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Supporting Undergraduate Research at Abilene Christian University since 2009

Spring 2019 Travel Applications Now Open

Posted by on Dec 10, 2018 in Activities, Announcement, Conferences, Faculty Mentor, Grants, STEM, Student Researcher, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Spring 2019 Travel Applications Now Open

Spring 2019 Travel Applications are now open and are due by 5pm on February 1.

The Office of Undergraduate Research awards travel funding for both undergraduate research students and faculty mentors to travel to a conference to present and showcase scholarship.

Faculty mentor travel grants are for those who mentor undergraduate researchers. Mentors may apply for up to $1000 to either 1) accompany undergraduate students presenting scholarship at a conference or showcase; OR 2) present scholarship in which undergraduate students assisted in the work.
For more information visit OUR Faculty Travel Grants. Applications can be accessed here.

Faculty may also apply for up to $1000 on behalf of their undergraduate students. These grants are for up to $1000 per project. For projects with more than one student, a group can decide whether to send one representative student or divide the award and send more than one presenter.

For more information visit OUR Student Travel Grants. Applications can be accessed here.

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Undergraduate Student Grants for Scholarly/Creative Activities

Posted by on Aug 31, 2018 in Activities, Announcement, Faculty Mentor, Grants, Student Researcher, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Undergraduate Student Grants for Scholarly/Creative Activities

This 2018-2019 Academic Year, we announce the availability of funds for undergraduate students who wish to conduct their own independent research studies, under the mentorship of a faculty member. Applications are due by 5pm on Friday, November 30th, and awards are expected to be announced in mid December. Please see the information below on eligibility and the application process.

The undergraduate student grant fund was established as part of a strategic initiative to support undergraduate research at Abilene Christian University. The intent of the program is to provide support for undergraduate students to complete novel, student-led research/creative scholarship. The financial resources and number of applicants within a given fiscal year determine the number of grants awarded. It is expected that awards will range between $1,000-2,000, though this will vary depending on these factors.

Full-time ACU undergraduate students are eligible to apply. Grants will be awarded, based on a competitive selection process, to proposals that demonstrate potential for serious research and creative activity. The Undergraduate Research Council considers the proposals submitted and approves those judged best according to the following criteria:

  • Worth and value to the discipline, researcher, or the university.
  • Clear goals, objectives, and outcomes.
  • Use of sound, clearly explained methodology and procedures.
  • Clear writing that is precise, detailed, and understandable to a lay audience.
  • Expected outcome of project (e.g., a book, article, paper, presentation, video).
  • Likelihood of successful completion in a reasonable time.

Undergraduate Student Grants are intended to support scholarly activities including:

  • quantitative research studies,
  • qualitative research studies,
  • technological innovations, and
  • developmental and innovative research activity related to musical compositions or artistic production.

Furthermore, this program seeks to:

  • Increase student involvement in research
  • Encourage novel, student-led research and scholarly activity
  • Promote research presentation and publication by ACU undergraduates

The following budget categories are allowable:

  • Training Stipend. Students may request a training stipend up to $500/semester working on the project. Students should work with their faculty mentor to complete a student internship packet.
  • Expenses related to the research. This amount is limited to essential and necessary materials, supplies, equipment, participant and consultant support which is directly connected with the research project.

Ineligible expenses include clerical work, office supplies, telephone, computer equipment, and travel that is not essential to the conduct of the research.

Projects should be completed during a single fiscal year and must produce a tangible, scholarly product. Examples of acceptable outcomes include presentation at a professional conference, a juried performance, an article submitted for publication in a peer reviewed journal, etc.

A final report detailing the progress made and the scholarly product completed is due by April 31 following the project period. Awardees will receive an email from OUR in the Spring semester with further details on how to complete the report.


Every individual who receives a grant must agree to the ACU Intellectual Property Agreement. The applicant agrees to certain rights and claims against copyrights and patents resulting from university support. Funds cannot be released to any grantee without this acknowledgement of the agreement. The Intellectual Property Agreement may be found on the ORSP website.

Every grantee is assigned a budget for expenses if any are awarded. Stipends are awarded through the Office of Undergraduate Research following completion of the Internship paperwork. All budgets must be cleared and accounted for by April 1 of the final project year. Grantees without proper accounting forms are liable for the expenses incurred.

All grantees must have completed EthicsCORE Responsible Conduct of Research training (requirement currently on hold). Training instructions may be found in the ORSP Classroom. If the project involves research with human subjects, IRB approval must be obtained prior to conduct of the research. Likewise, animal research requires IACUC approval.

To apply, please complete the Student Grant Application and Student Budget Application Forms below and email to or by 5pm on Friday, November 30th. Please be sure to indicate who is the Faculty Mentor who will be advising the student on the project.


student budget application form

For Information on how the applications will be judged, please see an example of the rubric below.

student grants-eval-form

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Internal and Spring Grants Due Soon

Posted by on Dec 14, 2017 in Announcement, Faculty Mentor, Grants | Comments Off on Internal and Spring Grants Due Soon

Travel Grant Applications for travel to conferences January – May, 2018 are due January 22, 2018. For more information see the Travel Grants Page.

Internal Research Grant Applications for Summer 2018 are Due January 29, 2018. For more information see the Internal Grants Page.

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SPUR Travel Grants

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Activities, Grants, Student Researcher | Comments Off on SPUR Travel Grants

With the financial support of the Student Association, the Student Panel on Undergraduate Research awards travel grants to undergraduate researchers. These awards help students travel to professional conferences to present their work.  The awards are awarded based on a rubric.

