Undergraduate Research Scholarship (URS) For Minnesota’s Incoming Freshmen

By Bright Silas

Scholarship Spotlight
Amount: $1700
Scope: Partial scholarship
Target Country: United States
Target Audience: Freshmen
Deadline: No deadline

The Undergraduate Research Scholarship (URS) program at the University of Minnesota provides funds for first and second-year students to engage in research and creative work with faculty members. The program supports scientific, scholarly, or creative activities that produce new knowledge, original theory, creative works, unique analysis, and interpretation.

URS Program Structure

The URS offers the following:


URS provides funds for students to complete 120 hours of research under the guidance of a faculty member. Students can work with any faculty member at the University of Minnesota, and depending on the academic discipline and faculty mentor, they can join an existing research project or create their project. Students can set their own timeline for completing projects, although most students complete their URS in a semester or over the summer.


URS allows students to work closely with faculty mentors throughout their undergraduate research experience and beyond. This offers mutual benefits for students and faculty mentors. Students gain valuable connections and skills from their mentors, and faculty mentors get access to talented undergraduates to mentor and assist with their research.


URS provides numerous opportunities for students to share their research with others. At the conclusion of the program, each student who receives a URS award must publicly present their research on platforms like the Annual Research Symposium, publishing work in MURAJ, and other opportunities.

URS Scholarship requirements

To be eligible for the Undergraduate Research Scholarship, applicants must:

  • Be U.S citizens or permanent residents.
  • Be studying at the University of Minnesota
  • Be pursuing an undergraduate degree
  • Be interested in research
  • Complete research at the end of August of the second year.

URS Scholarship amount

There are two types of URS funding:

  1. URS Scholarship Stipend: In this funding, students receive $1,400 through financial aid for 120 hours of research. The program first awards $700 at the beginning of the project, and students receive the final $700 after meeting the program’s requirements.
  1. Expense Money: This funding provides up to $300 for expenses involved in the research. Students receive this fund through their department and must provide a detailed list of the cost of supplies requested in the URS application. Typical expenses include lab materials, compensation for human subjects, travel to field sites (more than 50 miles away), and other costs directly related to the project. It does NOT cover conference travel, poster creation, computer hardware, local travel, paid training, compensation for employees, or other expenses deemed unnecessary. 

The total scholarship award amount is $1700

To receive the final part of the scholarship fund, students must:

Undergraduate Research Scholarship application

The URS considers all admitted freshmen for its awards based on an overall assessment of their freshman application. It automatically considers all applications submitted by the corresponding application deadline date. 

The URS program considers all admitted freshmen for its awards based on an overall assessment of their freshman application. It automatically considers all applications submitted by the corresponding application deadline date. Students who are selected for the URS must apply for approval with all application materials to ensure their research project is genuine, and doable, and their faculty is on board with mentoring them.  

Steps to Get Project Approval

  • Write a project proposal. To know the details and requirements of your proposal build-up, check here (If you encounter any difficulties in writing your proposal, contact either your faculty mentor, The Center for Writing on campus, or The Office of Undergraduate Resource for help.)
  • Fill out the online application form.
  • Have your faculty mentor fill out the Faculty Recommendation Form online.

You will not be “denied” as part of the application process, but the board might ask for clarifications on your project if needed.

Once received, the application goes through a two-step review process. First, the college-specific faculty reviews it. Then, the Office of Undergraduate Research gives final approval. The URS approval process typically takes one to three weeks.

Application deadline

Submit your application materials for review at any point in your first two years. There are no application deadlines. URS students may apply at any time.

After approval, you must complete your project by the end of the summer of your second year. 

If you need an extension, you can apply with the Extension Request Form. Note that you only receive extensions on a one-time basis for up to one semester only. You may not extend grants beyond the last day of final exams in the semester of graduation.

At Scholarship Monitor, we are committed to providing you with up-to-date information on scholarship opportunities. Make sure to always check back for more updates and take advantage of the resources we have provided to help you achieve your academic and career goals.

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