Crown Undergraduate Research Program

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Undergraduate Research

Crown College Undergraduate Research Program

This program is aimed at facilitating an active involvement of students in academic research and other creative activities through participation in faculty-sponsored projects.

Active participation in research is an essential ingredient for high-quality educational experience and greatly facilitates the transition into the job market, professional, or graduate school. In addition, students can get academic credit for this work, both in the form of independent study, and, in some cases, as the basis for a Senior Thesis.

One of the main initial hurdles for undergraduate participation in research is finding out the opportunities that are available to students. Here you can find:

1) A list of projects sponsored by Crown Faculty covering a diversity of areas of knowledge.

2) General areas of research pursued by faculty affiliated with Crown College in the following areas of knowledge:

Research Conducted by Crown Affiliated Faculty

Engineering and Computer Sciences

Social Sciences

Life Sciences

Sciences of Earth and Space

Formal and Physical Sciences

Arts and Humanities


3) A comprehensive list of research opportunities available to students on campus, including internships in industry, STEM Summer Schools and Federal Agency Programs can be found at the following link:

How To Get Started

If a student is interested in participating in a project, he/she needs to contact the listed faculty contact offering his/her services as an assistant. If a student is unsure of which lab would be a good fit, please send your resume and transcript to Cathy Murphy cmurphym@ucscedu and we'll help find a suitable lab.

Students who participate in academic research and other creative endeavors are encouraged to enroll in an individual studies class with Crown College or individual studies class through your department.

Crown College will also send project solicitations from individual faculty fellows. Please respond to those announcements if you are interested. These are great ways to gain experience in research.

Fellowship Support

A list of university-wide Undergraduate Research Awards can be found at:

Undergraduate Research Fellowships  (URF)  application here

Crown College will provide $500 fellowships to promote student involvement in academic research. This amount will be provided in the form of a fellowship.

Support will be restricted to one quarter, although if appropriate the student and mentor are encouraged to continue their project beyond the time frame of the grant.


Eligibility is limited to juniors or seniors during the quarter for which they are applying and who have good to excellent academic records. Sophomores will also be considered, but in this case the proposed project should have room to expand beyond the quarter being considered for funding; sophomores need to address the longer-term scope of the project in the section of the application where the student explains how this experience complements his/her education at UCSC.

Eligible students must be affiliated with Crown College.

Application process:

Applicants need to fill out the following four documents and submit them via email to

1. Application form, which includes a statement of how the proposed project would complement the candidate's existing strengths. Application can be found here

2. 1 page description of the project, including a description of the goals, approach, and significance of the project (one page max).

3. Letter of support from mentor.

4. Unofficial transcript of undergraduate education.

Completed applications must be sent by email to by the following deadlines:

December 8 for Winter Quarter awards

March 4 for Spring Quarter awards


Following review of the applications, recipients will be announced within two weeks of the deadline. The evaluation will be conducted according to the following criteria:

1. Research plan: evidence of a strong research design and/or innovative nature of the project (2 points)

2. Impact: how well the proposed project complements the educational goals of the applicant or contribution to good of society in general (2 points)

3. Faculty support: enthusiasm of letter, level of involvement, evidence of longer-term commitment (2 points)

4. Academic profile of applicant: evidence of academic excellence (honors program, high GPA) or chances of completing the project well (2 points)

Crown College will seek to ensure that projects from diverse areas are included.

General Information

General Information

Requirements for the award:

The student is strongly advised to enroll in a 5- unit individual studies course (CRWN 199, or this can also be taken through your department) with the faculty member during the one quarter of their fellowship. The student's research must culminate in a report describing his/her research, preferably done as a poster or tri-fold board to be presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium spring quarter. Please send an electronic copy of this poster/tri-fold board to Cathy Murphy one week before the end of the fellowship quarter per the Academic and Administrative Calendar. 

Students are also encouraged to submit their project for their Division's Dean's Award.