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Undergraduate Research Fellowships

university fellowships committee

Boston College established the Undergraduate Research Fellows Program in 1997-98 for the purpose of enhancing the academic experience of undergraduates by cultivating their research skills and fostering mentor relationships between undergraduates and faculty. The program provides a grant to pay for a student's research assistance for a faculty member's research project. It is considered student employment and the student may work up to 20 hours a week during the academic semester, up to 40 hours a week during semester breaks or the summer, depending on faculty need and student availability. Students may not receive academic credit for work done under an Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

Freshmen in the College of Arts & Sciences are not eligible to participate in this program, but freshmen in the Connell, Carroll, and Lynch Schools are eligible.

The formal application for an Undergraduate Research Fellowship (URF) must come from the faculty member whose research project the student will assist. Faculty interested in guiding an Undergraduate Research Fellow are urged to discuss their project and prospective student assistants with their department's Director of Undergraduate Studies, who may be able to suggest additional fellowships opportunities for student assistants.  Applications for URFs are reviewed and funded three times a year, for the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.  Faculty can get information on the application process and deadlines from the Director of Undergraduate Studies in their department or school.

Even though the formal application for an Undergraduate Research Fellowship must be submitted by a faculty member, students interested in this opportunity should take the initiative in identifying a faculty member whose research would interest them and would enhance the student's own academic experience. First, students should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies in their department, to discuss the opportunity and to let the Director know of their interest. The Director may be able to guide the student to appropriate faculty members. Second, students should discuss their interest with their own academic advisor in their department, and with any other faculty member whose area of academic focus or research are of interest to the student.