Student SEARCH Award Program

Scholarship, Engagement, the Arts, Research, Creativity, and Humanities 

About the SEARCH Award

The Student SEARCH Award Program supports UTC graduate students and undergraduate students across all disciplines who pursue original scholarship under the supervision of UTC faculty.  

SEARCH awardees gain intensive, hands-on experience with writing a research proposal, designing a research project  or creative work, and disseminating findings through publication and/or presentation. Most projects commence in late summer or fall and conclude the following spring or summer.

Application Deadline: Sunday, March 8,2020

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled graduate student or undergraduate student status
  • Full-time, degree-seeking status in good academic standing
  • Applicants must be working with a faculty advisor who will supervise the project during the award period.
  • Applicants must develop the research proposal in collaboration with the faculty advisor.

Note: Students may only submit one application per funding cycle.

  • Award amount – a maximum of $1,000 ( see funding details below)
  • Award Cycle: July 1, 2020– June 30, 2021.
  • Funds will be transferred to the awardee's department.
  • projects must commence no later than July 1, 2020 (beginning of fiscal year).
  • Award funds will be transferred directly to the awardee's department. No funds will be transferred directly to the awardee. 
  • Awardees will work with the department Administrative Specialist/Budget Coordinator to expend funds to cover costs associated with the SEARCH project only.
  • Faculty advisors and department heads are responsible for ensuring that funds are spent for SEARCH related research activities ONLY.    
  • All funds must be spent by the awardee’s department by June 25, 2021. SEARCH Funds will not be available after this date per UTC fiscal policy.
  • Requested funds must be used solely to support the student in carrying out the SEARCH research project as outlined in the application proposal.
  • All costs must be reasonable and directly related to the SEARCH project.
  • Allowable costs include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following: student wages and fringe benefits (the awardee’s home department will process wages and fringe), supplies, minor equipment, travel (to be arranged by the awardee’s home department), and operating expenses.

Awardee Responsibilities and Expectations

SEARCH Scholars will…

  • work from a research question, hypothesis, or thesis statement
  • apply research design/methods to generate findings
  • communicate findings through presentation and publication

Funds will be disbursed to the awardees department once the following criteria are met:

  • Award letter (including all required signatures) is returned to the Office for URaCE by the deadline indicated in the award acceptance.
  • If applicable, approval documentation from the UTC Office of Research Integrity.
    • Note: research that involves human subjects or animals must be approved by the UTC Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) before the research commences.
 SEARCH Scholars will…
  • Attend all mandatory meetings, activities, and events as designated by the research advisor/mentor and the SEARCH program director. A complete list of required meetings, activities, and events will be included in the program contract.
  • Complete all assignments, and meet all deadlines associated with the research project.
  • Prior to and during the program, respond to information requests and other communications from faculty advisors/mentors, and SEARCH program director in a timely manner.
  • Attend a Lunch & Learn session at the project midpoint to discuss research status and progress.
 SEARCH Scholars will…
  • Submit a final project and financial report (awardees will receive a report "guide" at the project midpoint, which will detail how to prepare the report) to the Office for URaCE.
  • Present at the 2021 ReSEARCH Dialogues conference.

Application Instructions

Before you apply please read the information below carefully.

Applicants must:

  • have a faculty advisor/mentor who will supervise the project.
  • develop the research proposal in collaboration with a faculty advisor/mentor, and with the approval of the applicant’s department head (upload signature form to online application).
    • Download the Proposal Guide HERE
    • Download a Proposal Template HERE
  • develop the project budget with the assistance of the faculty advisor/mentor
    • Download the Budget worksheet HERE
    • Download the Department Head Signature form HERE

Note: Since the purpose of the program  is to provide hands-on experience with the research process, proposals must be written by the applicant not the faculty mentor.

Preparing Your Application

The following documents will be uploaded to the online application: Gather these documents before you begin the application.

1) Resume or CV

Need help writing your CV? Request a CV template from the Office for URaCE

2) Advisor/Mentor Letter of Support 

The letter should address the advisor's commitment to supervise the project for the duration of the award period, how the advisor will provide oversight for the project, and the applicant's skills relevant to the project. 

3) Department Head Signature Form

4) Itemized Project Budget 

Include itemized budget ...

*in the research proposal narrative


* within the online application.

Be sure to discuss budget details with your faculty advisor/mentor

Use this WORKSHEET to guide the budget discussion with your faculty advisor/mentor.  You will upload the itemized budget worksheet to the online application.

5) Research Proposal Narrative

Proposals must include ALL five sections/criteria outlined in the Proposal Guide. 

  • Download the Proposal Guide HERE
  • Download a Proposal Template HERE

Research Proposal Narrative Content (100 points total)

Review the proposal guide and template BEFORE composing the proposal.

  • Project Description/ Research Objectives (30 points)
  • Research Design and Methods (30 points)
  • Project Significance (30 points)
  • Budget Justification (5 points)
  • Student Merit & Need (5 points)

Before you begin the application gather all required application materials: CV or resume, mentor letter of support, DHS form, proposal, and budget information . You will upload these documents to the online application form.

The SEARCH online application will be available at the end of the fall 2019 semester.

Applications must be submitted  via the online application form no later than 11:45 P.M. March 8, 2020. Applicants will receive a confirmation message once an application has been submitted. Late submissions will not be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.


Application Review and Selection

All proposals will be reviewed by a selection panel composed of UTC faculty and administrators.  Each proposal will be evaluated using a 100-point scale aligned with the research proposal narrative. Proposals will be rank-ordered by score, and awardees will be notified of the outcome via email in  May 2020.


For assistance with proposal and application preparation contact:

Lisa M. Piazza, Ph.D., Director, Office for URaCE:

Other Questions:

Contact the Office for URaCE: