Claim your curiosity.

Guidelines for Mentors:

  • Proposal writing: While the idea for the project might come from the mentor’s own research agenda in some disciplines, students should take ownership over the writing of the UGRA proposal.  The writing should reflect the student’s own understanding of the project and how it relates to other scholarship in the field.  It is expected that the mentor act as proposal-writing guide rather than an editor: mentors should read drafts of the student’s proposal and give comments, but should not directly change wording in a student’s proposal.  This approach ensures that the student takes intellectual ownership over the project and that the proposal accurately reflects the student’s level of understanding of the proposed work.
  • Mentor recommendation: Mentors fill out a short reference form for the UGRAs rather than a full letter of reference.  Once your student fills out the online application, you will be sent an email from with a link to the mentor reference form.  Please fill this out by the mentor reference deadline.  If you would like to know whether your student waived or retained their right to see their reference form, please email us at and we can let you know.
  • Award period: If your student receives an award, they will ask you to help fill out an Undergraduate Research Contract to establish clear expectations and a timeline for the semester. 
  • Mentor eligibility: All tenure-track KU faculty are eligible to sponsor student UGRA applications, as are many KU employees who have expertise in an area of research.  If you are a KU employee who is not a tenured or tenure-track faculty member, please fill out our Research Mentor Designation form before your student applies for an UGRA.  Graduate students are not eligible to be the primary sponsor of an UGRA.

If you have any questions about the application process or the UGRAs, please email us at

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:

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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
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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