Claim your curiosity.

About the Emerging Scholars Program

The Emerging Scholars Program provides research experiences for low-income students their first year at KU and supports their overall transition to college.  Students are paid $10/hr to work for a faculty member as a research assistant and to participate in professional development sessions.  Students are required to have a Federal Work Study award to be eligible for the program, as their wages are paid in part through this award. Emerging Scholars work in departments from all across campus, from history to engineering to the arts.  No prior research experience is required, just an interest in research and learning something new!

Expectations for Emerging Scholars:

Emerging Scholars will: 

  • Work 4-7 hour per week as a research assistant for a professor or research staff member for the fall and spring semesters (August through May).  All positions are entry level and do not require previous research experience.
  • Attend paid monthly one-on-one meetings with a peer mentor who was in Emerging Scholars their first year at KU.  This peer mentor will guide you as you develop as a researcher and as you adjust to life in college.
  • Attend paid monthly professional development sessions through the Center for Undergraduate Research.


Eligibility to Apply:

  • First year student (freshman or transfer student).  Students apply for this program the summer before they start at KU.
  • Accept a $2,000 Federal Work-Study (FWS) Award for their incoming academic year at KU: If you're not sure whether you've accepted a FWS award, you can check via Enroll & Pay. Once you log in, navigate to the Student Center. There you will find a Finances section. You can click the "View Financial Aid" link to see whether your financial aid package includes a Federal Work-Study award. If you would like to add Federal Work-Study to your financial aid package, please email Stephanie Covington at to find out if you are eligible. If eligible, you will need to fill out a form to request a Federal Work-Study award.

Emerging Scholars Quick Links

Priority deadline for fall: June 3, 2019

Final deadline for fall: extended to July 10, 2019

Connect With Us
Countdown to the 2020
Research teaches critical thinking and problem solving — top skills sought by employers
The Research Experience Program has certified more than 2,000 students since 2005
KU is a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research
More than 1,200 students have received Undergraduate Research Awards since 1986
More than 150 mentors sponsored undergraduate projects through the Center for Undergraduate Research each year
KU's first valedictorian, Flora Richardson, conducted research as an undergraduate before graduating in 1873
Highlight your research on your transcript: Get certified through the Research Experience Program
Use research to apply what you learned in the classroom to a real problem
Students who perform research develop strong relationships with KU faculty
Research is a hands-on way to explore career options
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report