Mini-Grants for Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities

Undergraduate Education (UE) offers mini-grants to enable undergraduates to participate in a faculty mentored research and creative projects of their own design as well as student travel to present their research at conferences. Proposals for these grants will be evaluated by a Review Committee, which is composed of faculty members from differing disciplines and UE staff. The primary criteria upon which the grants will be awarded include: student GPA, proposal originality, student project-independence, clarity and feasibility of the proposal, and faculty mentor’s letter of recommendation.

Mini-grant process map
 
Application Deadlines:

For Winter & Spring Awards:

November 15

For Summer & Fall Awards:

May 15

Questions?
ugr@ucr.edu
(951)827-1010

Before starting the application be sure that you have all of the required information, including your abstract, proposal, budget, the contact information for the budget person in your faculty mentor's department.

Mini-Grant Application

Research Mini-Grants

This grant category enables undergraduates to participate in a faculty mentored research, creative or artistic projects of their own design. Proposals for these grants will be evaluated by a Review Committee, which is composed of faculty members from differing disciplines and one UE staff member.

  • Award Criteria:
    • 3.0 GPA
    • Proposal originality
    • Student project-independence
    • Clarity and feasibility of the proposal
    • Clear methodology
    • Clear timeline
    • Well justified budget
    • References/citations
    • Faculty mentor’s letter of recommendation/endorsement of proposal.
  • Funding and Allowable Expenses:

    Funding Available:

    • Up to $1,000 for research-related travel (non-conference) and supplies only. See Travel funds section for information on professional conferences, symposia, and other academic travel funding.

    Allowable expenses for Research Mini-grants include:

    • Project supplies and materials*
    • Computer software not normally available through faculty mentor*
    • Research-related domestic travel (mileage/airfare/university vehicle rental), for off campus research, not conference travel.
    • Cameras and camcorders.*
    • Stipends for human subjects to participate in surveys must have appropriate IRB approval for use of human subjects. Proof of approval must be submitted with the application for consideration.

    *All purchased supplies, materials, and computer software are University property and must remain in the faculty mentor’s laboratory or home department.

    Items that will not be funded include:

    • Student stipends or salary payments
    • Desktop computers; laptops; computer tablets
    • Reimbursements of activities that occurred prior to the project award period.
  • Research Mini-Grant Proposal Guidelines:
    • Proposals should be typed using 12pt font, Times New Roman, 1” margins, double space is preferred (1 1/2" may be considered), no more than 3 pages (including citations). The proposal must be submitted by 5pm on the application deadline. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.
      • Proposal Narrative (2-3 pages) that outlines the research project and includes the following five elements:
        • Introduction/statement of goals: Clearly state what your project is and what is its relevance. If relevant, what’s your hypothesis? State what are your goal(s) and objective(s)?
        • Methodology/Evaluation: Describe your proposed activities. Provide an implementation plan, timeline, and a clearly defined evaluation of your outcome/product (demonstrate how you will know if your outcomes are successful).
        • Budget and Budget Justification: Provide a budget breakdown that gives a general summary of expenses in the proposal. The application will have a section where you are expected to provide a detailed justification that itemizes the resources that are needed for the project indicating their relevance and cost. Prioritize your expenses based on level of importance to your project (this is important in case your proposal cannot be fully funded).
        • Statement of qualifications : Include the relevance to your degree and career plans.
        • Citations/references to support your research. 2-3 citations minimum.
        • Graphs & Images: Although these can be useful in explaining your research, be cautious in regards to the space they use.
    • A letter of support from faculty mentor who will provide the oversight of the proposed A letter of support from faculty mentor who has provided the oversight of the proposed project. This letter must be completed by the faculty mentor. Faculty mentor, please address:
      • Appropriateness of student’s research qualifications
      • Student’s ability to carry out the proposed project
      • Relationship between the student’s project and faculty research, scholarly, or creative activities
      • Mentorship of the student over the course of the project
      • Expense justification.
      • Upon submission of the application the system will email the professor a link to upload the letter of recommendation
      • It is the applicant’s responsibility to follow up with the letter writer to ensure that they are aware of the submissions process and deadline to upload the letter
Travel Mini-Grants

This grant category enables undergraduates who have been active participates in a faculty mentored research, creative or artistic project to present research outcomes at a disciplinary specific conference.  Preference will be given to proposals that have been funded through the Mini-grant program.  

  • Award Criteria:
    • Proof of acceptance to present at a research conference
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.0
    • Clear explanation of research (what is being researched, brief explanation of methodology, importance to discipline, and research outcomes to be presented).
    • Expected learning outcomes of attending the conference
    • The faculty mentor’s letter of recommendation should support the relevance of the specific conference to the discipline, professional development the student will undertake in preparation for presenting the research outcomes
  • Funding:

    Funding Available:

    • Up to $1,000 for travel related to research presentation at a scholarly conference. 

    Allowable expenses for Conference Travel Grants include:

    • Airfare/registration/mileage/accommodations/food/University vehicle rental.

