Home » our » scholarships » urf » Before Applying

Before Applying

The purpose of the Undergraduate Research Fellowship (URF) competition is to provide support up to $1,000 for scholarly research projects conducted by UT undergraduate students. Fellowships are intended to cover costs associated with research projects proposed and written by undergraduate student applicants and undertaken with the supervision of a university tenured, tenure-track, or professional-track faculty member, or full-time research staff member. The supervisor will attest to the appropriateness of the student’s research expenses throughout the project and will need Principal Investigator (PI) status in order to request IACUC, IBC, or IRB approvals, if applicable.


  • Only UT undergraduate students may apply.
  • Applicants must be enrolled full-time (minimum of 12 hours) at The University of Texas at Austin in a bachelor’s degree program or in the PharmD Program. Graduating seniors must provide full-time status certification by the Registrar’s office or academic advisor if enrollment is less than 12 hours at the time of applying.
  • URF awards are given once per student, per academic year, Sept. 1–Aug. 31. A student may re-apply again in the spring after an unsuccessful fall application.
  • Due to limited funds, awards will not be given to prior URF award winners.
  • Applicants must have a minimum overall in-residence UT GPA of 2.5. New transfer students should include a copy of their college transcript, and new freshmen a copy of their high school transcript.
  • Research projects must be independent. URFs will not fund UT-sponsored or specific class-associated research or travel (study abroad, seminars, etc.). Award limit is $1,000 per project. Applicant must meet eligibility requirements and must receive endorsement by the supervisor. Only one qualified supervisor is allowed per project.
  • Travel costs (outside Austin), including conference travel, are only eligible if expense can be justified as contributing to the URF research goals and objectives.

Research Approval and Training

If your project will use vertebrate animals (live or dead), human subjects (or data about humans), or any type of biohazardous materials, including recombinant DNA, your faculty supervisor may need approval from the Office of Research Support (ORS). Please remember: If your project requires ORS approval, your supervisor must indicate compliance by certifying the commitment statement on the application form. Although final ORS approvals are not needed at the time you submit your application, they are required for disbursement of URF funds.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Clarity and thoroughness of presentation (error-free, jargon-free, clearly labeled and explained)
  • Relevance to the applicant’s degree program and career plans
  • Scientific, scholarly, or creative merit of the project
  • Evidence of ability to carry out the project (as shown by accomplishments and letter of support)
  • Budget reasonably reflects the proposed project’s needs, is itemized and justified
  • Please adhere to the page limit and formatting requirements. Research proposal: no more than four pages, 12-point font, including references; a typical URF bibliography is 1/5 or 1/4 of a page long. There is no set limit or length requirement. (See proposal template) Curriculum Vitae/Resume: one page. Faculty supervisors must submit directly to the Office of Undergraduate Research a one-page letter of recommendation reflecting a strong knowledge of the student’s background and full confidence of project completion; letters are submitted through the URF submission portal

The Office of Undergraduate Research reserves the right to prioritize funding criteria (e.g., expected date of graduation, previous URFs received, GPA, number of students supervised by a professor, etc.) based upon the pool of applications received.


There are two opportunities to apply during the academic year; one in the fall, another in spring. Refer to the URF website for up-to-date information on deadlines. Awards are announced three to four weeks after the deadline. URFs will expire Aug. 31at the conclusion of the fiscal year in which they were made, unless the student graduates earlier, in which case the fellowship will expire on UT’s official commencement date. All funds not spent by the expiration date will revert back to the URF fund.

Applications must be submitted online.