URCT

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URCT’s are small “strike teams” of students from multiple disciplines who will execute well-defined, one semester projects guided by a faculty advisor.  The goals of the URCT program are to (1) provide students with opportunities for inquiry and discovery in the context of real-world cutting-edge research, and (2) foster interactions between disciplines (e.g. Humanities and Natural and Social Sciences) that reflect the diversity of perspectives necessary to solve society’s problems. 

URCT proposals can be generated by faculty members or students in all disciplines who have a well-defined research question, outreach need, or design challenge that could be completed in a relatively short time period by an interdisciplinary team of 3-5 undergraduate students.  For example, a faculty in Exercise & Sport Science interested in investigating genetic factors predisposing individuals to knee osteoarthritis risk would develop a URCT composed of students with expertise in biomechanics, biology and genetics. Or, a team of students may choose to address a pressing campus-related issue, or perhaps projects would be designed to address a problems in the community. Some projects may require more than a single semester to complete.  In these instances, clearly defined objectives for the semester during which funding is provided will need to be outlined in the application, as well as a plan for continuing the project beyond the funding period.

Award Information:

Awards of up to $5,000 per team will be provided to cover the costs of conducting the project (e.g. supplies, travel, etc.), graduate research assistant support, and/or faculty advisor support.  Students will register for a 1-credit course (IDST 195) under the supervision of the faculty advisor as part of the award.  URCTs will be required to present their findings at the Annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research.     

Guidelines for Proposal Submission from Faculty:

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee of faculty and staff, and should include the following:

  1. A brief narrative (1,500 words max) that includes:
    1. A description of the project including specific objectives and anticipated outcomes (e.g. research report, design, model, or outreach material)
    2. A list of specific skills required
    3. Anticipated benefits to society and members of the URCT
  2. Statement of feasibility
    1. Relevant experience mentoring undergraduate researchers
    2. Existing lab/department infrastructure or organization to support the team
  3. Proposed budget for the project

Guidelines for Proposal Submission from Students

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee of faculty and staff, and should include the following:

  1. A brief narrative (1,500 words max) that includes:
    1. A description of the project including specific objectives and anticipated team output (research report, design, model, or outreach material)
    2. A list of specific skills team members bring to the project
    3. Anticipated benefits to society and student members
  2. Statement of feasibility
    1. Relevant experience of each team member
    2. Relevant experience of team advisor(s)
    3. Existing lab/department infrastructure or organization to support the team
  3. A signed letter from team advisor(s) endorsing the project
  4. Proposed budget for the project

Proposals are due by 5pm November 1 for Spring semester teams and March 1 for Fall semester teams as a single pdf file via email to Boots Quimby, PhD, Associate Director of the Office for Undergraduate Research (bquimby@email.unc.edu).