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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:

  • To be eligible to apply, you must be a degree-seeking, first year (freshman or transfer) student who is or will be enrolled full-time (12 credit hours) at KU for the Fall 2021 semester. Students apply for this program the summer before they start at KU.
  • Accept a $2,000 Federal Work-Study (FWS) Award for the upcoming academic year at KU: If you're not sure whether you've accepted an FWS award, you can check your financial aid in Enroll & Pay. If you would like to add Federal Work-Study to your financial aid package, please email Mandy Annas at to determine if you are eligible.

Emerging Scholars Quick Links

Academic Year 2021-22

Application for fall opens on May 17, 2021

Priority deadline for fall: June 1, 2021

Final deadline for fall: July 1, 2021

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