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Chancellor's Undergraduate Research Award Information for Students

Criteria and conditions Heading link

  • Before a CURA can be granted, students must have accepted Federal Work-Study as part of their current financial aid award from UIC.
    • Note: The CURA program sometimes has alternate sources of funding beyond the Federal Work-Study program. CURA eligibility in these situations is still dependent upon a student having demonstrated financial need, as determined by UIC’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
  • Faculty identify students as prospective research assistants or respond to student inquiries through the Undergraduate Research Experience database, conduct their own screening processes, and complete the online application on the student’s behalf.
  • Students are employed at an hourly rate for a number of hours a week to be determined by the faculty member and his/her department in consultation with The Office of Student Employment. Hourly rates range from around $13.20 to $13.80. View the most recent student employment wage plan.
  • Although not necessary to receive a CURA, students can also sign up for research credit in connection with their research assistant work.
    • See a complete list of research credit courses.
    • Note that course credit is for outside reading, preparation for meeting with faculty members to discuss research endeavors, and/or related writing assignments or assessments associated with a student’s *own* learning connected to the research credit course.
    • Students should work with the faculty member and an academic advisor or Director of Undergraduate Studies in the student’s major to sign up for research credit.
  • Applications will be accepted and awards will be granted on a rolling basis until the program is full. Faculty members, however, should try to submit applications early (i.e., before the tenth day of the semester) to ensure that students have time to register for course credit. Applications submitted after the tenth day of the semester will still be considered if award funding remains–even if students are unable to sign up for credit.

Steps and processes from the student side Heading link

  1. Determine that you have received or are eligible for Federal Work-Study for the current academic year. If there is uncertainty, contact your financial aid counselor.
    • Note: The CURA program sometimes has alternate sources of funding beyond the Federal Work-Study program. CURA eligibility in these situations is still dependent on a student having demonstrated financial need, as determined by UIC’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
  2. If you do not already have a research supervisor or position, go to the Undergraduate Research Experience database and search on the upper right-hand side for research opportunities among faculty profiles and project descriptions.
  3. Contact faculty members by completing the “URE Email Webform” that appears at the bottom of the faculty member’s research information page.
  4. Faculty are invited to reply to students to determine whom they’d like to screen to hire under the CURA program.
  5. Interested faculty and other research supervisors complete and submit an online CURA application to be reviewed by the Office of Undergraduate Research.
  6. Applications will be accepted and awards will be granted on a rolling basis, until all slots are filled or UIC’s Federal Work-Study funds or, if applicable, alternate funding sources have been depleted for the current academic year.
  7. Students and faculty members will be notified via email upon approval of award.
  8. Students should work with the faculty member and an academic advisor or Director of Undergraduate Studies in the student’s major to sign up for research credit. See below for more information.
  9. Students will be hired by the faculty member’s department. All required trainings and time sheet submissions will be administered through the employing department and UIC Student Employment.
  10. To help facilitate clear communication and transparent evaluation processes, we recommend that faculty and students set up a research experience plan with the help of this template.

Credit for students Heading link

Although it is not a requirement of the CURA program, students can consider signing up for research credit in connection with their undergraduate research assistantship. [Students should check to make sure that signing up for course credit is not financially disadvantageous (e.g., doing so causes the student to exceed a tuition level that is affordable).] Credit is typically awarded on the basis of one credit hour for each three hours worked, and may involve other requirements depending upon departmental requirements. The number of hours you register for is to be decided by the research and the department granting credit. Review the full listing of courses by department.

Note that course credit is for outside reading, preparation for meeting with faculty members to discuss research endeavors, and/or related writing assignments or assessments associated with a student’s *own* learning connected to the research credit course. In other words, the course credit connects to a student’s work and learning beyond that associated with the research assistant student employment position.

Questions or Comments Heading link

If you have any questions or comments please email: our@uic.edu