Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Excellence Award

Western Michigan University (WMU) 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 or staff members on campus. Students may participate in research during the spring or summer sessions.

Applications are accepted annually for funding over a year.  Applications for 2022 funding are due at noon on November 18, 2021.

Apply at Infoready

Overview

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 faculty, tenure track faculty or staff.  
  • To provide WMU tenured faculty, tenure track faculty or staff 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. 
  • Provide student support of $750 for a semester, or for one or two summer sessions (Each summer session award will be up to $375). These funds can be used for a stipend for the student, travel or research related costs such as supplies.

Requirements for faculty and staff mentors are currently under review.

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 have an 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 start of the student award. 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 if allowed by the sponsor in the past year).
  4. For proposals or awards that meet the above requirements that are not required to be submitted via ORI and a PAF, documentation of a submission or award can be provided directly to the VP for Research and Innovation for review via email.

For a staff member to serve as a mentor they must meet the following criteria:

  1. Currently serve as PI on an externally funded research program of at least $5,000 in total direct costs. The mentor must have current active external funding at the time of the start of the student award. Since students may not know who is currently funded, it is expected that the mentors will recruit students for their projects.

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 or staff cannot sponsor more than two applications per cycle.
  • Students who apply for the award with a 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).
  • Students working on a joint program can each apply for funding. However, the limit of two students per PI remains, and each student must submit an independently written proposal. Any applications for a joint project that have significant identity between any sections of the proposal will be automatically rejected.
  • This is a competitive program and not all students are likely to be funded. 

Previous winners

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