When working jointly with eligible CNR undergraduates on a faculty-initiated research project, faculty members may apply for $500 of SPUR funding per student, per semester. Students earn research units for their participation in a faculty-initiated project. The research funding is to be paid to the faculty mentor’s research account to cover all or part of the project’s supplies and expenses.
Before You Apply:
Application and Selection Process:
Continuing with SPUR and Sharing Your Research
Students must be in the College of Natural Resources at the time of application. Intended CNR students are not eligible until declared. Students must also have completed at least one semester term at Cal and have a minimum 2.0 overall GPA to qualify for enrollment in independent study research units. Students do not need to be declared in a major to apply. Transfer students are eligible to apply in their first semester.
How to Select a Project
Research opportunities for fall, spring, or summer projects initiated by a CNR faculty member will be available for viewing under the Find and Apply to a Faculty Project tab on the SPUR website at the beginning of each term. See the calendar for exact dates. All interested students are directed to visit faculty members during their office hours to discuss the research opportunities posted. Students may apply to up to THREE faculty-initiated projects per semester, but may work on only one project.
Note: The process described below includes the spring/fall semester deadlines. Different deadlines apply to summer projects.
Preparing and Submitting Your Application
Available projects can be found under the Find and Apply to a Faculty Project tab. The following is required for each project you wish to apply to:
- Unofficial transcript from CalCentral
- Personal Statement
Unofficial transcripts can be accessed through CalCentral. You may save as a PDF to upload with your application. Transfer students may upload unofficial transcripts from other academic institutions.
The personal statement is your opportunity to explain why you are interested in a particular research project, and to highlight the skills and abilities that you may contribute to the project in return. Take some time to think about the project, as well as to look into the research conducted by the faculty member to demonstrate your seriousness.
You are encouraged to utilize the resume writing resources available through the Career Center.
Your application details will appear in the My Projects tab of the SPUR student website once it has been uploaded. You may edit your application until the deadline.
Faculty Selection Process
After the application stage has ended, faculty members will contact any qualified applicants for an interview, or they may simply accept or decline an application. To prepare for your interview, please use the Career Center Interview Preparation resources. Please respond to any interview requests promptly, and make sure to inform faculty if you no longer wish to be considered for a project. If you are selected for a project during a fall or spring term, the SPUR program requires that all students enroll in units (except for summers, see below) for their research.
Enrolling in Research Units
The SPUR program requires that participating students enroll in research units by the end of the third week of instruction. Funds are not released to faculty mentor accounts until the SPUR coordinator has verified that all students are enrolled in units.
The student must complete the Sponsored Projects For Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Form. The department on the form must correspond to the faculty mentor's department. The number of units are determined between the student and faculty mentor and the SPUR Coordinator will confirm with the faculty mentor the number of units the student should earn prior to enrolling students into the unit(s). One unit is the equivalent of three hours of research to be conducted per week. 199 units may only be taken on a P/NP basis.
During the summer term, students are not required to enroll in units. In lieu of enrolling in units, students may submit a SPUR Summer Learning Contract, signed by their faculty mentor, to the SPUR Coordinator no later than the last day of instruction of the preceding spring semester. For an overview of summer application deadlines, please see the calendar.
Final Grades and End of Semester Report
Students and faculty are required to provide feedback on their experience with the SPUR program. These reports are submitted online through the SPUR website. With the researchers’ permission, feedback may be shared with the CNR alumni who donated the funds that support the SPUR program. End of semester reports are due on the last day of instruction. See the deadlines calendar for exact dates.
Faculty mentors are also required to report student grades on CalCentral at the end of the term.
Renewing Your Project
Projects are funded for one semester. Faculty must re-submit projects each term. If you and your faculty mentor wish to continue working together for 1 additional semester, please notify the SPUR Coordinator.
Sharing Your Research with the CNR Community
Undergraduates benefiting from collaboration with faculty mentors and from the generous financial support of CNR alumni are strongly encouraged to share their completed or in progress research project with the CNR community in the form of a research poster. The research poster summarizing the project and (expected) results may be presented at either the fall or spring Poster Session.