Submit a Project Proposal for MURF or IMURF

Mines Undergraduate Research Fellowship

 

The Mines Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, MURF, and Interdisciplinary MURF, IMURF, encourage the participation of research-active faculty by offering the opportunity to recruit talented and energetic undergraduate researchers. This mutually beneficial partnership allows faculty to train and mentor students. In turn, students help advance faculty member’s research objectives and career ambitions.

 

PRIORITY DEADLINE FOR 2021-2022 MURF PROJECT PROPOSALS IS APRIL 9TH 2021

About MURF and IMURF

TIMELINE

Faculty Project Proposal Application OPENS: March 1st, 2021

Faculty Project Proposal Application CLOSES: April 9th, 2021 – This deadline has been extended.

**Rolling Faculty Project Proposal Application: April 9th – Ongoing**

Student Applications for MURF 2021-2022 OPENS: April 5th, 2021

Student Applications for MURF2021-2022 CLOSES: May 17th. 2021

Student awards announced: June 2021

Awarded students begin MURF 2021-2022: August 2021

Student MURF Applications open in the first week of April and continue through May. Awards are announced mid-late June. Students start MURF in the Fall semester. If a student is selected to work on your project, you will be required to complete an “Undergraduate Research Contract and Agreement” at the beginning of the Fall semester with your student. This document, and any additional deadlines for your student, will be communicated at the beginning of the fall semester.

**The priority deadline has been extended to April 9th, 2021. In order to increase the likelihood a student applies to your proposed project, our office recommends all faculty mentors submit project proposals no later than March 31st, 2021. We recommend this because Student Applications for MURF 2021-2022 are only open April 5th, 2021 through May 17th, 2021. This said, we still encourage you submit a project proposal even after the deadline as many non-MURF seeking undergraduates use the MURF Project Page to find ongoing research projects throughout the academic year.

CLICK HERE to submit a MURF or IMURF project!

General Information

Please note:

  • Fellowships do not pay for any research conducted during the summer semester.
  • Research projects should be designed to ensure students participating in the program are meeting the expected learning outcomes.
  • Faculty are encouraged to craft research projects to increase participation from first-year students, sophomores, and juniors.
  • Participating faculty members are encouraged to increase the research participation of qualified female students, transfer students, and students from under-represented ethnic backgrounds.
  • Faculty and the students participating in the program with be required to fill out and sign the “Undergraduate Research Contract and Agreement” together. An editable version of this document will be given to faculty and students at the beginning of the Fall semester. The intent of this document is to clarify expectations and promote shared responsibility. Students will submit this form to the office of Undergraduate Research Scholars via a Canvas page.
  • Each faculty can submit up to two requests for fellowships. But, due to a limited budget, fellowships will be awarded depending on the number of applications submitted per project. Generally, the office of Undergraduate Research Scholars tries to award at least one student per faculty mentor.

 

Payment Structure

In an effort to provide funding opportunities for all interested faculty from across disciplines, faculty contribution towards the MURF/IMURF student award is not required.  Ultimately, this encourages a research culture that emphasizes the importance of mentorship for undergraduate student researchers.

MURF/IMURF student recipients will receive a total of $1500, disbursed in two equal installments at the beginning of the Fall and Spring semester. This amount covers about 4-5 hours of work per week (at about $12.50/hour) or 3-4 hours of work per week (at about $14.50/hour). As of Spring 2021, Colorado minimum wage is $12.32 and will be increasing in 2022. Students do not need to log their hours via Trailhead (or otherwise) unless departments and faculty mentors make other independent arrangements with a student. If you believe a student will need to work more than 4-5 hours per week, please consider subsidizing their funding. For more information on options to subsidize a student’s MURF/IMURF funding, please read the FAQ section below.

What is IMURF?

Finding creative solutions to real-world challenges often requires an interdisciplinary approach. The purpose of the Interdisciplinary Mines Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program (IMURF) is to promote this necessary collaboration among faculty and students across disciplines.

IMURF awards are team grants. IMURF allows a faculty mentor from one department to partner with a faculty mentor from a different department and recruit a team of one or two student researchers. Generally, an IMURF team is composed of a) two faculty mentors and one or two student researchers or b) one faculty mentor and one or two student researchers.

The interdisciplinary nature of the project should be clearly articulated in the proposal.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am enthusiastic about working with a particular student. Can I ensure they are awarded MURF?

Yes and no. We advise you not rule out any other students even if you believe you have found “the student”.

