Office of Undergraduate Research

and Creative Scholarship

Frequently Asked Questions

Funding Opportunities

I'm a student and would like to attend a professional conference. Can I get a travel grant?

You may be eligible to apply for help to cover registration, travel and lodging costs associated with attending a conference, if you are:

  • an undergraduate student;
  • are presenting at a conference that involves a peer-review process;
  • and an author on the work you are presenting.

Unfortunately, we do not yet have the funds to support travel simply to attend a conference, and we usually can't fund a complete class project or more than one project per student--your instructor/mentor may be able to help you apply for assistance from other sources.

We are also usually limited to giving no more than $500 to any one student during a fiscal year (June 1 through May 31). The amount awarded will depend on whether your faculty mentor is likely to have access to other sources of funding, the number of students your mentor is hoping to fund (there is a cap of $1,500 in funding of students for any one mentor, per fiscal year), and how much is available in the OURCS budget at the time that funding is sought.

Applications should be made on-line through the OURCS website and you will be notified of the amount you can expect to be awarded. Reimbursements will be made for covered expenses after the travel is completed, and itemized, original receipts and proof of attendance have been received and processed.

Learn more and apply for the travel grant

Graduate students may contact Dr. Grady Hanrahan, Associate Provost of Experiential Learning, Research, and Faculty Development, for information on possible sources of funding for their projects.

How do I get reimbursement for my registration fee to the Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research (SCCUR)?

You should apply for a travel grant if you have presented work at the Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research (SCCUR) and need reimbursement for your registration fee.

Learn more about the travel grant

Can I get an "advance" to help pay for expenses ahead of time?

Unfortunately, no. We must receive proof of actual participation, and itemized, original receipts with a reimbursement form that we process through the Cal Lutheran business office, before we can release funds.

Can I get funding for supplies?

If you are working with a Cal Lutheran faculty mentor, some funding (up to $500) is available for undergraduate projects. Work with your CLU faculty mentor to develop an itemized estimate of expenses and submit this with your online application. We wish we could cover all costs associated with undergraduate research, but our budget is limited--the award decision will be based on a number of factors, including current status of the budget and probable alternative sources of funding available to the mentor. The actual award will then be made as a reimbursement to you, after the purchases have been made, and itemized, original receipts have been received and processed.

Learn more about funding for supplies

Can I get funding for travel or supplies if my project doesn't involve scientific research?

Absolutely. Many disciplines involve scholarly creative processes that do not follow the "scientific method." "Undergraduate research" includes many kinds of projects that reflect the scholarly process of a discipline, and to make it very clear that all such projects are eligible, we added "Creative Scholarship" to the name of our office. 

Summer Research

How do I get involved in a full-time scholarly project over the summer?

First, talk with Cal Lutheran faculty about their scholarly interests and the instructors' availability over the summer. You will need a Cal Lutheran faculty mentor to collaborate with you on your project throughout the summer, so it will be important that you develop a topic together—most likely, the topic will involve an extension of the faculty member's area of expertise. You and your proposed mentor should then develop a detailed proposal together in January or February of the spring semester, to be submitted to the OURCS no later than March 1.

Learn more about full-time summer research funding opportunities

How competitive is the application process for full-time summer research?

Very. This summer, private donors will make approximately 20 fellowships available for students in the natural sciences and mathematics, and the university will provide additional funds (SURFs) to support 5 students in other disciplines, such as psychology, religion, English, political science, art, etc. Only projects that are scholarly, are likely to be successfully completed by the end of the summer, and are likely to lead to presentations at conferences outside the university are considered. A clear purpose, method for accomplishing the goals, and realistic timeline are essential.

I'd just like to work part-time on a project over the summer. May I apply for a fellowship?

At this time, the OURCS provides support only for a full-time summer research experience. Students are expected to dedicate themselves 40 hours a week to an 8-week project, and to participate fully in the scholarly community, with regular gatherings to share their experiences and discuss their progress. They will also be asked to present their findings and share their experiences at various events throughout the year. If you have another job or are taking summer school, you should not apply for this experience.


How can I participate as a presenter at the Festival of Scholars in the spring?

Talk with your faculty mentor, advisor, or instructor about the most appropriate session for your presentation. Some disciplines host sessions with oral presentations, while others hold poster sessions. Your submission must be approved by a Cal Lutheran faculty mentor. A call for applications with guidelines will be made early in the spring by Dr. Grady Hanrahan's office.

Learn more about the Festival of Scholars


Does the OURCS provide students with scholarships?

The term "scholarship" in the name of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship (OURCS) refers to scholarly projects that students may conduct. The OURCS primarily supports student work by facilitating and supporting student-faculty collaborations, organizing and promoting showcase events, and providing educational workshops.

Limited funds from the university and private donors to support these projects are also available through the OURCS. Funds are available to provide small travel grants for students presenting their work at conferences, to buy supplies related to scholarly projects, and to support approximately 30 students over the summer for full-time CLU faculty-mentored projects.

Does OURCS serve faculty seeking support for their research and scholarly work?

Faculty seeking funds for their own work or travel should contact Dr. Grady Hanrahan, Associate Provost for Experiential Learning, Research and Faculty Development (, as well as the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR), for information on obtaining grants and other funding opportunities. The OURCS focuses on providing support for undergraduates' work.

Visit the Office of Sponsored Research and Projects (OSRP) website