Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship & Creativity (URISC)


URISC (or the Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship and Creativity) program is designed to create opportunities for students to engage in the scholarly and creative activities with our diverse world-class faculty. The URISC program provides resources to students to better enable them to work with artists, engineers, scientists, public policy specialists, humanists, health experts, or any of a wide range of other professionals.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be full-time undergraduate students and must be pursuing a baccalaureate degree at Oregon State University during the time the project work is to be conducted.

Proposals must be initiated and written by the student, but the details of the proposed work should be prepared in close coordination with the Faculty Project Advisor.

The Faculty Project Advisor is responsible for preparing a Mentoring Plan for the student. The Mentoring Plan must ensure measures of student's success.

A faculty member may be the Faculty Project Advisor on only ONE proposal submission.

Faculty Project Advisors must be of professorial rank (Instructor, Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor). Graduate students, post-doctoral scholars and non-professorial staff are not eligible to serve in this capacity.

Award Information

Applications for URISC grants are accepted three times per year - due by 5:00 PM on the deadline date:

1st Monday in November 2015 - Applications accepted for Winter 2016 and/or Spring 2016

3rd Tuesday in January 2016 - Applications accepted for Summer 2016

3rd Monday in April 2016 - Applications accepted for Fall, Winter and/or Spring 2016-17

Term for Research Funding

Maximum Award Amount

Any combination of one, two or three academic terms during the same academic year (Fall, Winter and/or Spring)

$1,000 for one term

$1,500 for a combination of two or three terms



NOTE: Students must complete their URISC research project at least one term prior to the term in which they graduate.

*For Summer term projects, the Research Office will provide 60 percent of the budget request (see Matching Funds below) to a maximum of $2,100 (i.e., total project costs of $3,500). For total project costs in excess of $3,500, the department or Faculty Project Advisor MUST supply the additional funds. 

Awards must be spent in the time period(s) for which the funds were requested.

A student may receive an award only once from the URISC academic year program and once from the URISC summer program.

Applicants will be notified via email of award decisions.

Matching Funds

For the academic year program no matching funds are required. However, for projects lasting more than a single term, a financial contribution by the unit provides additional evidence about the level of commitment of the faculty member to the success of the project.

For the summer program the participating Faculty Project Advisor, department or college is required to provide at least 40 percent of matching funds (= $1,400 for total project cost of $3,500), and 100 percent of approved funds in excess of $3,500. It is the responsibility of the student and the Faculty Project Advisor to identify and secure commitments for these funds prior to submitting the application. Maximum Research Office award amount $2,100.

Access to laboratory equipment and supplies are NOT acceptable as a matching contribution. Supplies and services will only be acceptable as part of URISC budgets if the Faculty Project Advisor provides an explanation of why it cannot be supported through his/her operation.

Use of Funds

Awards are made to support students performing scholarly, creative, or research activities. Research Office support will not be in lieu of existing grant funds designated for undergraduate research assistance or grant funds that could potentially support undergraduate research.

It is expected that funded laboratories and studios will provide expendable supplies, services, and other incidentals at no cost to the student project(s), and that such supplies should not be used as matching funds.

The URISC Advisory Panel suggests that the bulk of URISC funds be devoted toward student salaries, and/or research related travel where applicable.

Budget Items ELIGIBLE for support

  • Student salaries, wages or stipends
  • Travel to conduct research or visit libraries/archives
  • Library costs (i.e. duplication costs, acquisition of reference materials)
  • Equipment rental (requires justification by the Faculty Project Advisor; can only be charged if there is an established internal fee book rate for the instrument, and the laboratory must agree to charge the lowest listed rate.)

Budget Items NOT ELIGIBLE for support

  • Faculty, postdoctoral or graduate student travel
  • Expendable supplies, services or incidentals (exception can be made with justification by the Faculty Project Advisor)
  • Equipment purchases (includes computers)
  • Costs to prepare, copy or bind undergraduate theses
  • Travel to meetings or conferences (includes related fees, lodging and travel expenses)

Mentoring Plan from the Faculty Project Advisor (required, limit one page)

Describe your plans for working with the student for the duration of the project.

  • Specifically, will you be responsible for mentoring the student? If not, describe who will oversee the student.
  • Describe how often you plan to meet with the student, and how you will monitor the student's progress.
  • Define the anticipated achievement(s) as a result of the URISC award.
  • If more than one Faculty Advisor is involved in the project, outline who is responsible for overseeing the individual components and how the overall student's goals and the project are integrated (e.g. describe whether the student and Faculty Advisors will meet and how often over the course of this project to provide cohesive mentoring environment).

Research Compliance Requirements (if applicable)

If the proposal would involve active engagement of activities requiring compliance oversight, it is the responsibility of the student and Faculty Project Advisor to obtain approval from the appropriate compliance committee(s) prior to the initiation of the research project. Allow sufficient time for the review and approval process which could take up to ten weeks.

