Research & Creative Scholarship Fund

Call for applications:

The Research and Creative Scholarship Fund is currently OPEN for applications. Please see the timeline below to determine when you are eiligble to submit your application. All applications must be submitted on the UM Scholarship Portal Website and must follow ALL instructions below.

It is important to note that your project's START date must be within our date range as listed above. If it is not, it will not be considered for funding.

Allocation Timeline for the 2017/18 Academic Year

The RCSF will be open twice a year (once per semester). Below are the dates for the allocation period during the 2017/18 academic year. 

Spring/Summer Proposals:

Project Date Range: Jan. 1-June 30

Application Window: Oct. 23rd - Nov. 27th @ 5:00 p.m.

Summer/Fa;; Proposals:

Project Date Range: July1-Dec. 31

Allocation: March 7-April 4


These dates should be consistent in future years as well (similar time of year).

Funding requests for projects will be available to undergraduate and graduate students for the purpose of:

•conducting a research project

*Related to any field. Some examples include: examining the relationship between water quality and the lifespan of aquatic organisms; conducting a study to examine factors that lead to the development of chronic disorders; or designing a new piece of equipment. Important note for all applicantsIf one is traveling to present a project that has already been completed or to attend a seminar to help with background for a project, then the main category for evaluation should be travel. If one is traveling to create a new project or work then it should fall under one of the other two categories, but list the cost of travel in the budget section of the application. 

•producing an academic creative work

*Must be related to an academic department on the UM campus. Some examples include: producing a video (fiction or non-fiction); creating a sculpture or other artistic work; creating a piece of literature. Important note for all applicantsIf one is traveling to present a project that has already been completed or to attend a seminar to help with background for a project, then the main category for evaluation should be travel. If one is traveling to create a new project or work then it should fall under one of the other two categories, but list the cost of travel in the budget section of the application. 

Travel to: present a research/creative project, volunteer/intern, or participate in professional development.

*Most commonly presentations/hosting a conference or workshop/volunteering/participating in professional development. Important note for all applicants: If one is traveling to present a project that has already been completed or to attend a seminar to help with background for a project, then the main category for evaluation should be travel. If one is traveling to create a new project or work then it should fall under one of the other two categories, but list the cost of travel in the budget section of the application. 

Student applicants must be in good academic standing (GPA of 2.0 or higher) and there must be no outstanding holds or debts on the applicant’s student account. Applicants must submit the following materials on the UM Scholarship Portal Website:

1. A one (1) page maximum (single space, 12 times new roman font, 1 in margins) document containing the following information:

    • For a research or creative work proposal, provide a description of the proposed work using language accessible to a non-specialist audience. If presenting at a conference/event, the applicant must explain the work that he or she will be presenting. In the case of those not presenting, the applicant should explain, in detail, his or her academic, professional or research interests and how the opportunity is relevant to these interests. All descriptions should address the broader impacts and significance of the work to be done or presented to the student, to the University, and to broader society. Please also include information about how the project or travel will enhance the student’s professional development. Applicants must also provide an abstract of their presentation, if applicable. (Note: Abstracts do not count within/toward the one-page limit).

    • Please upload this project description on your application page found on the UM Scholarship Portal Website.

2. Provide a budget for the project or travel, using the available form.

  • Do not use per-diem rates or include food costs. Include all items that will be necessary to complete the project (including self + externally funded items), with the understanding that the review committee will fund the line-items deemed most appropriate. When applicable, please use the following ASUM rates for calculating mileage: Private Vehicle ($.15/mile), Private Hybrid ($.20/mile).

  • Additionally, the committee will exclude projects from funding that go towards a paid position, research fellowship through a department, as well as large-scale capital investments (for example: laptops and other hardware) that benefit a department or a specific individual past the length of the individual project. The Committee will similarly refrain from providing any direct funds to a campus department or to direct tuition and fees for UM or any other instituition of Higher Education. Awards given will be distributed directly to the student recipient.
  • This form MUST be sumbited as a ".xlsx" file. DO NOT SUBMIT THIS AS A PDF
  • Please upload this filled out form on your application page found on the UM Scholarship Portal Website.

3. Provide a letter of faculty endorsement for the project or travel.

In addition to the letter due by the close of applications, your faculty member will be required to report to the committee on the status of your project at a later date to ensure completion of the project. (The faculty member must be from the University of Montana; it is strongly recommended that they be the primary mentor for the project.) 

Guide for Faculty References-Faculty References should provide a 1 page letter of support that addresses the following:

  • Your evaluation of the student & the student’s ability to complete the project (for research or creative projects) or the necessity/value of attending this event (for travel applications).
  • Your evaluation of the proposed project, especially: (1) potential for student learning & (2) feasibility/likelihood of success, including willingness to report on the status of the project to the committee by [05/04/18]. The committee will contact your faculty reference prior to this deadline to remind them that they are responsible for this update.
  • Your role, if any, in serving as a faculty mentor for the duration of the project.
  • Whether the student understands and will be in compliance with IRB, IACUC, or other UM requirements for the Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research that may be applicable for the proposed project.
  • Your preferred email address.
  • To request a faculty reference, the STUDENT must send the faculty member an email from the UM Scholarship Portal Website.

