Skip to Content

Undergraduate Research

TRiO Researchers

The Magellan Guarantee Award

  • student salary of up to $1,500 per recipient
  • up to $500 for faculty mentors
  • funds research, scholarly and creative projects




You must be: 

  • one of the following:
    • a first or second year Opportunity Scholar (Columbia campus) 
    • a TRiO Ronald McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program participant (any USC campus)
  • a full-time degree-seeking USC undergraduate
  • working under the guidance of a faculty, staff or community mentor.

You may be awarded the Magellan Guarantee a maximum of two times, as long as you provide evidence of satisfactory progress during your first award period. Please note that preference is given to students who have not received funding previously.


Application Process

Are you interested in this program but do not have a mentor or project? Do you want to try a new project? We can help! Make an appointment with us to discuss your interests and the program.

  1. Complete the project proposal form [word].  
    Complete this first, working with your mentor. You will need it for the next step.
  2. Submit the online application form
    Select "Magellan Guarantee" from the menu. Under "Magellan Programs Application," upload your proposal form.
  3. Have your mentor submit the mentor collaboration form [word].
    Your mentor should complete the form and email it to It is due by 5 p.m. on your deadline date. Your application is not complete until we receive this form.

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. 

Opportunity Scholars: Sept. 25, 2018, by 5 p.m.
TRiO McNair Scholars: July 17, 2018, by 5 p.m.

Project overview tips and hints
How to write a successful project overview

Fill out hiring paperwork

Set up an appointment with Geneva Currie in the TRiO Programs Office. Email to start the hiring process. 


  • forms of identification to fill out an I-9 
  • your USC ID.

Sign up for direct deposit »
This is required for you to be paid.

Report the hours you've worked

Record your time through ITAMS and on the paper timesheet [word]. The timesheet must be approved by your mentor before submission.

Submitting Your Timesheet
Your mentor-approved time sheet must be submitted to Geneva Currie in the TRiO Programs Office (1400 Wheat Street; within 15 days of the period listed on the sheet, or you will not be paid for those hours. 

Keep in mind ...

  • You may NOT work more hours per week than indicated on your contract.
  • Carefully monitor your hours. Awards end once your salary is expended.
  1. Work with your mentor toward completing your research project as outlined in your contract. (Hours per week, pay rate and tasks will be defined by the mentor and student.)

  2. Manage grant requirements through Blackboard, including completing the welcome quiz within one month of your award date.

  3. Register your project at the beginning of the semester that your grant starts, and re-register every semester you work on the project.

  4. Complete a research ethics workshop from our office (dates will be emailed), or complete the CITI Responsible Conduct of Research training. Use our How-To Guide [pdf] to access CITI training. 

  5. Fulfill compliance requirements for projects involving human or animal subjects and/or research abroad.

  6. Attend monthly program meetings and/or professional development workshops as directed.

  7. Present your research at Discover USC with a poster. Be sure to register by the deadline.

  8. Complete a 1-2 page project report [pdf]


NOTE: All Magellan Guarantee recipients are encouraged to publish their work in Caravel, USC's undergraduate research journal.


Selection Announcement Dates

Opportunity Scholars: by Oct. 5, 2018
TRiO McNair Scholars: Aug. 10, 2018