scholarly products resulting from this award
  • Notify URA director about mentee’s acceptance into graduate school or employment post graduation
  • Completion of an exit survey

[1] Students must abide by university policies on employment. These policies may differ between the regular semester and the summer semester. Faculty Mentors are responsible for ensuring they are following university policies regarding student employment.


Questions can be directed to Jennifer Poe, URA Director at