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Undergraduate Research

Capstone Scholar Researchers

The Magellan Apprentice Award 

  • up to $1,000 per recipient for salary, materials and travel
  • for projects in collaboration with a mentor
  • funds research, scholarly and creative projects




You must be: 

  • a Capstone Scholar (first or second year) or a Capstone Fellow
  • in good standing with the Capstone Scholars Program
  • in good academic standing with the university
  • working under the guidance of a faculty, staff or community mentor.

Application Process

You do not have to apply for the full amount to be considered for the Magellan Apprentice grant. You may apply to this grant at the same time as other funding.

  1. Complete the Magellan Programs Application [doc]
    Includes sections for project overview, research compliance, research abroad and budget 
  2. Have your mentor complete the Mentor Collaboration Form [doc].
    If you have a co-mentor, have them complete the Co-Mentor Form [doc]. Both forms should be mailed to
    NOTE: graduate students are permitted as daily advisers and co-mentors but are not eligible to be the primary mentor for a project.
  3. Submit the online application form
    Select "Magellan Apprentice" from the menu. Under "Magellan Programs Application," upload your PDF or Word document.

You may not submit a proposal during the semester you are graduating. 
You must be enrolled for one full semester after the award date of the grant. 


Fall deadline: Oct. 30, 2018, by 5 p.m.
Spring deadline: Feb. 26, 2019, by 5 p.m.

Preparing Your Application

Project Overview Tips and Hints [pdf]
How to write a successful project overview

Application Checklist [pdf]
Use the checklist to ensure you've completed all parts of your Magellan Research Application.



You can get paid! Capstone hires you when you receive the Magellan Apprentice grant and request salary. You'll submit time sheets each week and receive a paycheck. We encourage students to request no more than $10 per hour. 

Supplies and Travel

Include supplies, materials, travel, etc. in your budget. Keep in mind the maximum amount you can request is $1,000.

If you purchase something, it belongs to USC. You do not get to keep it. 

Items not covered by your grant:

  • computer (includes laptop, desktop, etc.)
  • gift cards or cash (to pay participants)
  • hiring people (such as consultants)
  • phones
  • meals
  • travel under 10 miles
  • books that can be found through the USC library
  • senior thesis printing costs
  • any item that does not have a receipt

Allowable costs include:

  • software (such as SPSS, InDesign, etc.)
  • plane tickets
  • gas (for trips more than 10 miles)
  • printing costs
  • hotel room
  • cameras or video equipment
  • renting a kayak
  • books not found through the USC library
  • raffle items (for study participants — must be less than $50 each)
  • conference travel (no more than half your budget).

Keep in mind ...
Our office has digital recorders, iPads, external hard drives and other devices available to check out for research projects. Check with us before you add them to your budget. 

Also check with your department to see if they have what you need before including it in your budget. Note in your budget that you already checked.

Sample Budgets [pdf]

Requirements for Magellan Apprentice Recipients

1. Make significant progress toward completing your project within the grant period.

2. Complete a research ethics workshop.

3. Present your research at Discover USC.

4. Submit a research report with pictures.

Research Abroad

Registering With the Study Abroad Office

ALL students traveling abroad for research, volunteer, internships or study must register with the Study Abroad Office. 

Follow Study Abroad Non-Credit Instructions 

Applies for USC Columbia students who are going abroad to: 

  • Research
  • Intern
  • Volunteer
  • Study (non-credit)

USC Columbia students must also comply with University Travel Policies (ACAF 2.09) [pdf]

If You Are Not a USC Columbia Student:
Contact us at or 803-777-1141. 

If You Are Not Sure If You Need to Register:
Check with the Study Abroad Office at or 803-777-7557. Be safe, not sorry!

Before You Plan Your Research...

Review the Research Abroad Guidelines Document [pdf] for:

  • Important people to meet with and contact
  • Research abroad requirements
  • Guidelines and tips for the application 

Applying as a Group 

Students may submit one application for a small group working on the same project.

Maximum Funding
Up to $1,000 per student, with a maximum of $4,000 per project 


Selection Announcement Dates

Fall: Dec. 3, 2018
Spring: April 1, 2019