Dean's Fund for Undergraduate Research

NOTICE: The Dean's Fund for Undergraduate Research Conference Travel program is currently suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

The Dean's Fund for Undergraduate Research supports current undergraduates in the College engaged in scholarly research mentored by a faculty and/or other research mentor(s). It also supports conference travel if a student is attending to present a research poster or paper. You can only apply to one grant type and may only receive one Dean's Fund grant (of any type) over the course of your undergraduate career. You can read more here about the types of scholarly undergraduate research activity supported by the Dean's Fund. Please also carefully review the College's defintion of undergraduate research here to ensure that your project qualifies.

Grant amounts range from $750–$1,500.

Please note the following are not undergraduate research activities: professional internships, externships, job or hospital shadowing, career treks, student activities, course practicums, long-essays produced for courses, any independent study undertaken without the direct supervision of a faculty research mentor, or adminstrative employment positions for departments, faculty, or labs. 

Please carefully review all eligibility and application instructions below before beginning your application process.  Any application that does not fully comply with the below requirements or that are submitted after the stated quarterly deadlines, will not be considered. Your references will also be asked to submit their forms by the same deadline below. Please alert them to the deadline when you ask for their reference. 

General Eligibility for any Dean's Fund for Undergraduate Research Award

  • Current full-time undergraduate in the College with plan to enroll in the following quarter; must be in good-standing
  • Actively engaged in scholarly undergraduate research
  • Mentored by a UChicago faculty mentor and/or other affiliated research mentor(s)
  • You have not previously received a Dean’s Fund award. NOTE: Students may only receive Dean’s Grant funding once during their College career.
  • You are not receiving funding from another University entity for the same project need and/or duration
  • Agreement to report and confirm fund use after awarded
  • Applying for up to $1500 in funding (funding generally ranges from $750-1500) for future or upcoming research experience. NOTE: The Dean’s Fund will not retroactively fund projects/programs/travel.
  • Application completion and submission by midnight on the quarterly deadline. NOTE: Only those students seeking Research Requests for Conference support may apply at any time during the academic year.

Application Components for Undergraduate Research Project:

  • Faculty or Research Mentor evaluation: You will need to provide the name and email for at least one faculty or other research mentor. Please confirm with your faculty or research mentor that they are willing to complete an emailed evaluation form on your behalf prior to submitting your application.
    • NOTE: Research mentor evaluations are due on stated application deadline. 
  • Research Project Title
  • Research Proposal Summary (3-5 sentences)
  • Upload a Research Proposal (500 words max) that articulates:

The purpose of your project;
Your research mentor(s);
The location and structure of your proposed research; and
The intended learning outcomes and/or final product.

  • Upload an Itemized Budget (1 page; 350 words max for narrative) detailing:

How you will spend the grant funding. Budgets should NOT include wages for research work hours, but may detail needed expenses during research involvement period. NOTE: The Dean's Fund will not cover research equipment costs and will no longer provide funding for transcription services. 

  • Unofficial Transcript (please upload a recent unofficial copy from the registrar; do not submit a screen shot of your myuchicago record)
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) acknowledgment pertaining to research projects involving human subjects


  • Applications for conference support only are accepted on a rolling basis. However, they must be submitted at least three weeks before conference travel begins.
  • Applications for Undergraduate Research Projects must be submitted by midnight on the quarterly deadline(s): 

Autumn: Monday, October 26, 2020
Winter: Monday, January 11, 2021
Spring: Friday, April 2, 2021

Notifications are distributed approximately three to five weeks after the deadline depending on committee review.

Eligibility for Research Conference-only Requests

  • Students who have a paper, poster, or scholarly creative work that has been accepted for presentation at a professional conference or those that are participating as a conference session facilitator/moderator.
  • You will need to submit proof of conference acceptance/participation in your application.  
  • Students may submit Dean's Fund applications for conference support at any time during the academic year. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Please note, you must submit your application at least three weeks before your intended travel.
  • The Dean's Fund will not accept applications for conference travel if a student is only going to network, explore career or professional development opportunities.

Application Components for Research Conference-only Support

  • You will need to provide the name and contact details of at least one Faculty or Research Mentor who can affirm the viability of your project and the value of participating in the conference.
  • Confirmation that if you are presenting research that is part of a larger research project, you have received permission to present the research publically from your research PI, faculty or mentor.
  • Research Presentation/Project Title
  • Brief statement about the value of presenting your research (3-5 sentences)
  • Upload your Research Presentation Abstract (Posters or Oral presentations)
  • Upload proof of conference acceptance
  • Upload an Itemized Budget (1 page; 350 words max for narrative) detailing how you will spend the funds, including estimates for airfare, hotel accommodation and ground transportation.
  • Unofficial Transcript (please upload a recent unofficial copy from the registrar; do not submit a screen shot of your myuchicago record)

Application Review Criteria for all Dean's Fund for Undergraduate Research Awards

  • Quality of application and written materials
  • Evaluation from Research mentor on your preparation for and potential for success executing your project, as well as the feasibility of project (can you complete in the time you have identified?)
  • Demonstrated need for funding
  • Benefit of Research project funding to your academic or professional goals
  • Academic Record
Questions or concerns? Please contact Tracy Nyerges, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Research at or Nichole Fazio, Director, College Center for Research & Fellowships.

Dean's Fund for Undergraduate Research APPLICATION: 

APPLY  HERE for Undergraduate Research Project funding - all funding is currently for remote research only unless University research resumption plans are approved for in-person research activities

APPLY  HERE for Undergraduate Research Conference funding - travel currently suspended due to COVID-19 and all non-travel funding requests must be for virtual conference experiences


  • Awards will be paid out as a stipend. The awardee will be responsible for reporting the stipend amount as income when filing tax returns (Form 1040). 
  • Students who receive funding are required to complete a post-award survey. Deadlines for closing surveys will be communicated at a later date.

Award Expectations

All students who receive grants through the Dean's Fund for Undergraduate Research (project and conference) will be expected to present their research (poster or oral presentations) at the annual University of Chicago Undergraduate Research Symposium held in May of each year. This year's symposium is schedule for May 21, 2021 and student recipients will be contacted directly about applying. Students will also be expected to participate in the CCRF Research Scholars curriculum (presentation and poster design workshops, preparing for research grants and fellowships, and so forth). 

The Dean's Fund is funded by donations from generations of alumni, the Fund exists to support student life and leadership, service, and research efforts.