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Undergraduate Research


For Faculty

We know mentoring is incredibly rewarding. We also know it takes a lot time, commitment and dedication. From finding a student to finding funding, let us know how we can support you.

Finding a Student

We promote research positions, work-study openings, volunteer opportunities and research-based events. We'll share the information to our newsletter, social media, partner offices and, if appropriate, targeted student groups.

 

Share Your Position

If you have an open position, complete the form below or email us at our@sc.edu with your position description and any attachments. We'll be in touch with next steps!

Research Opportunity Submission Form

Dates may be general (e.g., fall semester, academic year, summer with potential for fall continuation)

 

Being a Mentor

Students' primary activity should be engaging in scholarly work. However, they should also be a part of or exposed to all aspects of the research process, including the nonglamorous (dishwashing, finding and copying articles, filing, entering data, etc.). 

What is Expected of You

  • Assist your student in the development and articulation of the project idea and plan. (Please note: the student is the primary author of the proposal.)
  • Help your student understand the methods and concepts of research and scholarship within your field.
  • Guide and train your student in the skills and/or techniques needed to complete the project (including assistance with human subject compliance/IRB and animal care and use compliance).
  • Be available during the project period. You and your student should establish ground rules and expectations during the planning stage. 

Faculty planning sabbaticals during the project period must identify a secondary mentor during this period or consider alternatives.

 

Research Contracts

Some mentors have found it helpful to develop a research contract, which can assist in establishing duties, expectations and deadlines. You can use this contract template [doc] or modify it to fit your needs.

 

Bringing Students Into Your Research

Funding Options for Projects Without Grant Money

OUR Funding »
We offer a number of grants to support undergraduate research.

Funding Around Campus »
There are many funding options specific to a student's college, background and interests.

Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs »
Students can apply for national funding programs here and overseas.

Federal Work-Study Program »
Funding for part-time jobs for students who are eligible for financial aid

Keep in mind ...
Many students are looking for the experience, and pay is not their  priority, so volunteering or independent study for credit may be good options.

Hiring a Student Onto Your Grant

Your department’s business manager or administrative assistant will hire the student through the student hire system directly onto your grant. They will need to know:

  • the student's name
  • the student's Social Security number
  • the hourly wage
  • the maximum hours per week (no more than 20 during the academic year)
  • the start and end date
  • the appropriate account number
  • the student hire type.

Student hire type codes: 
(51419) Undergrad Student Research Assistant
(51427) Undergrad Student Research Asst. Work-Study
(51428) Non Enrolled Undergrad Research Asst.
(51429) Non Enrolled Undergrad Research Work-Study

The student will need to complete hire documents:

  •  I-9
  • W-4
  • Direct Deposit.

The student will also need to be trained in ITAMS.

Work-Study Hires

The Federal Work-Study Program provides funding for part-time work for students to earn money to pay for educational expenses. 

Who is eligible
Work-study awards are a form of financial aid. Students must be eligible for financial aid to participate in work-study.

Funding
The government covers 75 percent of the student's salary, and the mentor or department must cover the remaining 25 percent.

Student pay
The amount a student may earn through work-study is fixed. Once they have earned that amount, they must stop working unless you can pay them through your own funds. 

Hours per week
Use this formula to determine how many hours per week your student will work during the semester:

Work-Study Award Amount / Hourly Pay Rate / Weeks in the Semester = Hours Per Week

Getting started
Before your student starts a work-study job, contact the financial aid office.

Undergraduate Supplements for NSF and NIH Grants

Deadlines
There is no specific deadline for undergraduate supplement requests. They are reviewed as they are received. 

National Science Foundation gGrants
Visit the NSF site for details on the Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program. You can also contact your program director.

National Institutes of Health Grants
The NIH provides supplements for minority students with disabilities. Visit the NIH site for details. You can also contact your program director.

Academic Credit and Research

Students can earn one to three credits for working on the research project through an independent study.  

Presentation and Publication for Students

Opportunities are available for students to share research at USC and beyond. 

Student Travel Funding Options

Ask the meeting organizers first
Many professional societies and meetings provide reduced registration rates for students or student travel awards.

Check with your department
Some departments offer funding for students to travel and present work.

Magellan Voyager Award
Funding through our office for students to travel for presentations

Honors student travel award
The Honors College offers funding for honors students to travel and present their work.

The Council of Undergraduate Research
Available for projects in the social sciences and biology. USC students are eligible for these travel funding programs because USC is an institutional member.