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Undergraduate Research Awards

UGRA recipient Jesse Burbank researches the segregation of swimming pools in Kansas City at the Kansas City MIssouri Public Library.

Student application deadline for Summer/Fall 2021: March 25, 2021, 11:59 pm

Undergraduate Research Awards (UGRAs) are $1,000 scholarships provided to undergraduate students pursuing original research or creative projects under the general guidance of a KU faculty member or other approved mentor.  UGRAs are awarded to students conducting semester-long independent projects that constitute work that is original and substantive given the standards of the discipline. The UGRAs are not intended, for example, to support trips to workshops or the like; something new has to be discovered or created. Each UGRA proposal must be sponsored by a KU affiliated faculty member or approved mentor who has read and approved the proposal and who agrees to oversee the project. The deadline to apply for an UGRA is in October for spring awards and in March for summer or fall awards.

  • Eligibility: Students in any major can apply. To be eligible, you must be a degree-seeking undergraduate student at KU when you receive the award.  Students receiving fall or spring awards must be enrolled full-time during the award period.  Exceptions to this rule can be made, for example, when the applicant is studying abroad during the semester or only needs a few more credits to graduate.  To request an exception, or if you have questions about your eligibility, contact the Center for Undergraduate Research at
  • Selection Criteria: UGRAs are evaluated based on the merit of the applicant's proposal and a recommendation from a faculty member who is familiar with the applicant and will mentor the proposed project. Reviewers utilize either the Research Project Rubric (.doc) or Creative Project Rubric (.doc), depending on the project type. Applicants will be informed of award decisions by the end of the semester in which they apply.
  • Award Dispersal: You will receive your UGRA scholarship through the Financial Aid distribution process. If you owe KU for any charges (e.g. tuition, required campus fees, etc.), this financial aid will be applied towards the amount due.  If a credit balance is created within your account, the credit balance will be refunded to you through direct deposit or check. Students receiving need-based financial aid, such as loans, should be aware that this scholarship may alter your loan or other aid amounts. International students may have required taxes taken out of your award as part of the normal KU scholarship disbursement process.  If you have questions about how this scholarship may affect your Financial Aid, please contact your Financial Aid Counselor.>>

UGRA Quick Links

To apply:

  • Student Application Deadline: March 25, 2021, 11:59 PM; UGRA Student Application Form>>
  • Mentor Reference Deadline: March 29, 2021, 11:59 PM; mentor will be emailed link to reference form when student fills out UGRA application

For award recipients:

Connect With Us
Research teaches critical thinking and problem solving — top skills sought by employers
KU is a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research
More than 1,200 students have received Undergraduate Research Awards since 1986
KU's first valedictorian, Flora Richardson, conducted research as an undergraduate before graduating in 1873
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
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times