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Undergraduate Research Center

Prospective Applicants

We are glad to hear of your interest in applying for a URECA grant!

If your questions are not answered below, please contact the URC Director, Dr. Jamie Burriss.

Questions to Contemplate Before Applying

There are four levels of funding: Assistant, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. To determine which option is best suits your research idea, please reference the chart below. Experience level, duration of project, and the number of hours required will be good indicators of which level best suits your project and desired timeline.

Experience LevelBeginnerExperiencedExperiencedExperienced
Proof Of ExperienceNone requiredPrior completion of URECA project or mentor letterPrior completion of URECA project or mentor letterPrior completion of URECA project or mentor letter
Duration1 semester1 or 2 semesters2 semestersFull time summer
Typical # Of Hours Required50100200300
Time ReportingStipend Request Form approved by faculty mentor
Class CreditMust justify that URECA hours are outside the scope of class credit
Length Of Proposal2 pages3-5 pages5 pages5 pages
$$ For Student$500
(up to 2 payments)
(up to 2 payments)
(up to 4 payments)
(up to 4 payments during summer)
$$ For Faculty MentorN/AN/A$500$500
$$ For Supplies$300 max *$300 max *$300 max *$300 max *
$$ For Travel$300 domestic or $400 international *
AccountabilityPresentation at Fall Open House or Scholars Week
Social Media Takeover
Attend Spring Celebration Luncheon
Project DeadlineProject can remain open for a maximum of 3 semesters. Your current URECA
project must be completed prior to beginning a new project.

* Justification Required

The following dates are estimates, please check the URECA home page for exact dates.

  • Fall Projects: Typically the first Thursday in September.
  • Spring Projects: Typically the fourth Thursday in January.
  • Summer Projects: Typically the fourth Thursday in March.

All proposals are due by 4:30 PM of the deadline date. 

  1. An Assistant level URECA is intended for students who are new to research. Students who have already completed an Assistant level project, or who have previous research experience, may advance on to a Scholar level project.
  2. An Assistant application is limited to 2 pages in length. A Scholar application ranges from 3-5 pages, depending on the level (Silver, Gold, or Platinum).
  3. Assistant and Scholar application has a maximum supplies budget request of $300 in supplies.

As part of your URECA application, you can request funding for supplies needed to complete your project. The committee does not fund non-consumable items (computers, laptops, hardware, cameras) and/or food. The max is $300 for Assistant, Silver, Gold and Platinum level applications. Talk with your mentor about what supplies might be needed as they often know what you will need to complete your research, what vendor is the cheapest, and the quantity needed. Be sure to include justification for your requested items in your budget. View a sample budget request.

If your project requires IRB or IACUC approval, the URECA Committee strongly recommends that you begin the approval process before you begin your proposal. Please visit MTSU’s IRB website to find out if your project will require IRB approval. If your project involves animals, please visit MTSU’s IACUC website to learn about filing your protocol.  If IRB or IACUCU approval is needed for your study, it must be recieved prior to beginning the project.

Yes, URECA offers a Team program allowing 2-4 students the opportunity to produce high-quality research under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

No. A student can only hold one (1) URECA grant at a time. If you are part of team, you cannot also have an individual award.

Yes. If travel is essential to your research, please fill out the travel request section of the application. URECA can fund up to $300 for domestic travel and $400 for international travel. Travel must be justified by including details as to why it is necessary to complete your research.

If you would like to request travel funds for presenting at a conference, this is a separate process. Please contact the URC Coordinator, Casey Penston at with this request.

Working alongside a faculty mentor is one of greatest benefits of the URECA program. Generally, undergraduate students are novices at doing research or creative work. Therefore, you need to learn the process of research from an experienced scholar. A member of the faculty (tenured or tenure-track) or administration will be able to guide an undergraduate student through this learning experience.

Check out our Finding a Faculty Mentor resource page for recommendations and suggestions.

When applying for a URECA grant, an unofficial transcript must be included in your application.  Click HERE to view detailed instructions about how to find and add this component to your submission.

Thursday, September 5th, 4:30pm

Learn more about URECA

Contact us

Jamie Burriss, Ph.D., Director
(615) 494-7669

Casey Penston, Coordinator
(615) 809-4588

Learn more about the URC