Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship & Creativity (URISC)


URISC (or the Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship and Creativity) Program is one of many programs  at OSU designated to create opportunities for students to engage and participate in the scholarly and creative activities of our world class faculty. We recognize that the interests and talents of our diverse student body are as diverse as the disciplines represented at OSU. As such, the URISC Program aspires to provide the 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.

While most students are not bound for careers in research settings, exposure to and participation in activities that lead to discovery of self and of new knowledge can be profound. Experiential learning opportunities can provide context and practical insights into everything from social systems to complex laboratory experiences that can’t be comprehended from a lecture or text book exercise. Early and meaningful engagement of students with faculty on the faculty member’s “home turf” is another factor that really benefits a student’s education. Students who have participated in the scholarly pursuits of their faculty have been shown to be successful in life in many ways. Thus, in helping to shape leaders of the 21st century, having the insights afforded them through experiential learning is crucial for the development of well-rounded and forward-looking individuals.

Award Information

Applications for URISC grants are accepted two times per year - due by 5:00 PM on the deadline date: 1st Monday in November and 2nd Monday in April

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% 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 e-mail of award decisions.

Eligibility Requirements

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

Applicants must be full-time undergraduate students in good academic standing and must be pursuing a baccalaureate degree at OSU during the time the project work is to be conducted.

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.

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% of matching funds (= $1,400 for total project cost of $3,500), and 100% 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 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 Council 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 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 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)

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.

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 (541) 737-8390 to request a paper copy. Please allow one week for delivery.

Proposals must be initiated and written by the student, but should be done in close coordination with the Faculty Project Advisor.

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

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

Submit electronically - no paper copies required.

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

Mentoring Plan from the Faculty Project Advisor (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.

Transcript Notation

OSU offers students who complete a research or creative project with an OSU professor the opportunity to get this notated on their official transcript. If you are interested in obtaining a Transcript Notation the application is available on the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and the Arts website.


All application materials, including supporting documentation, must be received in the Research Office, Incentive Programs, A312 Kerr Administration Building, by 5:00 PM on the deadline indicated at the top of this page.

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. Since proposals are evaluated by faculty members from a variety of disciplines, the proposals should be written at a level understandable to reviewers outside the student’s specialty. 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 to reviewers from a highly focused discipline perspective. 

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

Student Impact

  • Would funding this project create a professional experience for the student that might not otherwise be accessible?
  • What educational/experiential benefits will the student gain?
  • Will the proposed activity significantly expand or diversify the student's artistic or scholarly base?
  • Will the project create opportunities to continue the research/scholarly experience for the student beyond the URISC funding period?
  • Will the project help position the student to pursue further scholarly, professional, creative opportunities (e.g., graduate school)?
  • Is the resume well prepared?

Scholarly Merit

  • Does the proposal provide a clear statement of overall project hypothesis or objective?
  • Does the proposal provide a clear statement of the student's role?
  • Does the proposal provide independent research study for the student?
  • Are the proposed methods appropriate and accurate?
  • Does the proposal provide clear and specific budget information? (e.g., itemized list of materials and supplies)
  • Is the text of the proposal well written?

Other Considerations

  • Diversity and additional circumstances (new February 2015)
  • Transcript and GPA
  • Will the proposed work help the student or Faculty Project Advisor establish new extramural funding?

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).

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, e-mail address, or telephone number.

For More Information

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