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Undergraduate Research

Early Researchers

Curious about the research process? Ready to give it a try? We have a new award for early researchers: the Magellan Journey. This program helps you connect with faculty and a project that you want to explore. Let's get you started!

*The Magellan Journey application is closed for the 2023-2024 academic year* 


The Magellan Journey serves to support and encourage undergraduates to get curious, start exploring  interests outside the classroom, and be part of the discovery process.

Need a faculty mentor? We can help!

This award supports students working with a faculty mentor on a project. The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) can help you identify what you might like to explore and work with you to connect with a faculty mentor.

Deadline? Nope!

  • Students: 
    • Applications are reviewed in the order submitted
    • Applicants will be contacted within three weeks of submission with a status update, additional information, or next steps
    • Limited awards available - get started today!
  • First- or second- year USC degree-seeking undergraduate on Columbia campus
  • No (or limited) previous research experience
  • All majors
  • Good academic standing

*Preference is given to applicants with no other funding options and underrepresented in research

Magellan Journey provides up to $1,000 in student salary/stipend for up to one year of research for eligible students.

Future Funding Options
Most students funded through the Magellan Journey grant will be eligible to apply for other Magellan and institutional awards to receive future research support. An OUR research consultation can assist with finding the award(s) that are right for you.

Please indicate in the appointment comments that this is for a grant consultation.

Consultations will be held either in person or virtually through Teams video conferencing. If you select a virtual consultation, a weblink will be provided to you in your meeting confirmation email. Please click on the weblink at your designated meeting time to start your appointment.

   => Log on to
   => Click on "Make an Appointment" tab (right hand side of the screen)
   => Under what type of appointment, select "Involvement and Engagement"
   => Under service, select "Undergraduate Research Appointment"
   => Then click on the button "Find Available Time"
Please feel free to include comments about where you are in the research journey (curious about research, ready to get started, have a mentor/questions about funding, etc.). This helps us better help you!

*If these appointment options conflict with your schedule, please contact us directly at with days and times you are available to meet by video.


  • Complete the CITI Responsible Conduct of Research on-line training and submit to Blackboard. 
  • Review the student mentoring guide and discuss expectations and project plan with mentor.


  • Actively engage students in the discovery, inquiry, and research process of the discipline.
  • Complete a research contract with your mentee. Funds will be released upon submission to Blackboard.  This contract template is available for use and can be modified as needed. 
  • Oversee the student hire procedures and coordinate with your department business manager to ensure proper and timely payment.  
  • If applicable: Complete and maintain compliance requirements for projects involving human or vertebrate animal subjects.


  • Register your project each semester.
  • Maintain consistent effort towards your project.
  • Engage in regular reflection activities with your mentor and the Office of Undergraduate Research.


  • Provide regular opportunities for your mentee to reflect and receive feedback.
  • Evaluate your mentee each semester through the Research Registry system.
  • Coordinate with your department business manager to ensure proper and timely payment to your student.


  • Present your research at Discover USC.
  • Submit, at minimum, two "research in action" pictures of you engaging in your project.
  • Submit brief project report (max 1 page).


  • Guide student in development of presentation and report.
  • Take at least one "research in action" picture of you working with your student.
  • Provide citations of publications and/or presentations that arise over time related to this student's work or contributions. Submit here.
  • Coordinate with your department business manager to ensure proper and timely payment to your student.

See detailed Program Terms and Conditions here, which include instructions and guidance for completing the requirements.

The Magellan Journey Application  is closed for the 2023-2024 academic year 


  1. No faculty mentor or project needed to apply
  2. No deadline, applications reviewed within 3 weeks of submission, in the order received
  3. Awards are limited; early applications encouraged

NOTE: Please provide careful and meaningful responses to questions 14 and 15 on the application. These responses will help in the mentor matching process and may be shared with potential faculty mentors. Applicants are encouraged to review these questions, then draft and revise your responses in word. The responses can THEN be cut and paste into the application form (link below; one application form for both programs). 

Q14: What research areas or topics would you like to explore? Provide a brief description of your research interests (include 2-3 topics) to help us identify potential mentors and projects for you (broad topics are ok but specifics can be helpful); if you know 1-2 mentors you are interested in working with, please provide their name(s), department(s), and a brief description of why they would be a good match for you.

Q15: Personal Statement Please share a brief introduction about you, your academic and career goals; why you are interested in conducting research and how it fits within your goals. Please include if you are considering educational pursuits beyond a Bachelor's degree such as Masters, PhD, MD, etc.

No deadline! Your form will be reviewed within three weeks, in the order received. At that time, the Office of Undergraduate Research will email you regarding the status of your application and next steps.

If you have any questions, please contact



Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.