Funding and Credit
at WSU: Opportunities for Undergraduate Research
Seize the opportunity. Learn how you may be able to receive funding, academic credit, or scholarship/award support for your undergraduate research work at WSU.
How do you fund your research, scholarship, and creative activity at WSU?
No matter what your major is, research, scholarship, and creative activities are valuable opportunities for many reasons (see “Why and When to Get Involved”). The opportunity to receive funding or academic credit is often one of those reasons. Different faculty and disciplines have different standards and expectations for undergraduate research, and this affects how funding or academic credit is provided. When you engage in research, scholarship, or creative activities you may find yourself in any of the following arrangements:
- You volunteer. Conducting research on a volunteer basis can gain you valuable experience that will open the door to greater opportunities.
- You work for academic credit. For example, different majors offer research courses such as 498 and 499. To learn more, ask your research advisor if you can receive academic credit for your work.
- You work for pay. You may be compensated for your work as follows:
- Hourly “time-slip” work.
- Work-study awards where the government matches your hourly pay.
- Both hourly time-slip pay and pay through work study often only pay you for doing routine chores in a research setting. In some cases, you may be paid for work directly on the research project. (Note that “routine chores” can lead to research projects.)
- You receive scholarships, fellowships, awards, or stipends. Numerous scholarships and awards are intended to support students who engage in undergraduate research. (See Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards available at WSU for more details). Note that factors such as your discipline and year in college may affect your eligibility for these opportunities.
This complexity in how undergraduate research is supported is why it is important to discuss opportunities for receiving funding, academic credit, or scholarships/awards before you commit to a particular undergraduate research opportunity.
Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards available at WSU
- Scholarships for research are available from the Office of Undergraduate Research. Students in all majors can apply.
- Scholarships and stipends are awarded by many departments, programs, and colleges at WSU. Be sure to ask your advisor!
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Awards
National Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards
- Some distinguished scholarships target research, such as the Barry Goldwater scholarship.
- Awards might be provided by your disciplinary society (note that you would likely need to join your disciplinary society to be eligible). For example, join the American Society for Microbiology and become eligible for the Undergraduate Research Fellowship or capstone program.
- Just as professors receive grants from the federal government and other sources to support their research, you can apply to funding programs targeted to engage undergraduates in research, such as the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). You can also search for funding programs using the Pathways to Science website.
Funding Specifically for Presenting Your Research
Some sources of support, notably travel grants, are earmarked for covering the costs of presenting your research at regional, national, or even international disciplinary meetings and conferences. Be sure to check the website of any meeting you are planning on attending to see if this kind of support is available.