UCRA Call for Proposals

Proposals requesting support for undergraduate scholarship, creative, and research activities conducted with faculty mentors will be accepted on the following dates: 

  • Fall Submission Deadline: Wed., Nov. 06, 2019 (midnight, CST)
  • Spring Submission Deadline: Wed., Feb. 5, 2020, (midnight CST)

Proposals must be submitted via the URSCA website. Please do not e-mail proposal applications. The deadline for submitting proposals for Fall 2019 has passed. Please visit the site in Spring 2020 to submit a proposal for consideration during the Spring 2020 competition.

The full call for proposals follows below.

Please direct questions or concerns to Lisa Davis, lisa.davis@ua.edu, Chair of UCRA.


Any undergraduate student declared as a major within the College of Arts & Sciences and enrolled as a current full-time student. Students must have an A&S faculty mentor that will collaborate with the student or will serve as an advisor as part of the proposed work. Faculty serving on the UCRA committee will be ineligible to serve as the primary faculty advisor for a student applying to this proposal call. The Academy encourages proposal submissions by all academic departments within the College of Arts & Sciences.

Funding will be considered for any project-related need, with the exception of faculty or student salary, that will meet the goal of enhancing and stimulating undergraduate student creative or research activities in the College and University (i.e. travel, equipment, supplies, exhibition/presentation, conferences/meetings, etc.).

Funding requests up to $1000 will be considered, but requests should be reasonable. It is anticipated that funding from the College Academy will enable applicants to achieve an advanced level of excellence in the proposed activity, provide a venue to showcase their work/outcomes and enhance visibility and recognition of the outstanding undergraduate activities taking place in the College, University, and beyond.

Minimum Expectations of Awardees

 Funded applications may commence immediately or the start date may be delayed for up to one year. It is anticipated that the proposed work will be completed in a period not to exceed twelve months; however, in certain circumstances extensions of six months may be granted for the expenditure of the original award.

  • Student awardees will be expected to present the findings of their research at UA’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference; see the following for more information about the conference: http://ovpred.ua.edu/urca/. In addition to this venue, the Academy highly encourages students to present the results of their creative activity or research project at other, discipline-specific conferences and meetings, and if possible, to publish the findings of their efforts with their faculty mentors.
  • Faculty mentors of awardees will be expected to answer an online questionnaire reporting the outcomes of the project, including the professional mentoring received by the student participant.

Review Process

UCRA members will begin reviewing submitted proposals at the closing of the submission deadline. Awardees will be announced before the conclusion of the semester of application. The student-faculty research or activity effort must demonstrate that the level of student-experience is satisfactory to achieve success in the project outcomes and that the student has initiated or played a prominent role (depending on the standards of the respective discipline) in the project proposal and design. This will be evaluated on an individual basis based on the student experience and background as well as the faculty nomination letters. There will be no priority given to students or faculty on the basis of stage in their careers.

Points the committee will consider during review, if applicable for the project:

  • Significance of research and/or creative activity
  • Clear plan for the work
  • Guided by a compelling question or creative idea
  • Intelligibly written for non-specialist
  • Interdisciplinary, if appropriate for the project
  • Could not be done without this funding
  • If previously funded by UCRA, a report on the outcome of the prior funding must be referenced (if already submitted)

Application Process and Required Proposal Components

Proposals for funding should be prepared and submitted as a single PDF file through the URSCA website: Submit UCRA Proposal. Each proposal should include the following sections in the following order:

  • Nomination letter from the Faculty member who will serve as the student advisor and director of the research or creative activity. The faculty member should provide a brief statement describing how the undergraduate’s creative activity or research ties in with of his/her current project(s) or program. [1-page maximum]
  • Title of the proposed project, along with name(s), academic rank(s), and affiliation(s) within the College of the applicant(s), and the signatures of both the student applicant and the faculty mentor (student advisor) [Page 1]. Because applications are initially reviewed by UCRA faculty within the three A&S Divisions (prior to full committee review), applicants must indicate which A&S Division (Humanities and Fine Arts; Social Sciences; Mathematics and Natural Sciences) fits with your application.
  • Project/Activity Type [Page 1] – Indicate if this is (1) New Research/Creative Activity or (2) Continuing Research/Creative Activity. For either selected category briefly address the following categories (i) provide details of previous funding received from this Academy and any other sources for the activity, (ii) provide student background in terms of experience and time working in this field, on this project, or with the faculty mentor.
  • Abstract of the proposed work [Page 1] – This should not exceed 250 words and should be suitable for general publication or dissemination to the general public. This should be single-spaced in not less than 12-point type.
  • Proposal, Budget, and Budget Justification [3-page maximum]
    • Proposal – The proposed work should be described (double-spaced; not less than 12-point type with 1-inch margins). Keep in mind that the proposal will be evaluated by faculty within the College who may not have detailed knowledge of the area; therefore, the proposed work should be described in sufficient detail for faculty within your division to evaluate its impact, but still at a level general enough for the non-specialist to appreciate. The proposal should address the following questions/areas:
      • What is the aim of the proposed work? Why is it important?
      • On what will the funds be expended?
      • How does funding requested from the Academy relate to existing and/or future funding for the work?
      • How will funding from the Academy specifically enhance the activity proposed?
    • Budget and Budget Justification – The committee will consider funding requests up to $1000. Provide a budget detailing expected and known costs associated with the creative activity or research project. Provide a brief justification for the budgeted items. All purchases must abide by the terms and conditions consistent with that of UA Purchasing guidelines and protocols.
  • Proposed Timeline of Activity/Project and Presentation [1-page maximum] – Include a brief timeline for the proposed activity or research project. The student must include the intended conference and/or meeting that the results of the creative activity or research will be presented (i.e. annual University Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference plus any others). The student may apply for an extension of the presentation (up to 1-year) if results of the activity or project cannot be reasonably acquired/synthesized by the deadline for the spring annual University Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference.
  • A Reference List [1-page maximum] – All key references that help to provide a framework for the question being addressed should be included.
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae [1-page maximum] – Resume from student applicant(s) (limited to 1-page). The student resume should include (i) name and departmental affiliation/address; (ii) college level (i.e. freshmen, sophomore, etc.); (iii) synergistic activities to support the research or activity, and (iv) honors/awards.