    Items that will not be funded include:

    • Reimbursements of conference expenses that occurred prior to the award period.  Exceptions may be considered for conference presentation expenses that have not been funded by any other source and could not have been submitted before the previous deadline.  You should demonstrate in the proposal that the call for submissions occurred after the last Mini-grant deadline.
  • Undergraduate Research Conference Travel Mini-Grant Guidelines:
    • All proposals should be typed using 12pt font, 1” margins, double space is preferred, no more than 3 pages. The proposal must be submitted by 5pm on the application deadline.  Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.
    • Abstract:  Upload the abstract that was submitted to the conference.
    • Proposal Request (2-3 pages) that clearly explains the research that has been conducted (brief summary of methodology, also indicate if research has been funded by the mini-grant program); outcomes that have been achieved and their relevance to the field; the relevance of the specific conference; expected learning outcomes of attending the conference.  (to be uploaded)
      • Budget should include a realistic budget and a detailed justification that explains the travel expenditures.  Prioritize your expenses based on level of importance (this is important in case your proposal cannot be fully funded).
      • Proof of acceptance to present at the conference.  This confirmation letter can be added at the end of your Proposal Request.  If you do not yet have this, indicate so in your proposal.  If you are funded, the award will be contingent upon receiving this confirmation.
    • A letter of support from faculty mentor who has provided the oversight of the proposed project. This letter must be completed by the faculty mentor. Faculty mentor, please address:
      •  Student's research outcomes
      • Relevance of the conference within the research discipline
      • Professional development the student will undertake in preparation for presenting research outcomes
      • Expense justification.
      • It is the applicant’s responsibility to follow up with the letter writer to ensure that they are aware of the submissions process and deadline to upload the letter.
Additional Information
  • Additional Information
    • All award funds not spent by the end of the academic year will revert back to Undergraduate Education (see award letter for details).  No extensions will be granted.
    • “Mini-grant Proposal” Workshops will be held quarterly, please visit the Student Engagement Events page for dates and times.
    • Recipients of a Mini-grant whose project proposals that are deemed exceptional will be asked to share the proposal to assist future students in developing appropriate submissions.
    • Recipients of a Mini-grant are required to acknowledge funding support in any presentation or publication that results from the work supported by the Mini-grant Program.  
    • Suggested text:  Research reported in this [publication/press release/presentation] was partially supported by the UC Riverside Undergraduate Education Mini-Grant Program.
  • End of the Year Reporting Guidelines

    All Mini-grant recipients are required to submit a Mini-grant End of Year Report no later than June 30th of the academic year the award was funded.  The reports should include the following:

    • Name, SID, Major, Academic Level, Proposal Title, Faculty Mentor, Faculty Mentor’s Home Department, Budget Contact Person's email, Quarter Award was funded, and they type of grant received.
    • Indicate if the report is for a Research Mini-grant or Conference Travel Award, or both (Research Mini-grant/Conference Travel Award).
    • Provide a summary of the research and the accomplishments made during the award period.
    • Indicate any outcomes, such as publication or conference presentations that resulted.
    • If you purchased any equipment, please remember that this is the property of the university.  The equipment should be returned to your faculty mentor or departmental budget person.  The report should indicate who the equipment was submitted to.
    • The report should include a budget that shows the funds awarded and the expenditure of the funds.  Any funds not spent by June 30th will be returned to Undergraduate Education, extensions are not granted.  Fill out expenses spreadsheet, and upload to the Mini-grant End-of-Year Report (link above).
  • Mini-grant Review Committee Members


    Dr. Kelley Barsanti,Chemical and Environmental Engineering
    Dr. Paulo Chagas, Music
    Dr. John Franchak, Psychology
    Dr. Rong Hai, Microbiology and Plant Pathology
    Gladis Herrera-Berkowitz, Director of Student Success Programs
    Dr. Darrel Jenerette, Botany & Plant Sciences
    Dr. Chen Li, Mechanical Engineering
    Dr. Ying-Hsuan Lin, Environmental Sciences
    Dr. Patty Manosalva, Microbiology and Plant Pathology
    Dr. Kerry Mauck, Entomology
    Dr. Jessica Purcell, Entomology
    Dr. Nicole Rafferty, Biology
    Dr. Victor Rodgers, Bioengineering
    Dr. Peter Sadler, Earth Sciences
    Dr. Marko Spasojevic, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology (EEOB)
    Dr. Annika Speer, Theatre
    Dr. James Tobias, English
    Dr. Weiwei Zhang, Psychology
    Dr. Bahman Anvari, Bioengineering
    Dr. Joshua Morgan, Bioengineering
    Dr. Bryan Wong, Chemical and Environmental Engineering
    Dr. Maggy Harake, Chemical Engineering
    Dr. Philip Brisk, Computer Science & Engineering
    Dr. Amr Magdy, Computer Science & Engineering
    Dr. Craig Schroeder, Computer Science & Engineering
    Dr. Heng Yin, Computer Science & Engineering
    Dr. Shane Cybart, Mechanical Engineering
    Dr. Chris Lynch, Mechanical Engineering
    Dr. Charles Graninger, History
    Dr. Judith Kroll, Psychology
    Dr. Covadonga Lamar Prieto
    Dr. Carolyn Rasmussen, Botany & Plant Sciences
    Dr. L.C. Ponisio, Entomology
    Dr. Adler Dillman, Nematology
    Dr. Sean O'Leary, Biochemistry
    Dr. David Martin, Chemistry
    Dr. Jim Kelliher, Mathematics
    Dr. Owen Long, Physics
    Dr. Laura Sales, Physics