Independent Research Grants

Independent Grants support independent research and scholarly projects by undergraduate students in any field of the Arts and Sciences. Although the projects should be independent inquiries led by the undergraduate student, the student must have the support of an Emory mentor. During the grant review process, emphasis is given to how well prepared the student is for the project (based on the proposal itself, previous coursework the student has taken, and the faculty letter of support) but also how well the student is supported by his/her faculty mentor and the mentor's expertise. Students may apply for funding to support research conducted in the fall, spring or summer. 

Funding

Grants cover costs for student research including necessary books, laboratory reagents, travel for the purpose of doing research, mailings, small equipment, or other research-related expenses.

  • For grants not involving international travel, the total award will be up to $1000 (the application may be for a lesser amount).
  • For grants involving international travel, the award may be up to $2000.

Supported Research Expenses*

Research Expenses NOT Supported*

  • Travel (housing, food, transportation) to libraries, archives, or research sites
  • Purchase of laboratory reagents
  • Payments to human participants or purchase of animals
  • Photocopies of research documents at research site
  • Production costs for creative arts project
  • Photocopies taken at research site and approved books
  • Long distance phone calls or postage

*Not an exhaustive list

  • Photocopying costs of materials from the Emory library or a local library
  • Purchase of equipment i.e. cameras, computers, printers etc.
  • Books or materials available at Emory’s library or through interlibrary loan.
  • Funds are not provided for 'general purpose' research supplies shared by multiple users or projects
  • Research funds cannot be used to support research at another university
  • Printing and production of honor’s thesis
  • Travel to conferences
  • Lessons or professional development fees

Permissions, IRB and IACUC

Soome applicants will need to submit additional documents depending on the components of their research.

Does your research require?

  • Human participants/ oral histories
  • Access to archives, museums, records or works in a research space
  • Foreign travel/ language
  • Animals

Research Access/Permissions

Your project may involve that you receive permission before you travel.

  • Do you have written permission to access archives, materials, records and works in a research space, museum or facility?
  • Do you have an established contact in the research space you plan to access for your research project?

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

If your project involves human subjects, you will need to obtain either IRB approval or an exemption dependent on your proposed project.

Human subject is defined as a living individual about whom an investigator conducting research obtains

  1. Data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or
  2. Identifiable private information.

If you are unsure whether your research project requires IRB review you may utilize the IRB determination tool: http://www.irb.emory.edu/forms/review/request.html

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

If your project involves animal subjects, you will need to obtain either IRB approval or an exemption dependent on your proposed project. You are responsible for completing all relevant online and in-person trainings prior to work with animals. If you are unsure about IACUC protocol and procedure, talk with your mentor and also review: http://www.iacuc.emory.edu/

International Travel

**Students requesting funding to travel or conduct research abroad should contact the CIPA office to determine if there any travel restrictions involving undergraduate travel to the location.

For those proposing a project involving international travel, be sure to address the following additional issues as a part of your proposal. In most cases, this additional information will be a part of the sections listed above, rather than a separate addendum. Your proposal may be as long as 4 pages in order to allow you to address these issues:

  • Personal Logistics:
    • Describe how you will make contact, gain access, and establish living arrangements at your research location, including:
      • Your contacts with members of the local community, researchers, and institutions who may be of assistance in your research or with logistics
      • Where you will reside, with whom, and how local logistics will be arranged with those familiar with your site.
  • Overseas Research Logistics:
    • Describe how you will realistically gain access, make contact, and establish ongoing relations with the persons during your overseas study. If you are planning to interview people, how will you locate them, inform them about your research, and obtain their permission to participate?
    • How will you maintain records and documents of your experience in a way that maintains and protects the confidentiality of your informants?
    • If your project involves archival, textual, or material cultural materials, describe where and how you will effectively gain access to and use of these materials, including photo reproduction or other permissions.
  • Cultural Experience:
    • Describe and explain your prior cultural understanding, background, and experience with the culture or culture area in question. Include but do not limit yourself to description of relevant academic training.
    • Are you aware of culturally sensitive topics in traveling and researching in this site? If so, please describe and explain how you would address these issues.   
    • What guide books, travel guides or other information have you used to familiarize yourself with the country/area, and how have you used or will use these sources?
  • Language:
    • Language Logistics: If you are not completely fluent in the local language, how will you circumvent or otherwise deal with this fact? To what extent will translators or language helpers be needed, and how will such persons be recruited and compensated?
  • Personal Challenges and Security:
    • Do you have any personal characteristics - such as gender, national or ethnic identity, or otherwise- that will pose special challenges to your research given the cultural and social characteristics of your research location? How will you respond to these challenges?
    • Are there any special challenges of safety or security that your research poses? How will you address these to reduce your risk to an acceptable level?

Eligibility

  • Applicant must be a currently enrolled Emory undergraduate student.
  • Grants are open to any student in any field at Emory.

Partnerships

FCHI/URP Fellowship

The Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry is a focal point for humanities research at Emory University, and is dedicated to providing occasions and spaces for encouraging intellectual community and scholarship across disciplines. Students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences awarded a URP Grant can apply to be a FCHI/URP Fellow. The Fox Center will offer up to four undergraduate fellowships fall and spring to support work on URP projects. Selected students will be awarded shared office space in the FCHI, plus the opportunity to participate in the intellectual life and programs of the Fox Center.