*NOTE: The faculty reference is due at the same time as the rest of the application. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their reference letter is included with the rest of the application materials by the deadline. We strongly recommend that you secure a copy of your faculty reference letter well in advance of the deadline so that all of your materials are submitted on time.

4. Fill out all  Application Questions (found on the UM Scholarship Portal) that includes information such as:

  • Identifying which type of application you wish to be evaluated under (Research, Travel, OR Creative Work).
  • Project Name
  • Understanding of conditions for acceptance.

*Important note: Please save and name ALL of your files in the following format: “[Last Name, First Name] [File Type].” For example: “Smith John Budget Request Form”; "Smith John Project Description"; "Smith John Faculty Reference"; . DO NOT INCLUDE ANY NON-LETTER CHARACTERS.

All applications and accompanying materials should be submitted on the RCSF Page on the UM Scholarship Portal.

Applications will be evaluated using the available rubrics (Separate rubrics for research projects, travel funding, and creative projects can be found on the funding website). Funds are intended for individual proposals only. Funding is intended for operational costs and not for personnel costs (stipends). We anticipate awards of up to $1000 to be awarded.

Please email all questions to

Please note that incomplete or applications cannot and will not be reviewed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can I apply with/as a group?

A1: Group applications will no longer be considered. The group must submit their applications as individuals, with seperate materials for each applicant. Please indicate in your cover letter that you are working with other applicants. Funds are awarded based on individual application quality, which means certain group members may recieve funding from RCSF while others do not.

Q2: Part or all of my application won't be ready by the deadline. Can I have an extension?

A2: No extensions or late application materials will be accepted. This is part of the learning experience with asking for grants that the fund was based on. Our deadlines are set, and our allocation dates have been published for a substantial amount of time. Prepare early to complete your application on time!

Q3: I have submitted my application materials and my project is starting soon. When will I hear back about the status of my application?

A3: The committee usually meets and makes decisions two weeks after the deadline for applications. Once we have met, it should be a quick turn around (1-2 days) to get award information out. In the past, there have been complications at both phases that have delayed the notification process and for this reason, we cannot give any exact dates for when you will hear back from us. We promise we are working as hard as we can to expedite the process so that you can hear back about your application.

Q4: I have applied before, am I allowed to apply again?

A4: As long as you meet all of the requirements (taking seven or more credits, good academic standing, no holds on your account) and your project begins within the timeframe for the allocation period, you have the right to apply. If you have been funded in the past and are applying for more funding for the same project, the committee will allow your application, but will give a strong preference towards new projects. If you have applied but not been funded or were funded and are applying for a new project, we treat your application just as we would a brand new application.

Q5: My faculty advisor's letter is going to be late, can I have an exception?

A5: We strongly encourage you to get your faculty reference letter completed before the deadline. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their faculty reference is in on time, and therefore no exceptions can be granted. We recommend asking for your faculty reference the week before the application is due so that there are no complications or need for an exception.

Q6: What kinds of projects does the committee like to fund most?

A6: The committee funds individual projects based on the quality of the application. We do not make value judgments (such as "This project is more important than that project!") but rather focus on the individual's clarity and adherence to our rubrics. We do not favor any specific types of projects. We recommend that you closely examine the available rubrics to guide you through your application.

Q7: Is feedback available for my application?

A7: Feedback is available after the review and announcement steps have been completed by the commitee. Individual applicants must request feedback in order to recieve comments from the committee.

Q8: My project is very important. How can I guarantee funding?

A8: The Research and Creative Scholarship Fund Committee cannot guarantee funding for any individual student. All students are given the right to apply, but the right to funding is determined by the merit and strength of the individual application.

Q9: I am graduating and then doing my project right after- can I still apply?

A9: Every student taking 7 or more credits (at the time of the application window) has the right to apply. The committee has decided that graduating students are currently paying the fee and therefore can apply, even if the project occurs a bit after graduation.

Q10: Who serves on the committee?

A10: The Research & Scholarship Committee shall be composed of twelve (12) voting members, of which two (2) will be members of the ASUM Senate, three (3) will be undergraduate students-at-large selected by ASUM, one (1) will be a graduate student-at-large selected by ASUM, three (3) will be graduate students-at-large selected by the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship/The Graduate School, and three (3) will be either faculty or staff selected by the Office of the Provost. We currently only have the three undergraduate students at large seats available. If you are an undergraduate student who is interested in serving on the committee, please email for more information.

Q11: Where do I apply?

A11: Applications should be submitted on the UM Scholarship Portal Website. Students will need to fill out the "General Application" before applying directly to the Scholarship entilted "ASUM Research and Creative Scholarship," which is located under the "Ours" section of the "Opportunities Tab". Please search for the title under the "Ours" section of the "Opportunities" tab and complete your application there.