June 16, 2017

How do I apply?

Students should meet with their potential faculty or staff mentor before completing their application to outline a reasonable project and ensure the mentor’s support of their application and proposed project.

Student Application includes the following sections.

  • SHORT COVER LETTER (500 word limit):  In this section, you should write a short personal statement addressed to the review committee summarizing the proposed project and your personal goals and expectations. Be specific about how this project fits into your broader educational and professional goals. Using personal pronouns may be very appropriate here. Please include a statement about the origination of the project idea; e.g. “This project is part of the ongoing research in my professor’s group.” or “I came up with this idea when…” Answer the question: Why are you interested in this project?
  • INTRODUCTION (500 word limit): This paragraph should clearly define the scholarly question and provide a discipline-specific context and rationale for the project. The applicant should identify how this work will add to the “big picture” by contributing to the knowledge of the discipline. How will this original project address a knowledge gap in your field? You should cite appropriate research and/or creative literature using in-text citations. Creative and/or performance-based projects may describe the work of others as exemplars.
    Answer the questions: What is your project and why is it significant?
  • PROCESS (600 word limit): In this section, you should describe the creative process, research design, and/or methods you will employ to complete the project. A description of materials and equipment necessary to complete the project should be included. If you need resources not available at Mason (e.g. a unique instrument or manuscript) to complete the project, you should obtain access to those resources before submitting your proposal and include a statement to that effect in this section.
    Answer the question: What will you do to answer your question or complete your creative activity?
  • TIMELINE (350 word limit): Please describe how you will invest your time during the semester to complete the project. Consult with your faculty member regarding the different sections of the project and provide the review committee with a plan of work including detailed timetables for the semester. You may extend the timeline beyond the semester as needed, however be clear what work you will perform during the semester you receive funding. Answer the question: How will you schedule your time?
  • EXPECTED OUTCOMES (350 word limit): Describe the anticipated outcomes, products and/or results of the project. It should be clear to the review committee how these results will contribute to the scholarly and/or creative community. Identify where the project outcomes may be shared, e.g. a Mason undergraduate research symposium, a professional conference, a submitted publication, juried show, and/or performance, etc.
    Answer the questions: What will you produce? How will your results/creative activity be communicated
    in your field?
  • BIBLIOGRAPHY (350 word limit): Include a list of every reference cited in the application narrative. Use the style most appropriate to the discipline. You may also include a selection of works consulted as space allows.
  • OUTCOMES FROM PREVIOUS FUNDING (100 word limit): Only applicants who have received previous funding from URSP will complete this section. Explain the specific products, outcomes, and results from the semesters (past and current) in which you were awarded funds from the URSP. You should clearly articulate how this proposal is different or builds upon your previous work.
  • BUDGET: In this section, you should indicate how the award will be used to support your project. The total award for the traditional URSP is up to $1,500. The total award for the intensive URSP (summer only) is up to
    $5,000. Traditional URSP is available Summer, Fall, and Summer semesters. In the traditional program, the
    student is allocated up to $1,000 for materials, supplies, research-related travel, and professional
    development. During the summer only, traditional URSP students can elect to use their $1,000 for
    student direct fellowship payments. The intensive URSP is offered only in the summer. In the intensive program, the student is allocated $4,000 for direct fellowship payment and $500 for supplies. The student can elect to use part of this $4,000 fellowship payment for supplies as well. During the school year your mentor is awarded $500 for either supplies for the URSP project or for faculty professional development. For summer projects only, mentors can select a stipend option instead. For materials and supplies, preliminary prices and sources should be included in the justification. Typically, URSP does not fund travel to present your projects, but for some students we allow this use of funds during the school year. URSP students have priority access to separate funds, the Undergraduate Student Travel Fund (USTF) for this purpose. For more information on USTF, please visit the OSCAR website (http://oscar.gmu.edu/).

Download the Narrative Guidelines for additional suggestions.

Submit your application via the web as described below.  The student applicant is required to insure their project mentor completes the Mentor Application Form before the posted deadline.

  • Step 1: Create a Profile: Please click “+Create a Profile to Get Started” to begin your profile. Complete all the information and save your profile. You cannot create a proposal until you enter a profile.
  • Step 2: Start an Application:  Click “+Get Started”. This will take you to the application. Once you have started the application make sure to save draft before you exit. You may continue to edit the application until you have submitted it. Once you have completed all the parts of the application use the “save” button.
  • Step 3: Mentor Request: Click “+Open” on the mentor request portion of the home page. Once in the mentor request listing, click “+Add New Item” to request a mentor letter. Make sure you have your mentors contact information available so you can fill this out accurately. Please complete the mentor request as soon as you start an application so your mentor has the time to complete their letter.

Questions? Email oscar@gmu.edu or call 703-993-3794

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