Student Research

Undergraduate Summer Research Award Program - Guidelines

The Office of Research is pleased to announce the Undergraduate Summer Research Award (USRA) Program. The goal of the USRA program is to provide undergraduate students with a summer learning experience that involves intellectual inquiry and faculty mentoring, and to foster an engaged environment that promotes a culture of student involvement in research and scholarship.


Full-time faculty who can serve as effective research mentors and can offer a meaningful, engaged learning experience for students are eligible. Students who are paid with award funds must be enrolled in a CSU undergraduate degree program during the summer semester and during the following fall semester.

Award Terms and Conditions

The award period begins on May 15 following award notification and concludes the first day of the fall semester. All unexpended grant funds at the end of the award period will revert to the Office of Research. Acceptance of an award signifies the agreement of the faculty member to require the participating undergraduate students to attend summer Office of Research seminars that are related to the conduct and presentation of research. See the general award terms and conditions for additional requirements.

Reporting Requirements

Any scholarly output resulting from the award must carry an acknowledgment that the project was conducted with support from the Cleveland State University Undergraduate Summer Research Award Program. Award recipients are responsible for helping their undergraduate research students submit an abstract and present a poster at the Fall Undergraduate Research Poster Session.

Allowable Expenditures

Allowable expenditures include undergraduate student hourly wages, fringes, survey costs, participant costs, and travel that is directly related to the conduct of the project. The faculty member’s college will monitor the account for adherence to University accounting policies and practices. Over-expenditures will be charged to the college.

Proposal Preparation Guidelines

Proposals should be written in language that can be understood by non-specialists. Proposals should be written with 12-point font on letter-sized paper with one-inch margins, should consist of a single PDF, should include no more than four pages (including the cover page), and should include the following sections.

  • Cover Page - The cover page template is available here.
  • Pages 2-4
    • Introduction and Background
    • Justification for Research or Scholarly Activity
    • Student Engagement - Without naming any specific students, explain how the students will be engaged during the summer, and explain the role of the faculty mentors.
    • Desired Outcomes
    • Bibliographic References
    • Budget – One-page budget description and justification. USRA grants are generally limited to $5,000. Expenses are limited to the expenditures described above. In exceptional cases, an additional $2,000 can be requested for biological, chemical, or similar consumable supplies, if strongly justified.


See general guidelines.

Address questions to Joy Yard, 687-9364,, or Roman Kondratov, 687-5171,

Click here for a PDF of the evaluation form.