Review Procedure

The Research Office Incentive Programs reviews all proposals for eligibility. Incomplete proposals and proposals not following the guidelines (including itemization, justification, font size, spacing and page limits) will NOT be considered for funding. Requests that qualify are then given to the URISC Advisory Panel for competitive review and evaluation. The URISC Advisory Panel provides a prioritized list of recommendations for funding to the Vice President for Research based on the quality of the proposals as reflected in the review criteria. The Vice President for Research will make award decisions based on available funds.

Review Criteria

The URISC Advisory Panel is composed of faculty members appointed by the Vice President for Research who represent the diversity of the University's research enterprise. Proposals should be written at a level understandable to reviewers outside the student’s specialty as they are evaluated by faculty members from a variety of disciplines. Proposals that describe the research project to this general audience, providing clear explanations of the purpose, student’s role, importance and methodologies of the proposed topic, and avoiding the use of jargon and unexplained acronyms, will fare better than those written from a highly focused discipline perspective. 

The URISC Advisory Panel evaluates each proposal using the following criteria:
(Not in order of importance)

Scholarly Merit (Project Description)

  • Does the project description provide a clear statement of the significance of the proposed project?
  • Does the proposal provide a clear statement of the overall project hypothesis/objectives/goals?
  • Are the proposed methods appropriately designed, accurate and clearly described?
  • Are potential pitfalls and alternative strategies sufficiently discussed?
  • Does the proposal provide a clearly outlined expected timeline for the proposed research project?
  • Is the text of the proposal well written?
  • Does the proposal provide clear and specific budget information (e.g., itemization and justification of materials and supplies)?

Student Impact (Synergy)

  • Will the proposed project/activity significantly expand or diversify the student's artistic or scholarly base?
  • Is the student's role/independent work clearly described?
  • Will the student gain educational/experiential benefits (e.g. opportunities to continue the research/scholarly experience beyond the URISC funding period, admission to a graduate program)?
  • Is the Mentoring Plan clearly described and outlined?
  • Is the resume well prepared?

Other Considerations

  • Diversity and additional circumstances

Application Procedure

The URISC application form is available in MS Word format. If you are unable to access this electronic form, contact the Research Office Incentive Programs at Incentive.Programs@oregonstate.edu or (541) 737-8390 to request a paper copy. Please allow one week for delivery.

Complete all sections of the application form and follow the submission instructions on the application form.

Submit the complete PDF document electronically with supporting documentation (signatures required) to Incentive.Programs@oregonstate.edu by the deadline date.

Incomplete proposals and proposals NOT following the guidelines (including itemization, justification, font size, spacing and page limits) will not be considered for funding.

Celebrating Undergraduate Excellence (required - new October 2015)

URISC award recipients are required to present a poster on their URISC-supported research in the Celebrating Undergraduate Excellence (CUE) event. CUE is an annual gathering for all undergraduates at Oregon State University to share their research and accomplishments in their studies. Presentation of an academic poster is an excellent enhancement to any CV or resume and is viewed favorably on graduate school or scholarship applications.

Transcript Notation (optional)

Oregon State University offers students who complete a research or creative project with an Oregon State University professor, and make a presentation of their project to a wider audience than the circle around the mentor, the opportunity to get this notated on their official transcript. Details for obtaining the Transcript Notation along with the application are available on the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and the Arts website.


The complete PDF document with all supporting documentation (signatures required) must be submitted electronically to Incentive.Programs@oregonstate.edu by 5:00 PM on the deadline date.

Other Requirements

Any publications made possible by URISC funding are required to cite URISC support.

Final Reports

Award recipients/students are required to submit a final (progress) report at the end of the term(s) for which funds were awarded.

This report will be posted on the Research Office website and will be archived such that future applicants and awardees will be able to access it as a source of reference. If there is a valid reason for not wanting the final report posted on the website, submit the justification (limit one page).

Award recipients who fail to submit the required final report will be ineligible to receive future funding from the Research Office Incentive Programs.

The final (progress) report should contain the following points:

  1. Header: including student name, title of project, Faculty Project Advisor name and department, award information (type, date of award, amount of award).
  2. How and/or on what were the URISC funds expended?
  3. A brief summary of the work conducted; including a discussion of the information gathered, how the data are being analyzed and if you are far enough along, describe how the data collected supports or refutes your original hypothesis or discovery goal.
  4. State the benefits from the URISC award; including additional scholarly activities, research progress, collaborative relationships, and any publications or other funding made possible for the student as a result of this award.

Submit the final report electronically to Research Office Incentive Programs to Incentive.Programs@oregonstate.edu.

Updated and Current Student Information

Award recipients are asked to notify the Research Office of any changes in mailing address, email address, or telephone number.

For More Information

Contact Research Office Incentive Programs at: | Incentive.Programs@oregonstate.edu | (541) 737-8390