Undergraduate Research Consultant Teams
Opportunities & Courses
Undergraduate Research Consultant Teams
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.
Students may register their interest to participate in the URCT Program by completing the online URCT Interest Form. This will place your name in the URCT Interest Database, where faculty may search for possible project participants.
Spring 2018 URCT Daniel Kreiss recently presented ‘Recoding the Boys’ Club: Women vs. the Political Tech Ceiling’ in Washington D.C. Read an article about the presentation here. You can read short descriptions of past URCT Program projects here.
Awards of up to $10,000 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 (IDST195) 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.
In addition, OUR is partnering with the UNC KEEN program to provide additional funding for URCT proposals that incorporate an entrepreneurial mindset into their URCT research. Read more about this additional supplement here.
Guidelines for Proposal Submission
Proposals may be submitted by either the faculty advisor or by a student leader and will be reviewed by a committee of faculy and staff, and should include the following:
- A brief narrative (1,500 words max) that includes:
a. A description of the project including specific objectives and anticipated outcomes (e.g. research report, design, model, or outreach material, etc.)
b. A list of specific skills required by student members of the URCT
c. Anticipated benefits to society and members of the URCT
- Statement of feasibility
a. Relevant experience mentoring undergraduate researchers
b. Relevant skills and experience of each team member
c. Existing lab/department infrastructure or organization to support the project
- Proposed budget for the project.
- If you would like to be considered for the KEEN supplement, please include a short statement of interest and complete the materials indicated here.
A budget justification should also be included that outlines the need for each item for which funding is requested along with the associated amount of funding. Table format is preferred.
Human and Animal Research: Most research involving contact with human subjects (i.e., interviews or surveys) requires IRB approval. Most research involving animal subjects must be approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). For more information about IRB requirements, please visit the IRB guide for students and faculty. You may also want to attend a IRB Pop-up session to help determine if your proposed research will require IRB approval. For more information about research involving animal subjects, please visit the IACUC webpage. if your project does not require IRB approval you must state that explicitly. It is strongly advised that if you think your proposal will require IRB or IACUC approval that you start the process prior to submitting your URCT proposal so that you have the approval in time to start your project if your proposal is funded.
Proposals should be submitted as a single pdf file via email to Boots Quimby PhD, Associate Director of the Office for Undergraduate Research (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- For spring, 5pm November 1
- For fall, 5pm May 1
Application: Download the Call for URCT proposals.