Chancellor's Undergraduate Research Award Information for Students

Criteria and conditions

  • Before a CURA can be granted, students must have accepted Federal Work-Study  as part of their current financial aid award from UIC.
  • Faculty identify students as prospective research assistants or respond to student inquiries through the Undergraduate Research Assistant 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 $9 to $10.25. View the most recent student employment wage plan.
  • In most cases, students must be signed up for research credit to be eligible for the award. See a complete list of research credit courses.
  • Applications will be accepted and awards will be granted on a rolling basis until the program is full. But faculty should try to get all applications in early to ensure that students have time to register for credit (before the tenth day of the semester). 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

  1. Determine that you have received or are eligible for Federal Work-Study for the current academic year. If there is uncertainty, complete the CURA Federal Work Study Inquiry Request Form
  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. Quick view: faculty who have already indicated that they want to hire a student under this program.
  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.
  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 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 timesheet 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

Students should be signed up for research credit unless doing so is financially disadvantageous (e.g., 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.

Because it is linked to Federal Work-Study, the CURA Award is not available for summer research. Please contact our@uic.edu to discuss alternative summer programs on and off campus.

Questions or Comments

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