If you would like to be considered for a FCHI/URP Fellowship, you should attach a 100 word essay to your application. In your essay, describe how being part of an interdisciplinary humanities research center would enhance your work.  More information on previous FCHI/URP Fellows projects can be found at https://foxcenterresearchcommons.wordpress.com/.

Application Tips

  • LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION: The faculty mentor is the faculty member who will oversee and can comment on the proposed project. Any Emory faculty member is eligible to support a College student for a URP grant. This letter of support should discuss the student’s academic background, work ethic, overall potential as an independent researcher and scholar, and the mentor's willingness to mentor the student and his/her project. Your mentor is more likely to write a strong, supportive letter if he/she is familiar with your performance in the classroom or laboratory, work ethic, academic background, etc. If there are things you wish to address that don’t “fit” anywhere else in the application, let your letter writer know. It is essential that your faculty mentor have a copy of your research proposal in order to comment about your specific research plans
  • UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT: You may download a pdf of your unofficial transcript from OPUS.
  • ITEMIZED BUDGET: Outline the actual cost of your research; ask your mentor to estimate the cost of specific supplies, reagents, access to facilities, animal care, housing, participant incentives, etc. Be sure to include all relevant expenses.
  • PERSONAL STATEMENT: One-page single spaced explanation of how a funded independent research project will advance your academic & career goals. Specifically address how research fits into your goals.
  • PROJECT PROPOSAL: Your proposal should follow the guidelines on the next page. The final version must be approved by your mentor.

Application and Instructions

Your online application can not be saved or returned to. Make sure that you have all your materials ready when you apply online.

A complete application includes:

  1. Letter of Recommendation
    The faculty mentor is the faculty member who will oversee and can comment on the proposed project. Any Emory faculty member is eligible to support a College student for a URP grant. This letter of support should discuss the student’s academic background, work ethic, overall potential as an independent researcher and scholar, and the mentor's willingness to mentor the student and his/her project. Your mentor is more likely to write a strong, supportive letter if he/she is familiar with your performance in the classroom or laboratory, work ethic, academic background, etc. If there are things you wish to address that don’t “fit” anywhere else in the application, let your letter writer know. It is essential that your faculty mentor have a copy of your research proposal in order to comment about your specific research plans.  Complete the Recommendation Request to have a recommendation email sent to your faculty mentor.
  2. Unofficial Transcript
    You may download a pdf of your unofficial transcript from OPUS.
  3. Project Proposal
    The project proposal together with your budget is the fundamental core of your application. Your proposal should explain the academic significance of your research while also explaining to the committee the details and methods you plan to use. Please read the advice and instructions listed here.
  4. Detailed Budget
    When applying for a cost of research grant, you need to include a detailed budget of the whole project - even if it is beyond the Independent Research Grant funding. Please be as specific as possible and indicate the source of those estimates. Ask your mentor to estimate the cost of specific supplies, reagents, access to facilities, animal care, housing, participant incentives etc.
    1. Please read the advice and instructions listed here.
    2. View the budget example for how to set up your budget.
    3. Download a budget template. Use the format shown here for your budget.
  5. One-Page Personal Statement
    This one-page statement should demonstrate that you have the qualities of a successful researcher. Demonstrating both your intellectual merit and the broader impact of you and your work should illustrate these traits. You can demonstrate intellectual merit through academic performance and/or honors, how you’ve analyzed and resolved a problem, previous work on a research team, how you have overcome obstacles and learned from your mistakes, etc. Broader impact can be demonstrated through previous and proposed research with broader impact outcomes, educational outreach with lay audiences, engagement with diverse audiences, other research experiences, and activities that are complementary to the research project you are proposing. Examples could include your advocacy for research funding, how you have improved public science literacy, how you have engaged with diverse audiences about your work, history of service learning or study abroad, demonstrated leadership and teamwork, efforts you have made to teach or mentor someone, etc.
  6. IRB Approval Documentation
    If your project involves human subjects (including experiments, field research, interviews, surveys, or questionnaires), you may need approval by the Institutional Research Board (IRB) before beginning your research. For any project involving human subjects, before funds are dispersed (but not before application to URP) you must provide either certification of approval or a letter indicating that approval is not necessary (see IRB page). In your URP application, please tell the committee the status of your proposal with the IRB.
  7. Foreign Language Report
    If your grant involves international travel AND research that requires proficiency in a foreign language, you will need to have your language skills evaluated by a professional (if the research is international but will be conducted in English, a foreign language report is NOT required).
  8. International Background Information
    If your grant involves international travel, you will be asked to detail your international experience.
  9. Emergency Contact Information
    We ask that you supply emergency contact information in case there is an emergency during your research experience.
  10. Indepedent Grants Approval Form 

Application Submission Deadlines

Funding is available for research conducted in the fall, spring, or summer.

Fall Funding (including travel over winter break): Midnight, August 14 

Spring Funding (including travel over winter break): Midnight, October 23 

Summer Funding: Midnight, March 17