College Research Fellows Program

Applications for the 2018-2019 College Research Fellows Program have now closed. Thank you to all who applied! Applications will re-open in Summer 2019.

College Research Fellows Program

The College Research Fellows Program fosters excellence in research by sponsoring academic-year research assistantships for undergraduates with UChicago faculty members. The program connects faculty with talented College students to support their projects, and students have the opportunity to build relationships with faculty mentors and develop their research skills. Faculty apply during the summer for a grant to support a research assistant during the upcoming academic year.

Only faculty members may apply for a grant, but students are highly encouraged to share this opportunity with their faculty supervisors if they are interested in participating in the program.


UChicago faculty members in any discipline may apply. Researchers without faculty appointments (graduate students, postdocs, etc.) are unfortunately not eligible.

To qualify for College Research Fellows funding, the faculty member’s proposed project must (i) take place during the academic year and (ii) include substantive research responsibilities for the student with little to no administrative or clerical responsibilities. Independent student projects and projects with minimal faculty involvement are not eligible.

Award Amount

Award amounts will depend on the number of quarters and hours that students will be working. Faculty may apply to fund a research assistant for one to three quarters working a maximum of 10 hours per week. Students will be paid $12 per hour worked through the University’s biweekly payroll system. This is considered taxable income for the student.

Application Guide

Faculty members apply by submitting a brief proposal through an online form. The proposal, which should be no longer than a few paragraphs, should include:

  • A brief description of the research project and its goals, written in language that is accessible to a reader who is not familiar with your discipline
  • Information about the student’s role in the project: what their responsibilities will be, what skills and knowledge they will acquire, opportunities to publish or present their work at conferences, etc.

Applications are due by 11:55pm on August 31, 2018.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee of faculty and staff members according to the following criteria:

  • Project description: does the proposal clearly and compellingly describe the project and outline the role of the student?
  • Student experience: will the student have a substantive experience that will advance their academic and professional goals, with minimal administrative and clerical work?
  • Mentorship: does the project provide an opportunity for faculty and students to collaborate closely on the project? Will the project give students an opportunity to develop as researchers by learning new skills, publishing their work, presenting at conferences, etc.?

The committee will also consider the levels of funding that faculty are already receiving and ensure that there is an appropriate degree of thematic and disciplinary diversity among funded projects.

College Research Fellows FAQ

Is it ok to apply with a specific student in mind?

Yes, faculty can apply for funding to support a specific student. It is not required, however, to identify a student in advance to qualify for funding.

How much will students be paid?

Students will be paid $12 per hour. This will be paid out through the University’s biweekly payroll system, so taxes will be taken out of the student’s wages.

Can I only hire undergraduates?

Yes, only undergraduate research assistantships are eligible for the College Research Fellows Program.

Can I hire a College alum who has recently graduated?

No, only research assistant assistantships for current undergraduates are eligible for the College Research Fellows Program.

Can I submit an application for more than one project?

Yes. Please submit separate applications for each project you are interested in funding. Only submit one application, however, if you are applying for two or more research assistants to work on the same project.

When will I be notified about whether or not my proposal has been accepted?

Decisions will be distributed during early September.

What are my responsibilities if I am awarded funding?

If selected for funding, faculty members will be responsible for selecting a research assistant and providing a supervisor for the student (the faculty member may serve in this capacity, but is not required to). Career Advancement is happy to assist faculty members with posting and promoting their research opportunity.

Faculty members will not be responsible for processing students’ onboarding paperwork or distributing their pay. Career Advancement will enter all research fellows into the University’s payroll system.