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Provost's Undergraduate Research Fellowship Application

The Office of Undergraduate Research provides funding support for students to perform undergraduate research with a UTSA faculty mentor. The Provost's Undergraduate Research Fellowship (PURF) provides awarded students with funding for 10-weeks of supervised undergraduate research.   

Interested students are encouraged to read the following instructions before accessing the online PURF application.

Undergraduate students interested in funding to support research and creative scholarly work at UTSA are encouraged to apply. 

For questions, please contact: OUR@UTSA.edu

Please read instructions before accessing online application.  

Apply for the Provost's Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Award Application Due date Award Notice Date Program Start Date Program End Date
Fall 2020 August 31, 2020 September 16, 2020 September 21, 2020 December 11, 2020
Spring 2021 January 31, 2021 February 15, 2021 February 22, 2021 May 3, 2021
Summer 2021 April 31, 2021 May 14, 2021 June 7, 2021 August 7, 2021

Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Full-time academic status for fall and spring semester awards with at least one credit hour enrollment status required for summer awards
  2. UTSA or overall GPA ≥ 3.0.
  3. Students must have a faculty mentor in place
  4. Must have a project planned or underway with that mentor at the time of application submission

Funding for first-time student researchers will be prioritized but this status is not considered an eligibility criteria. Students may only receive one OUR Undergraduate Research Fellowship per year while at UTSA.

Complete applications will be reviewed and ranked. The OUR director will make the final decisions on applications. 

Award Process

The OUR will have the UTSA Financial Aid and Enrollment Services/Scholarship Office (FAESO) run a federal financial aid report on all potential awardees as determined by the ADR for the respective colleges. Because all forms of financial aid affect the total federal aid a student may receive, it is important to identify and avoid any conflicts in expected federal award amounts. Should there be a potential conflict, the OUR, in conjunction with FAESO, will discuss the conflict with the potential awardee. In rare cases the scholarship award may be passed to the next eligible student on the ADR list due to such conflicts.

The award will be held by FAESO until the end of the respective program period. Students will disseminate their work at the end of the program in a written report to satisfy the program requirements and be eligible to receive their award as disbursed through FAESO. Students cannot exceed their FAFSA-determined financial need and may have to negotiate with UTSA FAESO to remain eligible to receive the fellowship should they be chosen.

***Note: Awardees of this fellowship will be required to submit a final report demonstrating COMPLETION of their proposed project or NEAR COMPLETION WITH JUSTIFICATION at the end of the program period (date to be announced) in order to receive their monetary award.***

The OUR director will evaluate the research reports and clear the student payment disbursement with FAESO. At that time, the student will receive their award in full and their participation in the program is complete.

This fellowship is considered as “competitive” in that it is open to out-of-state and international students. Non-Texas residents and international students awardees will benefit from paying the Texas in-state tuition rate during the semester of the award.

Students may only be awarded one OUR Undergraduate Research Fellowship per year during their time at UTSA. Priority will be given to students who have not received OUR support in the past. However, other research scholarships and other funding opportunities are available for continued UG research.

Expectations

Provost's Undergraduate Research Fellowship (PURF) awardees are expected to maintain their good university standing and academic performance during the funded research project period. Additionally:

  • Awardees are expected to obtain and maintain research-related certifications as needed including those required for: Human Subject Research, Animal Research, Laboratory and other Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management and Responsible Conduct of Research  
  • Awardees are expected to maintain a working relationship with their faculty mentors and conduct the research project as proposed in the application. Substantial deviations from the proposed project need to be justified to the OUR for consideration of continued support in program.
  • Awardees are expected to respond to requests for information (including progress reports) from the OUR in a complete and timely manner.

***Failure to meet the expectations listed above may result in a forfeiture of your award and expulsion from the program.***

Additionally:

  • Awardees are expected to disseminate their finished work through a research presentation such as the UTSA UG Research & Creative Inquiry Showcase along with a manuscript submission to the UTSA Journal of Undergraduate Research & Scholarly Work

Application Instructions

Students – Please have the information listed and described below ready to enter or upload prior to starting the online application form. Enter all information as accurately as possible to avoid a delay in review of your application.

Before you start your application to the Office of Undergraduate Research, please make sure you have a letter of reference/support from a UTSA faculty mentor, UTSA transcript, and brief description of your planned project. On the application you will also be asked to provide relevant experiences or competencies that you possess and how participation in the PURF fellowship will enhance  your UTSA undergraduate experience.

Faculty Mentor Reference Letter

The application requires that you upload a letter of reference on your behalf from your faculty research mentor for your proposed project. Signed letters can be scanned for uploading into the application when prompted.

Faculty mentor recommendations should contain the following:

    1. Overall evaluation of student applicant’s academic and scholarly preparation to date including coursework and other relevant experiences.
    2. Overall evaluation of student applicants’ academic work ethic, resourcefulness, and self-motivation.
    3. Importance of undergraduate research experience in student applicant’s academic preparation.
    4. Importance of undergraduate research experience funding for student applicant.

Additionally, and related to the research project proposed in this application:

  1. What is the applicant’s expected contribution to the project using terms someone not in your field of study.
  2. Address the prospects of the research project’s results in the projected time frame, the value of the research project, and the ability of the student to complete the project.

***Note: Awardees of this fellowship will be required to submit a final report demonstrating COMPLETION of their proposed project or NEAR COMPLETION WITH JUSTIFICATION at the end of the program period (date to be announced) in order to receive their monetary award.***

UTSA Transcript

The application requires that you upload an official or unofficial UTSA transcript. If you have just started at UTSA but have transcripts from another college or university, please upload them instead of the UTSA transcript. You will have the opportunity to explain your transcript in the scholarship online application form. You will be asked to list some information from your transcript on the online application.

Personal Statement

You will need to provide a Personal Statement addressing your general research interests, research experience, educational goals, career objectives and any information that may aid the UTSA Office of Undergraduate Research. Please explain how participation in such a program will enhance your graduate school and future career plans. The statement will be limited at 500 words and uploaded in the online application.

Brief Description of your Research Proposal

You will need to provide a brief description of the faculty-mentored research or scholarly activity that you plan to perform during the fellowship award period. Please write your proposal so that someone who is not in your discipline will understand your work. The application will limit your proposal to 500 words. Note that images and graphs or tables may not upload correctly and should be avoided.

***Note: The OUR recognizes that first-time UG researchers may only be helping out with an existing graduate student or faculty project. In this case, please summarize the project you will be helping with and emphasize your expected participation to the project as best you can.***

Some suggested aspects you might want to describe for your proposed project:

  1. Background/introduction (“Why” are you planning to do this project?)
  2. Research Question you will address
  3. Hypothesis
  4. Methodologies you plan to use to accomplish your project
  5. Expected Results/outcome
  6. Significance of work to your discipline
  7. Expected timeline of project including when you expect to prepare your final report

Other Application Items

You will be asked to enter some demographic information on the online scholarship application. The OUR only considers this information if the Undergraduate Research Opportunity for which you are applying has specific eligibility guidelines in reference to gender or traditionally “underrepresented” populations or groups in the discipline defined by the specific Research Opportunity. For all other opportunities, the demographic information is used for internal (UTSA) reporting purposes only. Your name will not be included in the reporting information. You will need to acknowledge your understanding and agreement of our information file release clause in the online application.

***Note: Applications which do not contain complete and correct application information, reference letter, and an UTSA transcript (official or unofficial) will not be considered until complete. It is your responsibility to ensure all items are submitted correctly and on time***

If you have questions, please contact:  

Fall 2020 Provost's Undergraduate Research Fellows

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