During the application process students are encouraged to focus on one research project, but some students choose to apply to multiple projects. Even if a student is your #1 preference, there is a possibility they are also the #1 preference for another mentor and research project. This said, we heavily take faculty preference into consideration when assessing student applications. Once all student MURF application are received, we will follow up with faculty who had multiple students apply for the same project and ask them to rank the students. If you are especially enthusiastic about working with one student, please emphasize that when ranking your potential undergraduate research candidates.

How and when do students apply?

Students apply for MURF through the student MURF webpage, here. Students are encouraged to view available MURF projects and contact the listed faculty mentor prior to applying. Students will begin applying for MURF 2021-2022 April 5th, 2021 and continue through May 17th, 2021. Awards are announced mid-late June. Students start MURF in the Fall 2021 semester.

In order to increase the likelihood a student applies to your proposed project, our office recommends all faculty mentors submit project proposals no later than March 31st, 2021. This said, we still encourage you submit a project proposal even after the deadline as many students use the MURF Project Page to find ongoing research projects throughout the academic year. Occasionally, a student may be permitted to apply to a project late as MURF funding becomes available.

What students are elligible to apply?

All full-time undergraduate students are encouraged to apply to MURF. However, we encourage faculty to craft research projects to increase participation from first-year, sophomore, and junior students.

Students who apply should be prepared to participate the entirety of the Fall and Spring semester. A student cannot utilize MURF funding to concurrently conduct research for a senior design course or other required curriculum. In other words, the hours completed for MURF and the hours completed for a senior design project, etc. must be done and logged separately.

How many students are awarded per project?

Each faculty can submit up to two project proposals for fellowships. But, due to a limited budget, fellowships will be awarded depending on the number of applications submitted per project. Generally, the office of Undergraduate Research Scholars tries to award at least one student per faculty mentor, per project.

How and when are students paid?

If a student is selected to work on your project, you will be required to complete an “Undergraduate Research Contract and Agreement” with your student at the beginning of the Fall semester. Additionally, a student must independently complete a “Student Participant Agreement and Payment Request Form” (SPAPRF). Ultimately, the SPAPRF is how a student is be paid through MAPS, Mines Administrative Processing Services. These documents, and any additional deadlines for your student, will be communicated at the beginning of the Fall semester.

Each student will fill out a SPAPRF twice, once in Fall and once in Spring. They will be paid once ($750) in Fall and once ($750) in Spring for a total award of $1,500. This amount covers about 4-5 hours of work per week (at about $12.50/hour) or 3-4 hours of work per week (at about $14.50/hour). As of Spring 2021, Colorado minimum wage is $12.32 and will be increasing in 2022. Students do not need to log their hours via Trailhead (or otherwise) unless departments and faculty mentors make other independent arrangements with a student. If you would like your student to work more than 4-5 hours per week, we ask you to please consider hiring your student for their additional work. If you would like more information on this process, please let us know. The SPAPRF should not interfere with a student’s work-study allotment and very rarely interferes with financial aid. If you have concerns about this form, please let us know at ugresearch@mines.edu.

Do I need to contribute funding towards my MURF project?

Usually, no. As of 2019, the office of Undergraduate Research Scholars was able to fund every MURF recipient up to $1,500 (or $750 per semester) for work preformed during the fall and spring semesters. At Colorado’s minimum wage, this stipend equates approximately 4-5 hours of work per week throughout the fall and spring semester. If you believe a student needs to work more than 4-5 hours per week to successfully conduct research for your project or if you need the student to begin working during the prior summer semester, we encourage you to supplement their funding for any additional time beyond the initial 4-5 hours per week.

If you do not have personal grants or funding to hire a student, you can ask the student about their work study eligibility. If a student is eligible for work study and is receiving unused funds, they can always utilize their work study funds to conduct research. For more information on how a student can use work study to conduct research, please visit the Undergraduate Research Work Study and Independent Study webpage.

How can I increase the chances a student will apply to my project?

We encourage all faculty to advertise this funding opportunity independently. Though our office advertises MURF through multiple means, it is always helpful if faculty mentors inform potentially eligible students themselves.

How will I know if a student has applied for my project?

Our office requires all students applying for MURF to contact the respective listed faculty mentors prior to applying for a MURF project. This said, even if a student does not contact you prior to applying, you should still receive an automatic email notification upon a student applying for your project. If you do not receive such an email when you were expecting to (e.g. when you’ve talked to a prospective student researcher), please let our office know as this might indicate that the student misspelled or mistyped your email address in the student MURF application.

You can reach our office at ugresearch@mines.edu.