Michigan State's faculty play an indispensable role in encouraging undergraduate students to seek out research experience.


Funding Opportunities

Funding may be available for your student researcher.  Some funds are available externally while other are made available through MSU. 

Funding Through the Colleges

The Provost's Office has provided a half million dollars to support university-wide undergraduate research initiatives. Every college with undergraduate degree programs receive this funding to support undergraduate research and creative activity opportunities in the colleges.  Each college has a different method of distributing the funds.  The table below can direct you to the appropriate person in your college.

College Contact Person
Agriculture and Natural Resources Kelly Millenbah, Associate Dean
Arts and Letters Beth Judge, Assistant Dean
Business Amy Radford-Popp, Program Coordinator
Communication Arts and Sciences Ann Hoffman, Assistant Dean
Education Susan Dalebout, Director, Student Affairs
Engineering Katy Luchini Colbry, Program Coordinator
James Madison Jeff Judge, Director of Academic Affairs
Lyman Briggs Christie Tobey, Program Coordinator
Music Michael Kroth, Associate Dean
Natural Science Mark Voit, Associate Dean
Nursing Cindy Majeske, Program Coordinator
RCAH Carolyn Loeb, Associate Dean
Social Sciences Steve Kautz, Associate Dean
Veterinary Medicine Vilma Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan, Associate Dean


Undergraduate Student Conference Support

The Undergraduate Research Office has a limited amount of funding available to support undergraduate student travel to professional conferences. The funds have a few stipulations:

  1. Applicants must be currently enrolled undergraduate students at MSU, who are working towards their undergraduate degrees.
  2. Undergraduate students must be presenting their work—not just attending the conference.
  3. The college or academic department is responsible for completing the necessary travel authorization forms for each student.
  4. A financial contribution is required from the academic department and/or college. For example, if a student’s total cost for a conference is estimated to be around $1000, and if the academic department can contribute $200 and the college can contribute $300, the Undergraduate Research Office will try to provide $500 to match. However, a match is not guaranteed.
  5. A budget of estimated total expenses should be included with each request.

In order to be considered for conference travel support, please complete and submit this application to Lizzy King. Funds are available on a first-come, first serve basis.  Applications are reviewed on an individual basis as they are received throughout the year. 

National Science Foundation REU Program

The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). REU projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program. This solicitation features two mechanisms for support of student research:

  1. REU Sites are based on independent proposals to initiate and conduct projects that engage a number of students in research. REU Sites may be based in a single discipline or academic department, or on interdisciplinary or multi-department research opportunities with a coherent intellectual theme. Proposals with an international dimension are welcome. A partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD) supports REU Sites in DoD-relevant research areas.
  2. REU Supplements may be requested for ongoing NSF-funded research projects or may be included as a component of proposals for new or renewal NSF grants or cooperative agreements.

The REU program seeks to expand student participation in all kinds of research--whether disciplinary, interdisciplinary, or educational in focus--encompassing efforts by individual investigators, groups, centers, national facilities, and others. The REU program is a major contributor to the NSF goal of developing a diverse, internationally competitive, and globally-engaged science and engineering workforce. It draws on the integration of research and education to attract a diversified pool of talented students into careers in science and engineering, including teaching and education research related to science and engineering, and to help ensure that these students receive the best education possible.

If you already have an NSF-funded grant, please consider applying for an REU supplement. The application is fairly brief and you could get additional funds to support undergraduate research.  Contact your NSF program officer for more details and review the REU Guide.