Undergraduate Teaching and Research Awards

Types of UTRA Awards

UTRAs support various types of projects between Brown students and faculty. While most students collaborate with professors on research during the summer months, they may also apply for grants to support the creation or revision of a course, international projects, and in some cases, research during the academic year. 

Students may apply for a funded opportunity they find among the Faculty Listed Opportunities or they may apply to fund a research or course development project they developed with a Brown faculty member.

Semester UTRA

Students may apply for a semester UTRA to conduct research and curriculum development projects during the semester.  Semester UTRAs take place in the fall and spring and are especially attractive for students who want to collaborate with faculty who are unavailable during the summer or who cannot themselves spend the summer in Providence. Shorter term projects, as well as those that require school to be in session (as in many education or psychology projects) are also appropriate for semesters UTRAs. 

Eligibility

For the Spring 2024 application cycle, undergraduates who are currently enrolled in Fall 2023 and who will be enrolled in Spring 2024 semesters are eligible to apply. However, graduating seniors who are in their last semester at Brown are not eligible to apply.  Students may not be on a leave of absence from Brown either in the semester they are applying or in the period when they would receive the funding. Students who have received summer funding from BrownConnect (LINK, UTRA, Signature Programs) in a previous summer will not receive priority consideration in the awards process, but are eligible to apply again.

Summer UTRA

During the summer, students and faculty spend 8-10 weeks collaborating on an ongoing faculty project or one of the student's design.  Depending on the nature of the project, this might include time spent in the laboratory, archive, or in the field. 

Students apply for UTRAs through a single application for all College-funded summer opportunities: Summer/Semester Projects for Research, Internships, and Teaching (SPRINT). 

How to Apply

Summer UTRA projects must begin after spring Commencement and the duration of the project must span a period of ten consecutive weeks. We expect both faculty and student collaborators to find a mutually agreeable period between  Commencement and the last week of August.

Award Categories

An idea for a research project may originate from either the faculty or the student. In some cases, the faculty is engaged in a new or ongoing project in which the student might make a unique contribution based on his or her skills, experiences, and interests. In other cases, the student has identified the faculty member as a potential partner because of that professor's expertise and research interests. Often, the research conducted leads to a student's thesis or final capstone. Students may apply for a Faculty Listed Opportunity or may apply for funding for an opportunity they developed with a Brown faculty member. 

Students collaborate with faculty on research that precedes the creation or restructuring of a course. Faculty sponsors often find that undergraduates who have taken a course are especially proactive and valuable in the revision or recasting of a course. Students may also bring important insight to the creation of a new course.

Students who collaborate with faculty on a course development UTRA may have the opportunity to serve as a teaching assistant for the course during the fall or spring semester by applying for a semester extension. In addition to the summer stipend, these students receive an additional $1200 during the semester of the teaching assistantship towards 65 hours teaching extension collaboration. Note: semester extensions are not available for research collaborations.

International UTRA

The International UTRA supports collaborative research or teaching projects abroad. Applications to work abroad will be considered only when both the faculty and the student are traveling and are on-site together.

Students may only apply for an international UTRA during the summer. Semester international awards are not permitted. Students who are interested in conducting research while abroad during the academic year should consider the possibility of a Global Independent Study Project (GLISP), sponsored by Brown's Office of Undergraduate Study Abroad.

Brown may, at its discretion, prohibit undergraduate study abroad or other university-sponsored undergraduate activity at sites where the severity of the U.S. State Department Travel Warning is particularly acute. For additional information and a list of countries on the Travel Prohibition list, please visit Brown's Office of Undergraduate Study Abroad