SOURCE Funding Opportunities


February 13 (Intent to Apply) and February 27 (Application Deadline), 2020: Apply for SOURCE 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.  ***4/29/20 UPDATE: The SOURCE Rolling Grant applications are currently suspended.

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.

We encourage applications from teams of students. Each team will appoint a Team Lead. The Team Lead is responsible for submitting the application. There is a separate Team Intent to Apply and Application for the February 2020 deadlines. Proposal materials should developed collaboratively, and the group will typically 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;
  • Submit a final report.

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 or 2020-21 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.
  • 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.
  • Special Grants: look for new funding opportunities outlined in information distributed prior to the application deadline.
  • 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.

Eligibility for SOURCE Grants:

1) Students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply.

2) Students should be full-time students at the time of application and during the award period.

3) Students must be working with a full time Syracuse University faculty member; research-related staff, Upstate Medical University faculty, and others may be eligible as well. Contact SOURCE if you have questions about your faculty mentor’s appointment. Faculty members with appointments that are not tenured or tenure-track may be eligible with approval from the department chair.

4) Students’ academic integrity and judicial records will be reviewed as part of the application process. Violations may jeopardize eligibility of the application.

5) 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.

6) Prior SOURCE grant recipients may apply, though new applications will receive priority consideration. There is a section on the application to report on the activity of the prior grant.

6) October deadline: applications from undergraduate students at all levels are accepted.

7) February deadline: applications from 1st-3rd year students are accepted. Senior applicants (i.e. May 2020 graduates) should use the “rolling” grant application.

8) Rolling deadline: applications from undergraduate students at all levels are accepted.

Application Process:

Overview of the Intent to Apply:

Overview of Full Application Components:

1) Beginning your application

  • Review the details on the application components below.

2) Application details

  • Name, Preferred Name, Pronouns, Email, SUID
  • Primary school/college, Major(s), minor
  • Anticipated graduation date
  • Faculty mentor first name, last name, title, school/college, department or center/institute, and email
  • Type of application
  • Project title
  • Total funding request (up to $5000)
  • Indicate if this project involves: Human subjects, Animal research, Hazardous materials, Existing (protected) IP, Potentially non-routine data management (HIPAA etc.), Export controls, Travel.
  • Indicate if this proposal has been previously submitted for SOURCE or Honors awards but was not awarded
  • Indicate if you have applied for another significant undergraduate funding opportunity and please note the name of the program. Awardees may not concurrently hold another major undergraduate research award. Due to the competitive nature of such programs, potential applicants are allowed to apply for SOURCE or Honors funding if another similar application is pending; however, such applications must be disclosed, and award of funds will be dependent on the outcome of other outstanding applications
  • Project summary – Provide a project summary of no more than 250 words

3) Files to Upload

  • All uploaded files must conform to these requirements: Margin – 1 inch: top, bottom, left, and right; Minimum font size – 12 points; Single-spaced 8.5 x 11 inch pages, numbered.
  • Each file must be uploaded as a PDF document, named by subsections headers 1 through 4 below (e.g. PROJECT NARRATIVE.pdf, RESUME.pdf, etc.).

In 3-4 pages, including any figures, images, tables and/or references, describe your project and how it relates to existing scholarly, creative, or professional conversations and activity in your field.

Reviewers represent a variety of disciplines from across the university. Therefore, applicants must write their proposals without excessive jargon and in a style that is clear to reviewers who are not experts in the specified area.

The project narrative must include the following items:

  • Description of your research or creative area of interest and proposed project. What are your research questions? You should situate your project within the existing scholarly literature or creative/artistic production, or professional best practices. Include a discussion of your methodology or approach to answering your research questions.
  • Indicate prior research and include examples of any previous work.
  • A timeline with a detailed plan of work, including what activities are proposed over what period of time
  • A statement as to the skills necessary for the proposed project. Indicate if you possess these skills already, or the plan you have to gain these skills (such as work conducted under supervision of your mentor). Most successful proposals will be related to the student’s program of study, unless there is a clear description of how the necessary skills will be obtained.
  • Discussion of how you will use the proposed budget.
  • A description of the potential impact of your project on the University community and/or the broader world, and your plans for public dissemination of your work.
  • A statement as to how the project will benefit your academic experience and potentially impact your career goals.

In either a word document or excel spreadsheet, provide a detailed estimate of expenses related to your project based on your research of the prospective costs in each category. We expect that you will make efforts to use your resources wisely. Budget expenditures may include:

  • Travel costs (food, lodging, transportation, museum or archive fees)
  • Supplies, materials, consumables (major equipment will need to be returned to the SOURCE)
  • Presentation or publication costs (conference fees, poster printing, image permissions)
  • Lab or data analysis fees (equipment fees, transcription services, professional work)
  • Participant compensation (with IRB approval only – small payments to human subjects involved in research)
  • Summer living expenses (for summer grants only)
  • Hourly pay (for SOURCE academic year grants only; the project may not be tied to an academic requirement or receiving academic credit)

We understand that this budget may change as your project evolves, and you will submit a revised budget post-award.


Maximum 2 pages.


Students may submit an unofficial copy of their transcript.

  1. LETTER OF SUPPORT (faculty mentor will upload)

You are required to have one letter of support from your faculty mentor. Please enter your mentor’s email address in the application. Your mentor will receive an email request for a 1 page letter. This letter should include:

  • Assessment of the academic strength and significance of the proposed project relative to the student’s research experience;
  • Discussion of the student’s skills and academic preparation for the proposed project;
  • Confirmation of the feasibility of the project and timeline;
  • A statement noting their agreement to serve in this capacity for the proposed project, including a comment as to their availability to serve as the faculty mentor during the proposed project timeline.

You will not be able to view the letter once it is submitted. The letter of support request will be sent upon submitting your application or clicking ‘Send Letter Request’ from a saved draft application.

No additional materials, appendices, or supplementary documentation will be accepted.

Questions?  Contact or 315-443-2091