Beginning Undergraduate Researcher Support Program

2023 Winter/Spring Beginning Undergraduate Researcher Support Program

This funding will support research opportunities for undergraduates who are engaging in formal research for the first time. While open to all undergraduate students in the College of Agricultural Sciences who are engaging in research for the first time, freshmen, sophomores, and first-year transfer students are especially encouraged to apply for this support. The objective of the Beginning Researchers Support Program is to enable undergraduates to explore research experiences under the guidance of a faculty researcher.

Process - Faculty Project Proposals, and student applications

Faculty submit project opportunities, which are posted on the College of Agricultural Sciences’ website (see link in upper right corner). Projects are funded at the discretion of the Academic Programs Office and dependent on the number of proposals received, and available funding. Faculty proposals will include a brief description of the research project, specific skills and tasks the students will work on, student learning outcomes, hourly student pay, and hours per week information. Interested students will submit a resume, cover letter outlining their research interests, and their top two choices. With the assistance of the Student Engagement Coordinator, faculty will receive and review applications, conduct interviews and make final hiring decisions. There are two funding and application cycles per year: Winter/Spring  and Summer/Fall. 

Students apply and may select up to two project they are interested in. After the student application closes, faculty will contact applicants they are interested in considering and they will make the final selection. Students will be notified regardless of outcome. Selected students will be required to attend an orientation before Winter Break. Selected students will also be required to keep a research journal and create and present a research poster at either the annual Fall Student Showcase & Career Fair in October, or the Ag & Natural Resources Day event typically held in May. Students and faculty will also receive periodic check-ins from the College of Agricultural Sciences’ Student Engagement Coordinator.

Funds available

Funds must be used for student wages only. Students selected for Summer/Fall are funded for $1000.00. Students selected for Winter/Spring are funded for $750.00

E.R Jackman Alumni and Friends fund this program $16,000 annually. The intent is to allocate roughly two-thirds of funds to academic year projects and one-third to summer but this split may vary depending on the number of proposals received. Faculty may apply for funding in both cycles. Funds are transferred directly to a faculty/department account and unused funds must be returned.  Faculty cost share is not required for Beginning Researchers Support.


Students must be enrolled in a College of Agricultural Sciences major while conducting a project. All CAS undergraduate students may apply, but specific preference will be given to freshmen, sophomores, first-year transfers, or other students who do not have previous research experience. Students can receive Beginning Researchers Support for one Winter/Spring cycle and one Summer/Fall cycle (must be different projects). Details about each project will be available on the Beginning Researchers Projects page.

Proposal/application Review Process

The CAS Student Engagement Coordinator will review all research project proposals submitted by faculty for completeness, and will review student applications for completeness and eligibility requirements.