URS Independent Study Grants

URS Independent Study Grants are provided to help defray research expenses of up to $400 for students enrolled in faculty-supervised independent study courses or the equivalent such as thesis and research capstone courses. A grant makes funds available to purchase approved supplies and equipment (nondurable goods) for the research project. URS funds may not be used to purchase equipment that will be retained as a personal item or part of the lab at the end of the project. This includes software, books, computer equipment, cameras, etc.  In addition, the grant may not be used to pay for training or classes or to pay salaries. The maximum amount of the grant is $400 and all funds must be used before the last day of classes of the semester. A student can only receive one Independent Study Grant per semester.

Student must be enrolled in an Independent Study course or the equivalent such as thesis and research capstone courses, in order to be eligible for this grant.  The funds will be transferred to the student's mentor's department for them to be used to purchase the necessary supplies through the department. 

The application portal will open by the first day each semester and will close when general funds have been depleted for that semester or we reach the mid-point of the semester, whichever comes first.  Funds can run out within the first month of the semester, so it is advised that you apply as soon as possible. 

Please note:

  • This application requires that students have completed CITI Training. URS requires URS grant applicants to complete the “Research Misconduct (RCR-Basic) (ID 16604)” course offered through Duke CITI Training in order to be eligible to receive the grant. Find directions for the training and for downloading the certificate here.
  • If working with Human Subjects, this application requires that students have completed, or have submitted an initial application for approval to the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Consult with your mentor and find more information here. If awarded, funds will not be distributed until the URS Office has received the student's IRB protocol number and valid expriation date. If awarded this grant, if you do not receive IRB approval before October 15th in the fall or March 15th in the spring, the funds will not be released and you will need to re-apply for the grant in a subsequent semester in which you are also enrolled in an independent study course.
  • This application requires that students are enrolled in a Research Independent Study course.


Updated: 8/28/23

Spring 2024 applications are now open. Apply online.

Criteria used in evaluating applications are:

  1. Clarity and completeness of the application; students write a short research proposal describing the nature of and rationale for the work they will be doing and include an itemized budget for proposed expenses. The proposal should begin with a statement of a problem or question which can be addressed through well-defined methods in the discipline.
  2. IRB processing for projects involving human subjects. An application may be submitted and approved by the URS office prior to IRB approval, but the final award of funds requires IRB approval. Please note "pending" for proposals submitted but not yet approved.
  3. Completion of the Research Misconduct online tutorial. Your certificate of completion must be uploaded to be able to submit this application.
  4. Support by the faculty sponsor as indicated in a required brief statement sent to the URS office via an emailed form.

Expenses incurred during the semester, but before the date of the award, can be reimbursed on approval of the application.

For more information about guidelines and resources, see Guidelines for URS Programs

Application Status: OPEN