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 also look at some past URCT Program projects here.

Award Information

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 (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

Proposals may be submitted by either the faculty advisor or by a student leader and 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:
    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
  2. 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
  3. Proposed budget for the project
  4. 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.

Proposals should be submitted by 5pm November 1 as a single pdf file via email to Boots Quimby PhD, Associate Director of the Office for Undergraduate Research (bquimby@email.unc.edu).

Application: Download the URCT-Application and instructions.