Undergraduate Research Grants

The Global Change Center at Virginia Tech, with support from the Fralin Life Sciences Institute, is proud to sponsor undergraduate students and their research projects that align with our mission for advancing collaborative, interdisciplinary approaches to address critical global changes impacting the environment and society.

Projects that address basic and/or applied aspects of global change science, engineering, social science and the humanities are applicable for this funding opportunity, and proposals must include strong endorsement by a GCC-affiliated faculty member.

Award requests can range from $250 – $1,000.

2021 Information will be posted in Fall 2020, with an application deadline in December 2020.

Eligibility & Requirements

  • Current Virginia Tech undergraduate students from any department will be considered as long as they are mentored and endorsed by an active GCC faculty member.
  • Because these are E&G funds they must be spent by June, 2020. No exceptions. However, the research project can extend until April 2021, long after the funds have been spent on supplies, etc. See reporting requirement #2 below.

Award funds will be transferred to an E&G account in the faculty mentor’s home department. Consult with your home dept. for their specific rules and guidelines for annual budget cycles.

If you receive a Global Change Center award:
  1. The student must present their research findings as a poster at either the VT Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium (July 2020) or the VT Experiential Learning Conference (April 2020 or 2021),
  2. The GCC faculty mentor must provide follow-up outcomes in their annual reports in future years (e.g., if a manuscript is published or grant proposal submitted based on the work), and
  3. The student and faculty mentor must acknowledge the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech and the Fralin Life Sciences Institute for support on your poster (see item #1 above), as well as any other products/presentations benefitting from funding.

Application Procedure

All applications must include the following 3 items in a single pdf file (3 pages total):

Page 1. The undergraduate must complete the Application Form contained in 1 page, with one-inch margins and single-spaced text in fonts no smaller than Arial 11.

Page 2. The undergraduate’s 1 page CV, to include list of any relevant past coursework and research experience (e.g., lab and/or field experiences, presentations).

Page 3. A signed statement of support from GCC faculty mentor(s) on letterhead, not to exceed 1 page. This letter must include a) an endorsement of the student’s ability to excel in a research environment, b) a statement describing the mentorship plan for the student, and c) information describing how the research experience will advance the development of the student and the mission of the GCC.

The single pdf file (which includes the support letter) should be submitted by the faculty mentor by e-mail to Jessica Zielske (jcoker@vt.edu). Label files as STUDENT LAST NAME_GCC-URG2020


Review Criteria for Proposals

Funding decisions will be based on the above criteria as well as:

  • Likelihood that the research experience will advance the student’s development
  • Strength of faculty endorsement
  • Pertinence of basic or applied research topic to the GCC
  • Benefit of the activity to facilitating collaboration among multiple GCC labgroups or other aspects of the GCC’s mission
  • Positive track record of engagement by the faculty mentor in IGC/GCC activities

Please direct any further questions regarding eligibility or expectations to Dr. William Hopkins (hopkinsw@vt.edu).