Students who seek support work in collaboration with a faculty mentor to prepare a proposal describing the project, its significance and methodology; a personal statement describing the educational impact of the work; a budget listing expected expenses; and a separate letter of support from their mentor. Students are selected for support under URC administered programs based upon the previously listed documents and without regard to financial need.
It is important to remember that ALL research involving human subjects must be reviewed by the Human Subjects Research Review Committee, research involving vertebrate animals must be reviewed by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and research involving recombinant DNA or select agents must be reviewed by the Institutional Biosafety Committee. Students should be familiar with the policies and regulations concerning research in these areas, and must obtain the necessary approval BEFORE beginning their research. For more information, see the Institutional Review Boards website.
In addition to compliance with the aforementioned common requirements every funding program has its own specific expectations. You can find them on the page of the program in question. Make sure that you have met BOTH the general URC requirements and the program-specific ones in order to avoid a delay or failure to get approved.
Getting Support to do Research:
- Find a mentor
- Develop a research question
- You can come up with your own original research question
- If your mentor has an ongoing research project, you can create a question based on this research.
- Apply for funding
Regardless of the program and the topic of the proposal, the application usually consists of the following items*:
- Application Cover Sheet
- Project Proposal
- Abstract (optional)
- Project description
- Personal statement
- Letter of support from mentor
*Please be sure to read the individual program guidelines before submitting your application to confirm that all criteria are properly met.
Occidental College Faculty members: If you have agreed to serve as a mentor, or are still considering it and wondering what might be expected of you, please visit the Occidental College Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) Moodle Page and look at the resources posted under the "Undergraduate Research" heading. In particular, we suggest you look at the document entitled "Mentoring Undergraduate Research Faculty Guidebook," which was written by a Faculty Learning Committee. However there are a number of other links that we're sure you'll find useful, too!