Fall 2016 SPUR Travel Grant Awardees

  • Mikalia Bradberry (Music) National Association of Teachers of Singing
  • Sonia Cyuzuzo (Engineering and Physics) PhysCon
  • Clint Taylor (Engineering and Physics) WASH Summit
  • Cecily Towell (Engineering and Physics) PhysCon
  • Megan Cromis (Engineering and Physics) PhysCon
  • Chelsea Fordham (Social Work) North American Christians in Social Work Annual Convention
  • Lauren Selensky (Engineering and Physics) PhysCon
  • Zhaojia Xi (Engineering and Physics) 2016 Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Nuclear Physics
  • Courtney Tee (Communication and Sociology) Association for the Sociology of Religion

Spring 2016 SPUR Travel Grant Awardees

  • Kristen Brehm (Chemistry and Biochemistry) Alpha Chi National Convention
  • Andrew Brown (International Studies) Alpha Chi National Convention
  • Luke Cooksey (Biochemistry) Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Symposium
  • Megan Cromis (Engineering) National Conference on Undergraduate Research
  • Angela Fogle (Bible, Missions, and Ministry) Alpha Chi National Convention
  • Chelsea Fordham (Social Work) National Association of Social Work Baccalaureate Program Directors Annual Conference
  • Mackenzie Harrington (Communication and Sociology) Eastern Communication Association Conference
  • Bre Heinrich (Social Work) National Association of Social Work Baccalaureate Program Directors Annual Conference
  • Savannah Hipes (Psychology) Alpha Chi National Convention
  • Tina Johnson (Biology) Alpha Chi National Convention
  • Kimberly Martinez (Communication and Sociology) Eastern Communication Association Conference
  • Chelsea Peer (History) Alpha Chi National Convention
  • Kathryn Preston (Biology) Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Symposium
  • Rachael Schaad (Bible and Ministry) Alpha Chi National Convention
  • Amanda Stephens (Accounting) Alpha Chi National Convention
  • Julia Taylor (Biochemistry) Alpha Chi National Convention
  • Jaime Thompson (Biology) Texas Academy of Sciences
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Top 10 Ways to Improve your Chance in Receiving Internal Grants

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in Faculty Mentor, Grants | Comments Off on Top 10 Ways to Improve your Chance in Receiving Internal Grants

These 10 (or 11) suggestions focus on applying for grants involving student research from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Pursuit. Many of these will apply (but not all) to applying for grants from the Math-Science and Cullen Research Councils.

10. Remember your audience.

The committees who evaluate the grant proposals come from departments all over campus. Remember to write your proposal so that those from outside your field can evaluate it.

9. Have a clearly identified research question/ thesis statement/ creative project.

This is related to #10. State your research question, thesis statement, or identification of your creative project in such a way that you are sure the evaluators understand what you want to do. (Or at least understand that you understand what you want to do.)

8. Delineate the purpose, goals and objectives for the project.

Some of the questions that the committees look at are:

  • Is the research question of creative project clearly defined with an appropriate rationale?
  • Is the scope of the questions or project manageable within the time frame and context of the student?
  • Are the goals clearly stated and are the objectives measurable and achievable?

7. Have a clearly identified methodology

The committees do not necessarily have to understand all the details of what you are doing, but they do want to see that you know what you are doing. There needs to be a clear plan in place.

6. Read the rubric and know the criteria used for selection.

The rubrics can be found through the following links

Summer Student Stipend from Office of Undergraduate Research

Pursuit Research, Math-Science and Cullen Research Grants

5. Make sure you have demonstrated clear benefits to students in terms of Student Learning Outcomes.

This is particularly important in Pursuit Grants due to the link to SACS accreditation. Be sure that those evaluating your grants understand how what the students are doing contributes to their learning. If they are spending the summer watching you use a very expensive piece of equipment that they are not allowed to touch, that may be very useful to them because they might not be exposed to that type of research otherwise and may be the way student research is done in your field. BUT you must explain why this is important and how it will contribute to student learning. Remember the evaluators are most likely not from your field.

4. Describe the final scholarly product in ways that are achievable.

These do not have to be (and rarely are) publications. These can be oral or poster presentations at a conference, including the Undergraduate Research Festival. They can also be performing or taking work to a juried show or competition, putting on a play, or whatever else is appropriate to your field. Just be sure and explain what it is.

3. Budget must be clear and detailed with obvious links to plan for the project.

If there is something in your budget that may not seem like it obviously connects to your research, you need to explain it. And what may seem obvious to you may not seem obvious to someone outside your field. If budget items are not clear you may risk your research not being funded or being funded at an amount that does not include that item.

2. Do your homework. Look at good grant examples on the ORSP website.

ORSP has provided examples of strong grant proposals. Check out examples of funded proposals.

1. Proofread

This should go without saying, but occasionally even faculty submit something that does not appear to have been proofread. Poorly written grant proposals are less likely to be funded.

0. Don’t relax until you receive your confirmation email. Then, Celebrate.

(I’m a graduate of the Big 10… we have trouble sticking to 10.)

ORSP should send you an email confirming the receipt of your proposal.


If you have questions regarding grants for research that involves undergraduates, please contact

Dr. Autumn Sutherlin, Director of Undergraduate Research (

Dr. Phyllis Bolin, Director of Pursuit (

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Grant applications are open

Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in Announcement, Grants | 0 comments

Both travel grant and internal research grant applications are open.

To apply for Travel Grants from the Office of Undergraduate Research apply through the Travel Grant Application by Monday February 10, at 5 PM.

To apply for Internal Research Grants apply through the Common Application for ACU Internal Grants. This application is due Jan 27 at 5 PM.



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