Applications now open for $5,000 grants for undergraduate research or creative projects through The SOURCE

Students at The SOURCE

Need $5,000 for your idea?  Go to The SOURCE.  If you are an undergraduate with a research or creative project you’d love to pursue but aren’t sure how to get it off the ground, The SOURCE—Syracuse University’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement—can help provide up to $5000 for independent or team-based projects.  Application deadlines are October 15 for late fall 2019 and spring 2020 grants, and February 27 for summer 2020 and academic year 20-21 grants.

Here’s how it works:  Undergraduate students (any year) work with The SOURCE to learn about getting started and involved in independent research, creative or professional projects.  Review the details here and take workshops to help you prepare your application (See the complete calendar of SOURCE events here.)

Get started now even if you aren’t ready to apply for a grant. Register with The SOURCE to indicate your interest and join The SOURCE mailing list, or visit The SOURCE, second floor of Bird Library.

Read on to learn even more details about The SOURCE Funding Opportunities


  • October 15, 2019: Apply for SOURCE Academic Year Grant ($5000) for 19-20, Honors Program Awards ($5000) for 19-20, and Lender Center Student Fellowships for 19-21.
  • February 27, 2020: Apply for SOURCE Summer Grant ($2800) for summer 2020, Student Association Summer Grant ($2800) for summer 2020, SOURCE Academic Year Grant ($5000) for 20-21, and Honors Program Awards ($5000) for 20-21.
  • Rolling basis: Apply for up to $800 for research-related expenses including conference travel, publication costs, supplies and materials within the current academic year. Allow 3 weeks for review and decision. A simplified application will be available soon.

Program Description

The Syracuse Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement (SOURCE) provides expanded funding opportunities and support for diverse undergraduate engagement in faculty-guided scholarly research and creative inquiry across all disciplines and programs at Syracuse University.

Research and original creative work have powerful benefits for all students; these experiences demonstrably improve the undergraduate experience for diverse groups of students and across the curriculum. The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) defines undergraduate research as “an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.” SOURCE understands that student research occurs along a spectrum and supports both early-phase and more advanced work. While the faculty-guided projects will be from all fields of study and take many forms, they are all motivated by a spirit of inquiry and participation in the active conversation of a scholarly, professional or creative field of study.

In keeping with the University’s Academic Strategic Plan, the SOURCE Grant Program supports student discovery, innovation, and success, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion, enhancing the climate of research, creativity and scholarship for all our undergraduates. SOURCE funding supports undergraduate work in basic, translational and applied sciences, the arts, media, technology, social sciences, engineering, liberal arts, humanities, and all professional schools.

Award applicants will be selected on a competitive basis to pursue a mentored experience under the guidance of Syracuse University faculty. The funding supports travel, supplies and materials, summer support, and other research expenses. Criteria for selection include academic, creative or professional strength and significance of the proposed project; level of the student’s skills to complete the project as demonstrated by the academic record and faculty mentor recommendation; feasibility of the proposed project; quality of writing in the narrative proposal.

Prior to applying, interested applicants must contact their potential faculty mentor to discuss the project plans and confirm that the faculty member is willing to provide mentorship for the period in question. A brief letter of support from that mentor is required as part of the application process. Proposals must also include a detailed description of the project, grounded in the academic, creative or professional field, a work plan, indicating the activities that will support the proposed research or creative work, as well as a budget, the timeline of activities, and the plan for dissemination of results.

The SOURCE encourages applications from teams of students. Each member of the student team must submit a separate application, though the proposal materials may be developed together and therefore identical, and the group will work with one faculty mentor. Team members will share one award.

Undergraduate students funded by this program are expected to:

  • Conduct original research or creative work, under the direction of a faculty mentor;
  • Commit at least 20 hours per week during the summer months, for a total of 200 hours for summer awards, or commit at least 10 hours per week for a total of 400 hours for academic year awards;
  • Participate in one research skills workshop and one diversity and inclusion in research workshop offered by the SOURCE;
  • Submit monthly progress reports, verified by faculty mentors, including hours committed and tasks completed;
  • Present their work either on- or off-campus.

Participants in the Renée Crown University Honors Program will submit applications for thesis funding through the SOURCE application process; the Honors Program will complete additional review and make decisions for these applications.

Types of Awards/Grants

SOURCE Academic Year Grants:

  • Work will be completed during the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • Apply in October for funding during late fall ’19 and/or spring ’20.
  • Apply in February for funding that could span summer ’20, fall ’20 and/or spring ’21. Approximately 400 hours of work should be conducted.
  • Tenured or tenure-track Syracuse University faculty mentors are eligible for $750 in research funds.

Special Grants: look for new funding opportunities outlined in information distributed prior to the application deadline.

SOURCE Summer Grant:

  • Apply in February for funding during summer ’20.
  • Work will be completed during summer ’20.
  • Approximately 200 hours of work should be conducted.

Student Association Summer Grant: Follow the same guidelines as SOURCE summer grants; these awards are jointly funded by the Syracuse University

Special Grants: look for new funding opportunities outlined in information distributed prior to the application deadline.

Student Association (SA), the Office of Research, and by Academic Affairs. The process includes additional review of applications by student reviewers.

Tenured or tenure-track Syracuse University faculty mentors are eligible for $750 in research funds.

Honors Program Awards:

  • Funding to support thesis projects for Renée Crown University Honors Program students in good standing.
  • Apply in both October and February through the SOURCE application for funding in the upcoming academic year and/or summer.
  • Additional review of applications by the Honors Awards Committee; the Honors Program will make the final decisions and provide funding for the awards.
  • Learn more here.

Lender Center Student Fellows:

The Lender Center for Social Justice aspires to foster proactive, innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to issues related to social justice, equity, and inclusion.

Students from any discipline serve as Lender Student Fellows; in 2019-21, Professor Cesarae Gibson will lead the team of five Fellows to create social media projects using data analysis to identify ongoing movements inspired by critical perspectives of social (in) justice.

Apply by October 15, 2019. More information and the application is available here.

 Eligibility for SOURCE Grants:

  • Students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply.
  • Students should be full-time students at the time of application and during the award period.
  • Students must be working with a full time tenured or tenure-track Syracuse University faculty member; research-related staff, Upstate Medical University faculty, and others may be eligible as well. Contact SOURCE about exceptions.
  • Students’ academic integrity and judicial records will be reviewed as part of the application process. Violations may jeopardize eligibility of the application.
  • Students must disclose other sources of research funding and may not be eligible to hold two major grants for their work simultaneously. Contact SOURCE with any questions about this.
  • Prior SOURCE grant recipients may apply, though new applications will receive priority consideration.
  • October deadline: applications from undergraduate students at all levels are accepted.
  • February deadline: applications from 1st-3rd year students are accepted. Senior applicants (i.e. May 2020 graduates) should use the “rolling” grant application.
  • Rolling deadline: applications from undergraduate students at all levels are accepted.

Application Process:

Applications, including the letter of support from the faculty mentor, must be submitted by 11:59 PM on the date of the deadline. Late submissions will not be accepted.

A full list of application submission requirements is here.

Questions?  Contact or 315-443-2091