Office of Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate Research and Travel Grant FAQ

Am I eligible for an Undergraduate Research Grant?

Any student enrolled in a degree program at CWU who is conducting research, scholarship, or a creative activity with a faculty or staff mentor can apply for an Undergraduate Research Grant. You do not have to have declared your major; your project can be in any discipline. You must have a faculty mentor endorse the project and write a letter of support for your application.

Is my project considered "research"?

Are you making "an original intellectual or creative contribution to your discipline"? That's how the Council on Undergraduate Research defines undergraduate research: An inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline. Your contribution might be an experiment in chemistry, a series of paintings, a field investigation of primates, a musical performance, or many other possibilities—we consider all of those projects to be research. If you aren't sure if you are making an original contribution, talk to your mentor.

Am I eligible for an Undergraduate Travel Grant?

Any student who is enrolled in a degree program at CWU and is presenting their work in a professional venue can apply for funds to help offset the costs of travel. You, the student, must be the presenting author—you cannot receive funding simply to attend a conference. You must submit verification that your work has been accepted for presentation—if you have submitted your presentation but have not yet heard if it has been accepted, you may still apply and submit verification at a later date in order to receive funding. 

What if I'm traveling internationally? 

OUR travel grants can support international travel, but all University-related international travel must be approved in advance by Steve Cook ( in the Office of International Studies and Programs. 

Can I apply for a Grant after I have already completed the work or gone to the conference?

Only if you have communicated your intention to the Director of Undergraduate Research via email and received permission. If you plan to attend a conference prior to the posted application deadlines, you can submit your application prior to your travel and it will be considered in the next round of applications.

Who reads the grant applications? 

A committee of faculty from across the university read the proposals and determine which ones we should support. The committee includes members from each disciplinary area (natural sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, education, professional studies, business), but not necessarily anyone from your department or discipline. The proposal should be written with that audience in mind.

How does the Undergraduate Research Advisory Committee decide which applications to fund?

All aspects of the applications are important and are considered by the Committee when determining which applications are meritorious. First and foremost, applications need to be on time, complete, and well-constructed. The committee looks for clarity of your project and why the work or presentation is important both to you as a scholar and to the discipline. The committee also looks at how realistic your budget and timeline are, and for strong support from your mentor as described in the letter. 

Can I get the money ahead of time? 

Unfortunately, no. All grants are paid out through reimbursement of receipts.

I have received an Undergraduate Grant. When do the funds have to be used by?

Undergraduate Research Grants must be spent by the end of the fiscal year in which they were provided. The CWU fiscal year ends in June.  All research grants not spent by the end of the fiscal year will revert back to the Office of Undergraduate Research. Undergraduate Travel Grant funds must be used within two weeks of the student returning from their travel.

Should a student require an extension, he or she can either reapply in one of the next year's opportunities for application or seek an extension on a case-by-case basis. If students receive a grant after they have expended funds for travel, they may be reimbursed for those expenses for which they have kept receipts.