Student Research Grants are now available through the Office of Student Research – News

The Illinois State Office of Student Research is currently accepting applications for two grant programs intended to support student research and creative pursuits.

Graduate and undergraduate students are eligible to apply for the new BirdFEEDER (Fund for Student Research Experimentation, Inquiry and Development) grants. These grants will provide students with up to $500 to purchase research supplies and cover research-related travel costs. The deadline to apply is February 25, 2022, for the funds to be used this semester.

Dr. Gina Hunter, director of the Office of Student Research, said she started the program in part because students asked her to support projects such as building a musical instrument or researching into archives, for which she had no funds. She said the program also provides an additional source of much-needed internal funding for graduate students.

“It could improve undergraduate and graduate student research,” Hunter said.

The deadline to apply for the office’s FIREbird (Fund for Independent Research Experience) grant program, formerly known as the Undergraduate Research Grant Program (URSP), for summer 2022 is also fast approaching. These grants provide students with up to $3,000 to conduct a research project with a mentor professor. The deadline for applying for the grant is February 4, 2022.

The FIREbird Summer Scholarship Program supports undergraduate students, who may not have time during the academic year to devote to an intensive research project. Students can use the money as a salary and to buy research supplies and cover research-related travel costs.

“It gives them the opportunity to do research that they might not otherwise have,” Hunter said.

This program typically supports 12 to 20 students each funding round, but Hunter hopes to increase that number now that the stipend has been cut by $5,000.

Through a partnership between the Office of Student Research and the Center for a Sustainable Water Future, one BirdFEEDER grant and one FIREbird grant will only be used to fund one water-related research project.

Later this semester, the office will invite applications for the FIREbird and BirdFEEDER grants for the fall 2022 semester. Students who have questions about how to apply for the grants can contact the Office of Student Research Director Gina Hunter or graduate assistant Sam Bruner.

Students can also seek research support from off-campus sources through the Office of Student Research’s partnership with the National Student Opportunity Center (SOC). The office is hosting a workshop from 4 to 5 p.m. on February 2, via Zoom, explaining how students can use SOC to find research opportunities and internships.

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