Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Excellence Award

Western Michigan University recognizes the contribution of hands-on research and creative scholarship performed by undergraduate students in the education process and the advancement of our discovery mission. The WMU Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Excellence Award will support WMU undergraduate students to pursue projects with faculty members on campus. Students may participate in research during the fall, spring or summer sessions. 


The goals of the award are:

  • To provide WMU undergraduate students with an opportunity to have a mentored research or creative scholarship-related experience under the mentorship of one of WMU’s tenured or tenure track faculty.  Students can apply for a $750 award for a semester, or a $375 award for each of one or two summer sessions.  These funds can be used for a stipend for the student, travel or research related costs such as supplies.
  • To provide WMU tenured or tenure track faculty who are actively funded or seeking external funding the opportunity to work with and mentor an undergraduate student in a project related to their expertise. 

For a faculty member to serve as a mentor they must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Be a tenure-track Assistant Professor in their first three years of appointment when the student applies for the award. The award must be completed before the faculty member completes their fourth year of appointment.
  2. Currently support undergraduate or graduate students on any externally funded research program of at least $5,000 in total direct costs. The faculty mentor must have current active external funding at the time of the project that pays the student. Since students may not know who is currently funded, it is expected that the mentors will recruit students for their projects.
  3. Tenured or tenure track faculty who demonstrate that they are actively seeking external funding. Submit at least one external grant or contract of at least $5,000 total direct costs with full facilities and administrative costs appropriate for the type of sponsor and work in the past year and whose budgets for external funding include support of students. 

Faculty in categories 1 and 2 can request up to $200 for supplies with justification to support the student. Students may apply for the award independent of a faculty member-requesting the additional funding but must have a letter indicating that their advisor can support them in their research.

Additional policies and procedures:

  • Applicants cannot be awarded the research award in the same semester as their college or the Lee Honors College award.
  • Faculty cannot sponsor more than two applications per cycle.
  • Students who apply for the award with a faculty mentor who had two students receive funding for one of the application cycles will be given a lower priority in the following review cycle. 
  • Students cannot receive more than two awards in their time at WMU. A second award will only be considered for students who have demonstrated satisfactory program performance and priority will be given to students who have applied for external funding (travel award, fellowship).
  • This is a competitive program and not all students are likely to be funded. 



Application deadline Oct. 1, 2019 for spring semester and summer I support, and noon on March 11, 2019 for work to be completed during the summer II session or the fall semester. 

Downloadable version

Previous winners

View a list of students who have benefited from this award: previous Undergraduate Research Excellence Awardees.