FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – URSP, URFP, and MMUF APPLICANTS

Application instructions for the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP), Undergraduate Research Fellows Program (URFP), and Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows (MMUF) program can be found on the scholarship pages for each program:

Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP)

Undergraduate Research Fellows Program (URFP)

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows (MMUF)

Answers to some of our most frequently asked questions are listed below. If you have any further questions, email urhass@college.ucla.edu or call 310-825-2935.

 

Q: What percentage of applicants get accepted into the URC scholarship programs?

A: This can vary from year to year and from program to program, and it depends on a number of factors, including the amount of funds available for scholarships each year. All programs are competitive, and students should plan ahead to ensure they have time to discuss their plans with a faculty mentor and complete all parts of the application. We recommend that students attend program information sessions (scheduled in the weeks leading up to the application due date) and schedule one-on-one advising appointments in advance to discuss their application with our Graduate Student Mentors, or schedule appointments with advisers at the Undergraduate Writing Center or UCLA Library Inquiry Labs.

 

Q: How do I construct a project proposal and timeline? Can I see some examples?

A: The UCLA WI+RE group offers a great online workshop to help you construct your research or creative arts plan: https://uclalibrary.github.io/research-tips/workshops/. This workshop is also offered every quarter as an in-person workshop as a part of the Cornerstone Research Workshop Series. Please email urhass@college.ucla.edu to schedule a time to view samples of successful project proposals. While those proposals will include timelines, students should note that every project is different and students should discuss their plans with a faculty mentor or one of the URC’s Graduate Student Mentors.

 

Q: I’m a transfer student and have only known my prospective faculty mentor for a few weeks. Can I still apply?

A: Yes. For programs where a letter of recommendation is required (MMUF and URSP) your mentor should attest to their support for your research project and their commitment to mentoring you.

 

Q: Can I apply if I am doing research as a part of a collaborative or group project? If so, how should I complete the application?

A: Yes, we welcome applications from students working on collaborative projects, including faculty-initiated projects (e.g., work in a lab or on a research team), and proposals for student-initiated collaborative research or creative projects. Please note that all our awards are made to the student and not the project. In drafting your application you should write the research proposal in your own words and clearly specify your role and individual contribution to the project, along with a timeline of your activities or deadlines. You should also specify how the project or research experience relates to your personal goals or interests.

 

Q: Should I submit my application to the north campus (humanities, arts, and social sciences) or south campus (physical sciences, life sciences, mathematics, and engineering) Undergraduate Research Center?

A: We recommend that students submit their application to the center that most aligns with their research mentor’s department or area of study. Cognitive science and psychobiology projects will be evaluated by the south campus URC; psychology projects will be evaluated by the north campus URC. The program directors from each URC will also use their discretion to determine which center’s program is the best fit for a project or student. If you are still uncertain which center to apply under, please email urhass@college.ucla.edu for further guidance.

 

Q: My GPA is slightly below the minimum GPA requirement for the program I wish to apply to, but I expect it to be above the threshold at the end of the quarter and before the program begins. Can I still apply?

A: Yes. GPA will be taken into consideration as a part of your application, but you will still be eligible for the program if you are accepted and meet the requirements by the time the program begins.

 

Q: Who will review my application?

A: The review committee is made up of UCLA faculty across a range of departments.

 

Q: Do I need to submit a FAFSA or have financial need in order to be accepted to a program?

A: No. Financial need will not impact whether you will be offered a spot in the program; however, in some cases UCLA is prohibited from disbursing additional need to students already receiving grants meeting their cost of attendance. Scholarships are available regardless of known need status; however, all applicants must check the box to allow the financial aid office to share student need information with the Undergraduate Research Centers.

 

Q: Are undocumented, AB540, DACA, and permanent resident students eligible for URC-HASS scholarships?

A: Yes. Undocumented, AB540, DACA, and permanent resident students are eligible to participate in URSP, URFP, and MMUF and receive their scholarships.

 

Q: Are international students eligible for URC-HASS scholarships?

A: Yes. International students are eligible to participate in URSP and URFP and receive their scholarships.

 

Q: What is FERPA? What does it mean if I do or do not waive my right to review a letter of recommendation?

A: FERPA stands for the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. FERPA guarantees you access to your own educational records, including letters of recommendation. However, if you do not wish to access letters of recommendation related to your program application, you may choose to waive your FERPA rights to access, which will be communicated to your letter writer. Your FERPA preferences are not considered in evaluating your application.

 

Q: How long until I can expect a decision?

A: MMUF and URFP decisions are typically announced by mid-December. URSP decisions are typically announced around early September.

 

Q: Will I have to submit a budget to show how the scholarship funds will be used, or to account for how they were used?

A: No. If you are admitted to one of our programs with funding, the scholarship is an award made to you, the student. The office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will apply the scholarship to your Bruin Bill to offset any outstanding balances or reduce loan amounts. Any remaining funds will be sent as a check to the address on file with the Financial Aid and Scholarship office, or deposited into the bank account specified on Bruin Direct.

If you expect to incur significant direct costs to carry out your research or creative project, we recommend that you discuss these additional costs with your academic advisor and faculty mentor. They may be able to suggest additional opportunities for financial support or ways to minimize your research expenses.

 

Q: I plan to study abroad (or in Washington DC) during one of the program quarters. Can I still participate if accepted into the program?

A: Due to program requirements and events, URSP participants may only study abroad during the fall quarter of their program, and URFP students may only study abroad during the spring quarter. MMUF participants may only study abroad during the summer, only if all program requirements are met and with coordinator consent.

In all cases it is expected that the student is continuing research work and maintaining communication with his/her/their mentor during the period away from campus. Plans to study away from campus must be communicated in advance to your program representative and should be noted in your program application. In most cases where the student maintains enrollment at UCLA (e.g. through CAPPP or UCEAP programs), scholarship disbursements should not be affected.

 

Q: I have a conflict with the course meeting time for the URFP or MMUF program. Can I still participate?

A: For fellowship programs like URFP and MMUF, all participants must enroll in and pass the required Honors Collegium course(s). If you are offered participation in one of these programs, you must make arrangements to meet this requirement.