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Prospective URCA Associates

Applicant Checklist

The URCA Associate application can sometimes be a bit tricky. Here are some tips and suggestions that might make the process go more smoothly:
  • Be sure to thoroughly study and follow the URCA Associate Proposal Guidelines. Your proposal must contain ALL of the following sections:

    1. Abstract
    2. Introduction and Significance
    3. Context, Background, and/or Literature Review
    4. Goals, Objectives, or Operating Hypothesis
    5. Materials, Procedures, and Time Line
    6. References
    7. Budget Justification

  • Review several different Sample URCA Associate Proposals, even those in disciplines vastly different from your own. These proposals all received funding from the URCA Board, but they are not perfect. You will find examples of both good and bad practices to follow, or not follow, as the case may be. It is especially useful to review the Materials, Procedures and Time Lines section, as well as the Budget Justification. Students find a variety of ways to present these particular components, and reviewing several of them may provide useful information as you write your own proposal. Be sure to follow the most current guidelines, however, in preparing your own proposal!
  • Some research and creative activities require special clearance and additional paperwork. This includes projects involving Animal Care, Biosafety and Hazardous Material, and Human Subjects. URCA Associate mentors should be familiar with these clearances, and URCA Associates may need to complete special certifications and applications. SIUE's Graduate School can provide additional information on special research clearance at http://www.siue.edu/graduate/researchpolicies/index.shtml, or by contacting Linda Skelton at 650-2958.



When the time is nearing for you to submit your URCA Associate proposal, read it over carefully. It is often a good idea to have several others read your proposal and provide feedback. Check for the following:

  • The proposal is free from grammatical and spelling errors.
  • Make sure discipline-specific terms and concepts are explained. A glossary can also be included if necessary.
  • All acronyms and abbreviations are properly referenced.
  • Proper citations are made in a style consistent with that of your discipline.
  • Page numbers can be found on each page of the proposal.
  • Your budget summary on the Application/Cover Sheet is consistent with the Budget Justification found in the body of the proposal.


During the submission process, be advised that:

  • All signatures (applicant, mentor, chair and dean of school/college) must be contained on the Cover/Application Page when it is submitted to the Office of Academic Innovation and Effectiveness.
  • Both an electronic and a single hard copy must be submitted to the Office of Academic Innovation and Effectiveness for a proposal to be considered viable. Please e-mail electronic copy to Dr. Laura Pawlow ( lpawlow@siue.edu) and deliver paper copy to Office of Academic Innovation and Effectiveness, Rendleman Hall Room 3102.
  • Applicants are asked NOT to put the hard copy of their proposals in report covers.


Please note: Your cover page will require the signature of your Department Chair and Dean. These are very busy people whose work often takes them off-campus. Don't wait until the last minute to obtain these signatures, or you may find they will not be available to sign for you! Please plan accordingly to have your application complete and signed by the deadline. (You may need to make an appointment with your Department Chair and Dean to get their signatures.) Regarding the electronic submission, please scan the cover sheet after you've obtained all of the required signatures. If you don't have a scanner, check with your mentor to see if your department has one you can use. Again, plan ahead to make sure you complete all of these steps by the deadline!



For more information on the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Program,
contact Dr. Laura Pawlow at (618) 650-2608 or lpawlow@siue.edu.

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