Conducting research outside of the classroom strengthens your transferable skill set, resume, and record of achievements. To support students in their endeavor to develop critical thinking, problem solving skills, and intellectual independence, undergraduate research assistants selected for LASURI receive an award of up to $1,250 per semester, pending satisfactory progress. Most participants are approved for two-semester projects and therefore receive up to $2,500 over the course of the year. Most faculty mentors receive a fixed amount to cover direct costs associated with the project.
We reach out to faculty mentors at the beginning of each term during a student’s LASURI award period. The transfer of funds to students is dependent on faculty mentors’ confirmation that the student is meeting expectations of the program. Research expense support will be transferred to the faculty member after this confirmation process during the student’s first term of participation.
Funding Information for Students
There are three types of funding available: LASURI, Kaufman, and Thelander. All are considered awards that may impact the type or amount of financial aid a student is eligible to receive. We provide award information to Financial Aid so that LASURI may be factored into award letters distributed during the summer. We encourage you to check the aid letter you received for details, and speak with the Office of Financial Aid if you have questions about how this may impact you. LASURI staff will not be able to answer questions related to aid; please direct all inquiries to your Financial Aid Counselor.
Each semester’s award will be disbursed after the term’s add/drop deadline so that full-time enrollment can be verified. Be aware that the payment transfer process is contingent on confirmation of satisfactory progress from the faculty mentor and can take a couple of weeks. Please do not ask LASURI about the status of your payment until after the fourth week of the term.
Faculty mentor funds will be distributed around the same time the first payment is made to the student.
Funding Information for Faculty
The award notification will specify the amount of research expense support you will receive (typically $500). Research expense funds will be released to faculty research accounts around the third week of the mentee’s first semester of participation in LASURI. The total research expense support provided will be disbursed in this single, lump-sum transfer. In cases where the mentor does not have an individual research fund, it will be disbursed to departmental accounts.
These funds can be used for any expenses related to the research project, including laboratory reagents, equipment, study participant compensation, student conference travel, books, etc. Your department business manager can help you with the procurement of items; you will follow the same processes as purchasing any other university property or traveling on any other university business. Items purchased with these funds remain university property.
Non-LAS faculty will be asked to provide account information for their home department. If you have any other questions, please contact LASURI.
While conducting research, students can expect to meet consistently with their faculty mentor throughout the semester and to spend 6-10 hours per week working on their research project.
As you conclude your research project, your final tasks are to present your work in a public forum and submit an abstract to LASURI.
With permission from their department, LASURI research assistants may (but are not required to) register for independent study credit hours with the faculty mentor during the period of the award.
Public Presentation of Research
LASURI research assistants are required to present their work at the UIC Impact and Research Day. You must register yourself to present your work at the IRD. The event typically takes place in early to mid- April, with registration deadlines in March. The available spaces fill quickly, so early registration is strongly recommended – keep an eye on their site for announcements regarding the coming year’s event.
In the past, the Office of Undergraduate Research, Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and the Honors College have offered a series of workshops to help students prepare for a research forum. Information on these workshops would also appear on the IRD’s website.
If you wish to present somewhere other than the UIC Impact and Research Day (such as national undergraduate research conferences, professional conferences, department colloquia, etc.), your faculty mentor must approve the venue and notify the LAS Associate Dean for Student Academic Affairs.
Appropriate presentation formats may vary depending on discipline. Discuss options and expectations with your faculty mentor.
Acknowledging the Funding Source. In the public presentation of your research, please acknowledge the funding source in your public presentations. You might include something like: “This research was supported by the UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Initiative (LASURI),” or “This research was supported in part by the Howard L. Kaufman Undergraduate Student Research Award.” If you’re unsure which fund provided your LASURI support, just check your original award notification.
Submit the Final Abstract
Your last task is to submit a final abstract summarizing your research goals and outcomes. You will receive additional information later in the year, but expect the deadline for this to coincide with the last day of classes. For LASURI participants only taking part in Fall 2019, the deadline is Dec. 6; for those continuing through Spring 2020, the deadline is May 1.
We also ask that you complete a short exit survey when you submit your abstract. As part of that process, we encourage you to include photographs of you engaging in the research and/or presenting your research.