The URA program provides SMU undergraduate students with work-based awards tied generally to faculty-directed research activities. During fall/spring terms, students must be enrolled full-time (i.e., 12 or more SCHs); during the summer, enrollment in at least a 0 credit hour research class is required, and eligible students must not have transferred or graduated.
Each URA award is funded 50% (up to $1,500) by the Financial Aid department and 50% (up to $1,500) from the participating academic department, school or faculty funds. Students are eligible for an award during the academic year and a separate award during the summer. Students eligible for the Federal Work Study program are funded 35% from departmental (or faculty) funds and 65% through the Federal Work Study program. Note: Federal Work Study funds are not available during the summer months.
When requesting a URA award, applying faculty or their department administrative assistants must designate the source of the matching contribution. For example, these might be the departmental operating budget or restricted account, a faculty member’s research grant/contract account or restricted account. The standard pay rate for URA students is set at $10.00/hour, although higher wages may be established for specialized assignments involving unusual skills. At $10.00/hour up to ten hours/week, students can earn up to $3,000 during the 30 weeks of the fall/spring terms. In summer, a student wishing to work more than 20 hours/week for any period should submit an application for a full-time Summer Research Assistantship. Otherwise, a student's total summer wages are capped at $2000.
A special URA form must be submitted along with the standard PAF for student employees. The URA form must be filled out completely, including information requested on the second page specifying project title, an abstract description, and a forward-looking statement from the student about the nature of the potential final result of their work and the community toward which it is directed. The 'Specific Professional Community the Research will Engage' refers to the audience that would ultimately be the target or audience of your research results. This may be professionals within a discipline (e.g. applied mathematicians) or it may be a more heterogeneous group such as an organization or agency. Incomplete forms will not be approved and will be sent back to the originating department. At the end of the Academic Year or part-time summer project, students and faculty mentors are requested to write a brief (1 page) report about their experience, including reference to any paper, presentation, performance or other result accomplished from the research.
Please send these reports to the Director of Undergraduate Research (Prof. Robert Kehoe).
On the PAF, please use code 6163 for URA non-Work Study students and code 6168 for URA Work Study students. If you have any questions, contact Mary Beard (214-768-2414; email: firstname.lastname@example.org).