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Overview for Faculty, Grad Students & Postdocs

The Office for Undergraduate Research (OUR) has a mission to facilitate and enrich undergraduate research opportunities at Carolina, which is predicated on commitments to:

  • Inclusiveness – we strive to facilitate undergraduate research opportunities for all disciplines and for all members of the Carolina community.
  • Quality – we strive to provide the highest quality programming in support of undergraduate research.
  • Collaboration – we strive to engage partners across the Carolina community to support undergraduate research.

We primarily serve undergraduates directly, but we have a number of resources for faculty as well. Below is a quick primer of OUR programs that faculty may want to be aware of as they support undergraduate researchers in their department. Click through to learn more about each program.

  1. OUR’s Database of Research Opportunities. The OUR has a searchable database of research opportunities for undergraduates. This database has allowed faculty members, post docs, and graduate students to post research opportunities (volunteer, paid, or for credit) to connect with interested and capable undergraduates across the campus.
  2. Graduate Research Consultants (GRCs). The GRC Program helps faculty integrate a research project/assignment into an undergraduate course by providing support for an advanced graduate student who guides students through research projects.
  3. Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURFs). SURFs are $4,000 student stipends for undergraduates to engage in research for at least 9 weeks, with a minimum of 20 hours/week during the summer. SURF projects must be carried out under the supervision of a UNC-Chapel Hill faculty research advisor, and most successful SURF applications are written in collaboration with faculty. Faculty often encourage their students to apply for SURF funding as a way to incentivize intensive summer research.
  4. The Celebration of Undergraduate Research. The Celebration of Undergraduate Research is a research symposium held at UNC-Chapel Hill at the end of each spring semester, where hundreds of undergraduates from all disciplines share poster presentations of their research.
  5. Accelerated Research Program. The Accelerated Research Program is one of the Special Opportunitiesoffered to students as part of the Admissions process. Accelerated Research enhances participants’ first-year experience at Carolina by accelerating their entry into research here, and participants can take IDST 198 or IDST 199, classes taught by OUR staff.
  6. Summer Award for Research Courses. This tuition award is offered for a wide range of Maymester and Summer Session I and II courses to give students the opportunity to enroll in research courses during the summer session. The award covers tuition for one three-hour research-intensive course for the student and provides $1,000 for research supplies to faculty mentors teaching the mentored undergraduate research course.
  7. Research and Discovery Course Development Guide. For instructors designing or adjusting a course to allow students to conduct research in a way that meets the criteria of the Research & Discovery requirement of the IDEAs in Action curriculum.
  8. Carolina Research Scholars Program (CRSP). CRSP is a transcript designation that students can achieve by completing 300+ hours of research, taking certain classes, attending OUR workshops, and publicly presenting their research.
  9. Travel Funding. The OUR offers travel awards of up to $500 to UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate students to defray the cost of travel to present results of their research or creative performance at a professional conference in their field.
  10. Faculty Liaisons. Faculty who have been designated to talk with undergraduates about research opportunities in their departments.
  11. Student Ambassadors. Undergraduate researchers at UNC who work with the Office for Undergraduate Research to promote a culture of research on this campus through workshops, outreach, and meetings with peers.

Questions about faculty support for undergraduate research? Email OUR Director Dr. Robert Pleasants or Director of Research Curricula Dr. Anna Krome-Lukens.